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.
Offering a pre-order bonus at launch is usual, and Arkham City does it with the form of two story packs. Harley Quinn was a good choice, but I don’t think anyone expected Red Hood to be seeing his own pack. Fans of the character may be delighted, but sadly Red Hood’s Story Pack lacks much other than a few fights.
The basic premise for this story pack is that Black Mask is in town and Red Hood wants to kill him. That’s… really it. There’s basically no character development, not much in the way of cutscenes, and very little rhyme or reason for anything. Red Hood wants to kill Black Mask. If you don’t know who Red Hood or Black Mask is, why either of them are doing what they do, or anything about the two at all at all, then this DLC will do nothing to fix any of that.
Red Hood doesn’t play all that different from Batman. Yet where everyone else in Arkham Knight, and even Harley Quinn in her DLC chapter, at least have some way to different themselves, Red Hood lacks that. He has his handguns sure, but they basically just work the same as batarangs. He also has his own version of the batclaw, but the only difference is that it pulls Red Hood to the enemy, a slight change from Batman who pulls the enemy to himself. The only real difference is in the visuals. Red Hood’s takedowns are surprisingly brutal, often having him execute enemies at point blank. Yet as visually exciting as these new takedowns are, they do nothing to really differentiate Red Hood as a playable character.
The story pack is broken into three unconnected zones: first a brawl against Black Mask’s thugs, then a predator section, then finally a boss fight against Black Mask himself. The predator section is really where Red Hood shines the most. At any point I could move into a first person mode and take out Black Mask’s thugs with Red Hood’s pistols, so long as they weren’t wearing bullet proof vests. It makes the predator mode more about finding good sniping spots, which is a nice change. Red Hood also executes his enemies far faster than Batman does, just snapping necks rather than waiting for them to pass out. It makes going through the section faster, which I can appreciate. The boss fight isn’t really anything special, and basically involves dodging Black Mask’s bullets while shooting back when I can. Despite this it’s probably the best boss fight in all of Arkham Knight, which is a little sad.
Clocking in at only 15ish minutes, I have a really difficult time recommending the Red Hood Story Pack. If it came with your copy of Arkham Knight, then yeah sure. Give it a play through and see a few brutal executions. Yet I can’t recommend spending any money on this as it’s just way to short and has so little going for it. Sorry Red Hood, maybe next time.