Friday, December 2, 2011

Arkham City - Robin DLC

Joe again for some more on Batman: Arkham City!

I'm a little behind on getting this out but here it is. November 22nd saw the release of the Robin DLC for Arkham City.

I'll start with the sad news... yes, like Nightwing; Robin is only playable in the Riddler's Revenge challenge maps. Sad news indeed. On top of that, even though, unlike Nightwing, Robin has lines and a voice In-Game, they didn’t give him any snappy patter before your brawls. The thugs and henchmen talk about Robin regularly, but Robin says nothing. It makes no sense to me. Anywho...

As far as play goes, I like Robin more than Nightwing. Robin seems to hit a little harder thanks to a Bo staff and his moves don’t take as long to execute. One mash of the 'Strike' button and Robin executes his move... unlike Nightwing's multi-hit escrima stick strikes. Robin also has his fair share of Batman-like gadgetry. He carries about the same about as Nightwing, though still not as much as Batman. Robin brings with him 2 new gadgets to master; his "Bullet Shield" and his "Flash-Snaps". The bullet-shield is just that, a shield that gives Robin limited protection from incoming fire. The Bullet Shield also adds a shield-bash maneuver to Robin’s repertoire of moves allowing him to knock down enemies. Robin's second specific gadget is his Flash-Snaps. The Flash-Snaps are surprisingly cool. Robin can sneak up behind wandering thugs and plant them on their backs. As the thug wanders off, you can set the Flash-Snap off, not only knocking down the thug it was planted on but any thugs immediately near by. It’s a cool little device that takes some practice to master.

With the addition of Robin character, we not only get to play in his in-game incarnation (center), but we get 2 additional skins to choose from. The first of the 2 new skins is Tim Drake in his Red Robin outfit (left). As Tim Drake became older and Damian Wayne stepped into the role of Robin, Tim, akin to Dick Grayson becoming Nightwing, evolved into a more independent hero role; and this outfit represents that. The third skin (right) is Robin from the Animated Series. I found this a bit odd. The version of Robin we get in the game is clearly Tim Drake, why then is the Animated skin used the Dick Grayson version of Robin and not Tim Drake? Could it be consistency-sake since they used the looks from the first 3 seasons of the Animated Series for Batman and Catwoman? Could it be due to programming? The Season 4 look for Robin would be accurate as far as character, but I would guess that the model needed would need to be smaller and that would take way too much time and effort to recode. Either way, at least it's Robin. I use the Red Robin skin anyway... looks the best IMO.

Again, I wish Robin and Nightwing were playable in game. It would be nice to not be limited to Batman and Catwoman. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed both, but the game could only benefit by adding the two additional characters. We’ll see if they give us more in a third game.

And don’t forget, December 6th is the Batman Skin DLC!