There’s no denying that I was thrilled when the Batgirl: A Matter of Family DLC was originally announced for Batman: Arkham Knight, even though I wasn’t sure of the details I had my suspicions and that was enough to get me excited. Barbara Gordon has been with us throughout the Arkham franchise, in Arkham Origins WB Games Montreal introduced us to a young and rebellious Barbara that believed in the Batman and desperately wanted to help. Of course in Rocksteady’s trilogy she’s been Batman’s invaluable ally known as Oracle, utilizing her advanced computer skills to provide Batman with the real time information and data analysis needed to best approach and overcome any situation.
However we’ve never had an opportunity to see Barbara as she was before the events that unfolded in Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke, when she was paralyzed from the waist down by the Joker. Somewhere in between the Arkham Origins and Arkham Asylum continuity there existed a time when Barbara Gordon was Batgirl. This is why I was excited, the idea that we’d finally get an opportunity to see Barbara’s strength and determination portrayed in a different light within the Arkhamverse.
Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we’ve been provided new details regarding the story we’ll be receiving in the “Batgirl: A Matter of Family” DLC. We’ll see our heroine team up with Robin to save her father, Commissioner Gordon, who’s been kidnapped by the Joker.
Created by Arkham Origins’ developer WB Games Montreal, the DLC takes place in an entirely new area called the Seagate Amusement Park, a nautical theme park built on top of an oil rig that the Joker has rigged to be a massive death trap. “We wanted to recreate the feeling of being trapped in a bizarre and unique open environment playing a game of cat and mouse with the Joker,” says design producer Justin Vazquez.
Batgirl’s combat style is a combination of the Dark Knight’s brawn and her own computer-genius brain, as she uses her hacking abilities to take down enemies, control objects, and solve puzzles. “Hacking is really what separates her from the other characters. It’s a gameplay mechanic with which the player can create situations for Batgirl to really shine,” Vazquez says. “Our intention was that Batgirl should be less powerful than Batman, but that Batgirl plus hacking could give her opportunities do things that not even Batman can pull off.”
The expansion incorporates Arkham Knight’s Dual Play system that allows the player to switch characters at the press of a button, and culminates in an epic tag-team throwdown between Batgirl and Robin and the Joker and Harley Quinn. “Seeing these four iconic characters together at the same time will be a real thrill,” Vazquez says. And for the first time in the Arkham series, Harley will be sporting her trademark black and red ensemble from Batman: The Animated Series.
The DLC features side quests, collectibles left behind by the Joker, and Easter eggs for hardcore DC Comics fans. “[It’s] a love letter to the original game that started this incredible franchise,” Vazquez says. “Batgirl: A Matter of Family” launches July 14 for Arkham Knight DLC season-pass holders (PS4 and Xbox One, $40), or it can be purchased separately on July 21 for $6.99.
The question remains, how will this story DLC be compared to the Harley Quinn or the Red Hood DLC’s? WB Games Montreal handled both of those story packs, like the others I’ll definitely let you know how they compare. Check out my reviews of the others in case you’ve missed them.