The Harley Quinn Story Pack was another pre-order bonus for Batman: Arkham Knight, however unlike the Red Hood Story Pack this was made available to everyone regardless of where purchased or the format pre-ordered. For me there wasn’t ever a question as to whether or not I was going to be pre-ordering Batman: Arkham Knight, however the prospect of getting this story DLC certainly didn’t hurt. Even though I was looking forward to playing this content, I didn’t really know what to expect until we received the official gameplay trailer and I was thrilled. However the question remains, did the Harley Quinn Story Pack live up to my expectations? Just in case you haven’t had a chance to see the Harley Quinn Story Pack in action, you can check it out here.
This certainly isn’t the first time we’re seeing Harley Quinn in the Arkham franchise, however it was the first time that we’ve had an opportunity to see Nightwing brought to life within the Universe. Rocksteady continues to deliver beautifully designed characters and fully realized environments, every aspect of the Blüdhaven Police Department looked great and felt right.
After the events of Arkham City, it appears that Harley has branched out and started taking contract work as a hired gun. As the story pack begins you learn that you’ve been hired by the Penguin to siege the Blüdhaven Police Department and break Poison Ivy out, before she can be transferred to Blackgate Prison. Of course it isn’t the Penguin that wants to rescue Ivy, its the Scarecrow and if you’ve already started Batman: Arkham Knight then you already know why. Even though this story pack may sound like it has a pretty robust storyline, it really doesn’t have a lot of depth. From a story development point of view its pretty straightforward, this isn’t the kind of story we’d expect from DLC being advertised as a “story Pack”. There are ways that this content could’ve been enhanced to allow for more storytelling, it would’ve been great to get a complete story arc revealing the moment that she was approached by Penguin to take the job all the way through what happens once Ivy is delivered to Scarecrow. As is this should’ve been labeled the Harley Quinn Challenge Pack, which isn’t a bad thing however it would’ve set the appropriate expectation for what we received in this pre-order bonus.
I’ll say this, they absolutely nailed the movements, fighting style, and joyfully psychotic personality of Harley Quinn. They developed a great balance highlighting her agility and fluidity of movement, without sacrificing the sheer brutality she can demonstrate with her trusty bat. I also love the addition of the “psychosis mode”, which is Harley’s own insanity fueled brand of Batman’s detective mode. As you take on the police department, you’re able to fill up your “mayhem” bar allowing you to unleash a devastating berserker style attack. The only other thing I could’ve asked for from a gameplay perspective would’ve been to allow this story pack to play out much like the Catwoman DLC from Arkham City, where you’re able to free roam within Gotham. Missions or not, that would’ve made for a great addition to the game.
Aside from the lack of story, the biggest downside to this DLC is the overall length of play. This DLC can easily be beaten, 100% completion, in 15 minutes or less. This is another instance where referring to this as a story pack sets the wrong expectation from the start, I assumed I’d be able to spend at least 30 minutes in this story. If I had that expectation, I can only assume others will too. I’d love to see more content being released for Harley Quinn, however I don’t know if that is among the season pass plans.
Whether or not you consider this to be an actual story pack is a matter of opinion, however I intend on playing it over and over just because the gameplay is so much fun. If you pre-ordered Batman: Arkham Knight, redeem that code and start unleashing your reign of terror upon the Blüdhaven Police Department. If you didn’t pre-order it and still haven’t purchased the game, chances are if you go to your local Walmart they’ll still have copies of the game left on the shelf that have the Harley Quinn DLC sticker on it. If you’re unable to track it down and it becomes available as purchasable DLC, just take everything I’ve said into consideration before you spend the extra money on it. Unless you’re a fan of Harley Quinn, it may not be worth it to you… then again, if you’ve purchased the season pass I’d bet it’ll become available soon.
Wondering the the Batgirl: A Matter of Family DLC turned out? Check out my review here…