When Warner Bros. first announced the Season Pass for Batman: Arkham Knight they did so with few details. Gamers knew how much they would have to pay for post-release Batman content, but at the time it sounded like WB was asking gamers to blindly turn over their money.
Shortly thereafter, WB and Rocksteady saw the error in their ways and put any Batman: Arkham Knight DLC questions to rest. They revealed the full schedule of post release items, which includes new story missions, new challenges, and some new Batman skins, like the Michael Keaton suit from the 1989 film.
But, of course, the focus of the DLC is on the new story missions, the first of which released this week. Titled ‘Batgirl: A Matter of Family’, this first Batman: Arkham Knight DLC episode puts players in control of Barbara Gordon, a.k.a. Batgirl, as she and Robin try to rescue Commissioner Gordon from Joker’s clutches.
While A Matter of Family is billed as a prequel story, its connections to anything within the Arkham universe are slight. Sure, this is the same Joker that Batman has been contending with since the beginning, but those expecting any sort of major tie-in will come away very disappointed. In fact, the DLC story mission barely sheds any light on the Batgirl/Robin dynamic, despite the copious opportunities to do so.
Combat in the DLC is focused on the two key components of prior Batman games, namely stealth and hand-to-hand combat. However, while Batman: Arkham Knight’s Free Flow combat and Predator sections were bursting with options, those available to Batgirl are not. The DLC features a stripped down series of encounters that are hardly interesting and fairly generic. It’s fun to switch between Batgirl and Robin via Dual Play, but the combat is pretty mindless compared to what’s available in Batman: Arkham Knight.
Despite all that, A Matter of Family could have been a fun distraction – a chance to reacquaint oneself with the combat of the Arkham series while controlling a new character. Instead it’s a 1-hour romp through a self-contained amusement park that feels wholly unsatisfying. Asking gamers to spend $10 on or buy the $40 Season Pass for something so slight typifies why gamers are so concerned about DLC. When offered something extra for an additional price, those gamers want to feel like they got their money’s worth. Batgirl: A Matter of Family does not offer such a feeling.
With a handful of collectibles and an admittedly unique setting, A Matter of Family does have its appeals, but when concerns about value were already high it’s hard to recommend the DLC. If the story had felt substantial or integral to the Arkham universe then maybe it would have been worth recommending, but that is not the case here. If you were desperate to experience more of Rocksteady Studios’ combat or just to be back in that world, we’d recommend starting a New Game Plus. Batgirl: A Matter of Family is a wholly forgettable and overpriced piece of DLC.
What did you think of the Batgirl DLC? Did you find it satisfying?
Batman: Arkham Knight’s ‘Batgirl: A Matter of Family’ DLC is available now for PS4 and Xbox One, the PC version has been delayed until further notice. Game Rant reviewed the PS4 version.