I picked up a couple games during the Steam summer sale, but mostly grabbed a bunch of DLC.  One of these was Harley Quinn’s Revenge, for Batman: Arkham City.

(By the way, if you get it through Steam, note that the game doesn’t register that you have it until you log into Windows Live.  You download and install it there.  This is annoying but at least it’s over quickly.)

She’s kinda hot when she’s mad

It’s pretty good.  It’s well, very Arkhamy; I swear they turned the lights down, making the place more lugubrious than ever.

You start as Robin, which is less painful than I expected.  (If you’re only a moderate fanboy, this is not the original Robin, who’s become Nightwing.  This is a new Robin.)  This is mostly because he has some new gadgets, so it’s slightly different getting around (indeed, there’s one hazard that has to be avoided differently depending on who you’re playing).  The gadgets are actually different from the ones in the Robin map pack, which is just as well.

Robin actually has to rescue Batman, who kinda foolishly got into a trap.  Batman was pretty much a dick to Robin in the main game, and this continues… indeed, it’s pretty much lampshaded.

I just read a bunch of reviews, and they were all rather disappointed.  But then, they probably paid full price for it.  I think the best way to think of it is that it adds a new building to Arkham City (it’s a shipyard, not part of the steel mill, as some reviewers thought).  So it’s comparable in complexity and challenge to one of the other buildings in AC… not to the whole city.  It’s not gonna be an open-ended, multi-mission thing.  It’s fun to put on the thick boots and face down more thugs and their insane leader for a couple of hours, but it’s not a sequel.

This was the logical story to do after Arkham City, but some of the wit and darkness of the main game are missing.  Harley is understandably going through a bad time, and dressing her thugs in striking red and black outfits is undoubtedly an important first step in dealing with her grief as well as holding her turf in the giant prison; but though she’s a little smarter here than in AC, she doesn’t really match the main villains of the main game.

I found there was one really difficult fight in it.  In the final fight, Batman faces something like a dozen robots, which count as armored thugs… plus Harley is sniping at you.  After a few tries, I got through this– just barely– with a combination of stun + beatdown, plus the electric gadget (4-4).  You can easily get mobbed by the other robots, so mash that block key. (Select text to reveal.)

Edit: I also wanted to say that at two hours or so, it’s pretty short.

Also, where did Harley get all the dye and makeup to redo the look of Joker’s thugs?  In AC the idea was that Hugo Strange was providing arms and presumably other resources.  But he and Tyger are gone, so the logistics must be problematic.  Silly question, I know, but in AC the designers made a point of designing Joker/Penguin/Twoface thug outfits in a way that suggested they were handmade.  (E.g., Twoface’s thugs just burned half of their uniforms; Penguin’s spray-painted a penguin on theirs.)  Oh well, I guess we just figure there was a chemical factory in Joker’s sector.

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