A Matter of Hacking
The first of the DLC which is coming over the next six months. This was the storyline mission that we have heard the most about, and got people excited because they could play as Batgirl.
This is the first of the DLC to be released for Arkham Knight, and in this pack, you play as Barbara Gordon’s’ Batgirl and Tim Drake Robin.Who have been tasked with rescuing officers from the GCPD as well as Commissioner Gordon from the Joker and Harley Quinn who have taken up residence on an old oil rig turned into an amusement park. The whole “plot” to this DLC is for Joker to lure the Caped Crusader’s partners in order to kill them, because he feels that Batman isn’t acting like himself and isn’t proving a real joy for the Joker to go up against. he He feels that Batman’s mind is stuck in some kind of babysitter mode.
Whilst this is a good idea for a story, setting it before Arkham Asylum was nice because it was a chance to build new models for Joker and Harley – putting her in her classic animated series leotard. Although she is only in it for a few minutes at the end, they look really good. However it isn’t very original and just feel like a story taken from a single issue comic and it wasn’t developed any further than Joker telling us this at the very beginning. I was expecting a monologue over a tannoy from the Joker explaining why he misses Batman or why he needs Batgirl and Robin gone but no.
For those who didn’t know, this DLC was developed by Warner Bros. Games Montreal. This may instantly give people a bad taste in their mouth but I was willing to look past a certain game because I wanted to believe that they had picked themselves up and dusted themselves down. They hadn’t. Around ten minutes into the DLC, it started to drag and wear me down. It felt like something made by WB Montreal. Get ready for a big list;
Animations were glitchy, Batgirls hair would constantly clip through her cowl and cape,
The camera in fight sequences would decide that it didn’t want to focus on the goons but a gas canister in the corner
When you knocked down enemies, they would bounce around the room and teleport
Punches and cape stuns would go straight through enemies and have no effect.
The Cryptographic Sequence wouldn’t work properly. It wouldn’t vibrate the controller properly meaning that I would fail at deactivating bombs which meant I had to start entire sequences again.
I deactivated a bomb with one second left – all action hero style and it still blew up, like WTF? Before people complain and say my controller was faulty or I must be bad, I tested the vibrate function on my controller and it was fine, plus it was a level two difficulty hack which in the main game, can be solved almost instantly. Not very impressive for someone whos hacking skill is above Batman’s level.
Speaking of hacking skills, let’s begin on Batgirl.
Her combat to felt extremely sluggish and slow. There was no real power behind her attacks and her fighting technique was scripted to imitate a chimpanzee walking. Batgirl would essentially drag and slide along the floor but trying to disguise the knuckle dragging by a couple fancy twirls.
Not impressive. Apart from that, everything was as expected. The health bar was smaller than Batman’s but it was made up by having an array of gadgets. She had twice as many gadgets as Robin and Nightwing have, but you never felt inclined to use them as the sole focus of this DLC was to hack.
And my was there a lot of hacking. It felt like every two minutes you had to stop and hack something. It could be used in combat against the exact same thugs from the main game but it wasn’t necessary except for one fear attack. This slowed gameplay down and made it boring. With the story about an hour to an hour and a half long, you could see why this was a problem.
This may have seemed like a one sided piece but there were parts that I actually liked. For example, you are able to stay in Arkham Episode once you finish the story. This allows you to explore the amusement park without Batgirl reminding you every time you stop moving her in order to scratch your arm that her dad is in trouble and that you need to save him (“Shut your face Batgirl”). There are also collectibles in this AE. There are balloons, Joker teeth and Harley Jack in the boxes to find and destroy. To find them though you either have to walk every cm of the map just so you might hear the teeth or the jack in the box or you have to be in detective mode the whole time.Dual combat is back and is ok. I spent most of the time as Robin when possible because I felt that he was actually doing something when it came to fighting. The best thing by far about this DLC is learning the backstory of how the theme park came to be. It is a sweet story about a billionaire trying to make his daughter’s dream a reality whilst she has chemo therapy. To earn the audio files, you have to solve puzzles and win on the amusement games. Was this unique? Fun? Boring? What did you think of the mechanic
Should we all be buying this DLC then?
It is clunky at best; short and boring.
If you have bought the season pass, there is no harm, except to your wallet (I got mine cheaper because I was one affected by the F-U Batmobile Edition) or if you just want a reason to keep playing the game after you have 100% it. Achievements/trophies are tied to this DLC so if you want every single one for Arkham Knight then you could get it. The price for this pack is £5.79 and it isn’t really worth it. If it was made by Rocksteady, then maybe but they seem to have their own shit show on.
If you do not own the season pass and have something else to do for an hour, go do that. It is a sure way to do something better with your time. Warner Bros. and WB Games will definitely have to pull their fists out next time. Especially if they are making a supposed Superman game.
Playstation 4 and Xbox One *reviewed* no word on PC but I wouldn’t bank on it anytime soon
Release date: 14th July (21st July for those without season pass)