Publisher: Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: June 23rd, 2015
Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Reviewer’s note: I played this DLC on the PlayStation 4. There may be differences between versions.
Harley Quinn’s popularity has been increasing lately. I’ll admit that she has easily become one of my favorite characters in the Batman universe. Getting a chance to finally control Harley and see something from her side of the story is a huge plus for me, and this DLC does offer that. But is it worth actually going through?
Taking place shortly before the events of Arkham Knight, this DLC sees Harley Quinn staging a one-woman assault on the Bludhaven police station to break Poison Ivy out of jail. Penguin is also on call to help her out, but he’s really mostly there to guide Harley around. It’s simple and there’s little to the tale other than breaking Poison Ivy out. Still, I do enjoy the chance to see more Harley Quinn, and some of the little details are actually pretty impressive. Seeing things through Harley’s eyes involves getting to see a ton of writing on the wall and all the little jokes Harley would make about situations.
For the most part Harley plays very similar to Batman. She can attack and counter attack using the same free-flow combat as in the main game, and she has some tools at her disposal as well. Her arsenal lacks any sort of quick long ranged attack, but she makes up with it with a grenade that snares enemies in place and the ability to lay out explosive jack-in-the-boxes like mines. Harley also has a mayhem meter, which is probably her most unique feature. As she deals damage to enemies the mayhem meter fills up, and once full she can enter mayhem mode where all attacks become devastating takedowns. Mayhem mode is also impressive visually, as it changes the world to a black, white, and red aesthetic while the long gone Dr. Harleen Quinzel screams for Harley Quinn to stop killing people. The story pack also ends in a boss fight against Nightwing, but for the most part he’s just a stun baton enemy with a health bar. I appreciate an actual boss fight, but there’s not much to it.
The DLC also features a couple of predator segments, which are actually pretty different than Batman’s segments. Harley Quinn refuses to do silent takedowns, and instead she pulls out her baseball bat and makes a right loud mess of things. This means each takedown is followed by a rush of cops to each area, and that I had to constantly be on the move. A second predator section also allowed me to taunt Poison Ivy’s plants so the actually would do the work for me, but this was a one time thing. I really appreciated the differences in how Harley Quinn worked, and having to think differently about how to approach the situations than the usual ways. If caught by enemies Harley can throw laughing gas to escape, but it basically just works the same as the smoke grenade so I was a bit disappointed there.
The biggest disappointment from the story pack really comes in from the absolute lack of content. All of this is great fun, yet after a measly 30ish minutes I was done. All that’s here is the very short campaign, and I had no ability to take Harley Quinn into any challenge maps or into the main game itself. That is a massive let down and I really wished there could be more to this. I am slightly understanding since this is a pre-order bonus and not a full DLC, but I still can’t mask my disappointment.
The Harley Quinn Story Pack has clever ideas and really makes me want that full Harley Quinn game, but all that’s on offer right now is about 30 minutes of Harley Quinn and nothing else. I’m hoping that future DLC will see more of this fantastic villain because she really deserves more of a spot light than the Arkham series has given her so far.