When Warner Bros. announced Batman: Arkham Knight's Season Pass at £32.99 (€ 39.99), players were left doubting the quality of the content that would be introduced. This is an extremely high price for a pass, so it better deliver some quality DLC. The first content announced for the Season Pass was Batgirl: A Matter Of Family, which will also will be sold for non-season pass holders from July 21, at £5.79 (€ 6.99).
Batgirl: A Matter Of Family looked like it could have an interesting premise: it is the first time Batgirl is playable in the Arkham series, and considering Barbara's (Batgirl's alter-ego) relevance in the main story of Batman: Arkham Knight, we expected an interesting plot. Unfortunately, that's not what we found. The plot is virtually nonexistent, activities are repetitive and everything ends in an hour (two if you want to search for the extras).
It should be emphasised that Rocksteady Studios didn't actually produce Batgirl: A Matter Of Family. It was WB Games Montreal, Batman: Arkham Origins' developer. That shows in the DLC's quality, an unwillingness to take any risks, be it narrative or gameplay-wise. It seems however that the next DLC packs will be produced by Rocksteady, so hopefully they will be better.
The events of A Matter Of Family play out prior toBatman: Arkham Asylum, prior to Barbara hanging the Batgirl mantle and taking her place as Oracle. There were several interesting stories and approaches that Warner Montreal could have tried for this DLC, but the only thing you will find here is a very simple and limited narrative. In short, Batgirl and Robin have to go to an amusement park where Joker held some hostages, including Jim Gordon, Barbara's father. And that's basically it, a very predictable ride culminating in a completely uninspired confrontation between Batgirl, Robin, Joker, Harley Quinn and a dozen thugs.
Gameplay-wise, Batgirl plays like a basic Batman, similar to very early Arkham Knight, and there is no way to upgrade your skills. As for Robin, at times you can trigger a similar partnership to what you can do with Batman in Arkham Knight. The only element that differs (and little) is Batgirl's hacking skills, that allow her to access several mechanisms. Since all is taking place is a amusement park, this allows for some funny moments, where you can use the rides against the Joker's thugs.
The park itself has a reasonable size and is highly detailed, which only adds to the frustration, because Warner Montreal could and should have done better with this location. All you will do in A Matter Of Family is saving hostages on three occasions, disarm two bombs and little else. There are also collectibles to look for if you want all the Trophies / Achievements. You will find balloons, dentures and boxes to burst. The most interesting extras comes in the form of some puzzles that you can try to solve, that involve using the park's rides. Each time you solve a problem, you will know a little more about the park's background story.
There's not much more to say about Batgirl: A Matter Of Family. For £5.79 (€ 6.99), it's not impressive, and as the headliner for a £32.99 (€ 39.99) Season Pass, it's clearly disappointing. Hopefully Rocksteady can raise the bar on the next content, because if Batgirl is an example of what's in store it will be very difficult to justify the outrageous price tag.
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