So, this is me writing a critique / rant / commentary on the state of things with Batman Arkham Knight and it's DLC. So, the first thing I want to throw out there; I'm a console gamer playing it on PS4, so whilst, yes, I do find it abhorrent that they allowed a subpar PC port to be released, and even question why they didn't at least give those gamers who'd pre-purchased the game on PC a free skin pack, or the Red Hood DLC, or the new Nightwing one, which, in my opinion, wouldn't even be a loss for them; it essentially amounts to a trio of challenge maps. Please note, there will be Spoilers, so if you've not completed the game, maybe leave now unless you're not too worried about spoilers.
Anyway, onto the actual article. So far, the DLC has consisted of the following things:
- Two Challenge Packs, with a third coming soon.
- About fifteen or so skins (detailed later)
- Three extra Batmobiles, only one of which is usable in the main game outside of free roam.
- Nightwing "Story" DLC
- Batgirl Story DLC
- Red Hood "Story" DLC
- Harley Quinn "Story" DLC
So, the first thing you might've noticed, is that Harley Quinn, Nightwing and Red Hood all have "Story" in quote marks in their DLC. That's because it's less a Story DLC, and more a case of challenge maps cleverly connected. Yes, Nightwing and Harley do have wandering, but it's hardly free roaming. Indeed, the cumulative length of those three DLC's is about an hour and a half, and that's being generous. I cleared the new Nightwing DLC in about 20 minutes, and to say 20 minutes for Red Hood is, again, generous.
Batgirl's DLC was handled a bit better; she had her own map within Gotham, wherein the map took place, and the dual team combat with Robin was a welcome addition. However, the fact that, same as in the main story with Batman and Nightwing's dual team sections, controls always revert to Batgirl as they did to Batman there, kind of detracts from things. However, the Killing Joke style narrative and the fact that there is some semblance of free roam made this a bit better. Which made the Nightwing DLC more of a sour note; they appeared to have got better after the initial pre-order DLC (Red Hood and Harley Quinn) but nope, they went back to the same.
As far as the costumes go, so far, we've had one for Catwoman (don't need it), two for Robin (New 52 and Tim Drake's last costume before becoming Red Robin; holding hope for that too), two for Nightwing (Arkham City and New 52) and a lot of Batman skins, including:
- The 1989 movie costume
- Arkham Asylum / Arkham City (with the gauntlets done incorrectly, presumably so it felt more like an alternate skin than them just giving us another copy of the suit we start in)
- Arkham Origins (darkened to the point that it looks like the one from Batman Begins)
- Thomas Wayne's Flashpoint costume
- Dick Grayson's Batman costume from the late 2000's
- The classic blue and grey batsuit, possibly best remembered from Death in the Family, a book this game drew heavily from
- The Dark Knight Returns suit
- A re-imagined Batman Beyond suit (which looks suspiciously like they just modified the Arkham Knight model...)
- A particularly cool Justice League 3000 skin
- Adam West Batman
- 1st appearance skin (complete with purple gloves
- Zu-En-Ahh (Only available through WB play by signing up to the forums; don't know about anyone else, but I signed up, posted something in the conveniently created bit for people to get this skin, and still haven't got it over a month later...)
- Anime Batman (that forcefield suit in Gotham Knight, the one that makes a bullet ricochet off Batman and nearly kill a crook; sadly no such power in the game!)
We've also got a few more skins to come, and another Batmobile. So, so far in terms of Batmobiles, they've given us a Prototype of the in-game one, which is pretty cool, and with a black colour scheme, would look better than the one we generally drive in my opinion. Then there's the 1989 Movie Batmobile and Dark Knight Trilogy Batmobile (incorrectly labelled as from the 2008 movie; it's from the 2005 movie and carried over. Otherwise, you might as well label the other movie Batmobile as from the 1992 movie). However, these two lack an attack mode. Yes, I get it, they didn't have one in the movies. Well, the Dark Knight Trilogy one did, sort of, and the 1989 one had a pair of machine guns. But in-game, neither of them do, due to Rocksteady seemingly deciding they didn't want to try to design one for them, which is a damned shame. I'd love to be driving the '89 one, then switch to attack mode to mess stuff up. The side effect is neither of them can be used in the story. We've got the Adam West Batmobile coming soon, which I imagine will suffer the same ailment.
Then there's the challenge packs, but honestly, not going to talk about those. They're challenge maps, that's all we need to know. Except that maybe we should've had more of them in the base game, but again, we know that.
Now, we've got at least two more "Story" DLC's to come. A Catwoman one. To that I say; Why? I hated how she was rammed down our throats in Arkham Knight, and this feels like that on a lesser scale. I'd rather have a Robin Story DLC, and we'd be more likely to get one with some semblance of free roam with him. However, I'll wait until it comes out and I play it before totally condemning it. That said, I don't hold out for anything beyond a series of Challenge Maps again.
The other "Story" DLC may have more potential. "A Season of Infamy" is apparently to star several villains, and my big question; when is it set? Before or after Arkham Knight's main story? Personally, I hope before. They need to learn from Arkham Origins and the "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC, which featured nice implementation of Free Roam, and was only let down by using an only slightly modified version of the Mr. Freeze fight from Arkham City. However, we're doubtful to see Batman in the DLC if it's after Knight, more likely taking on the roles of Robin, Nightwing and possibly the Red Hood. Admittedly, that'd be cool, but I'd like to be able to use various members of the Bat-family; indeed, it'd be cool to, rather than using the Batmobile, have L1 switch between the characters at various points on the map, ala GTA V.
Now, here's what I think would be nice if we do get that; a couple of Red Hood skins. Maybe his late 2000's costume from the Batman and Robin comics, his skin when you fight him in Arkham Knight (I warned you about spoilers), his skin as the Arkham Knight, his first appearance costume from Under the Hood or his Battle for the Cowl costume.
Speaking of Battle for the Cowl, a DLC built around that would be excellent, given the ending of Arkham Knight. It'd also shed some light on the true ending of the game; if Jason Todd took over, in a departure from that comic storyline which saw Dick Grayson take over, he'd not be above using Scarecrow's toxin to make them see him as that demon Batman. Not necessary, but it'd be cool.
Anyway, rant over. Discuss.