Batman: Arkham Knight‘s latest add-ons focus on Catwoman and Robin, with both characters taking on Gotham’s bad guys in the aftermath of the game’s ending. Is it worth dusting off this summer’s latest Bat-game? Not really.
These DLC chapters don’t break the streak of mediocrity established by their predecessors. Like the bite-sized instalments built around Red Hood, Batgirl and Nightwing, Catwoman’s Revenge and Robin: A Flip of a Coin are short, shallow experiences.
A set of new environments is the best thing about these latest downloadable offerings. Catwoman sneaks her way through a toy shop that houses Edward Nigma’s automated robot factory, and Robin’s mission happens in a garbage dump where Two-Face has secreted away the spoils of his bank robberies. Both maps feature the multipath, multi-tier set designs familiar to fans of these games. Whirring toy planes, conveyor belts that serve as distractions and a combat arena filled with Riddler trap technology are details that add a little spice to the recipe this time out.
I blew through Selina Kyle’s quest to steal the Riddler’s money and destroy his robot factory in about 30 minutes. The other Arkham Episode, the one that features The Dark Knight’s junior partner battling Two-Face, took me longer — about 90 minutes, due to me flubbing the execution of one stealth sequence midway through.
As before, the heroes, villains and thugs offer little snatches of dialogue that give players droplets of story and seasoning. Hearing the Riddler try and orchestrate a breakout from GCPD headquarters over a landline with a poorly-built AI offers some chuckles. And the banter between newlyweds Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake is cute and poignant, with the former Batgirl trying to assuage Robin’s concerns about carrying on Batman’s legacy.
DLC exists to keep you connected to a game franchise’s core releases. But the problem with Arkham Knight‘s DLC has been that it’s engaged players’ muscle memory more than anything else. My affection for the Batman Arkham games comes from how they reshape decades of Batman lore into new stories. Sadly, the narrative bits sprinkled by Catwoman’s Revenge and Robin: A Flip of the Coin aren’t enough to satisfy any Bat-fan’s hunger.