I recently purchased Batman: Arkham City, the award-winning sequel to Arkham Asylum. I have been playing it for quite some time. I beat it once without the Catwoman, or Robin downloadable content that comes with each copy of Arkham City. Then I went and downloaded Catwoman, and Robin to see how well the implementation works.
Much to my surprise, the implementation goes beyond the typical “add the character to the playable list” downloadable content. Arkham City goes beyond and against the grain by implementing the whole DLC as part of the story. Catwoman in Arkham City, even though a DLC character, is more than just a downloadable character; It’s an extension of the pre-existing game. The Catwoman DLC is one of the best downloadable content that I have ever encountered.
When the game gets to a climax plot point in the game, the game switches to Catwoman’s perspective in the story. Catwoman doesn’t borrow anyone’s moves, at all. She is her own character – everything from the moves, to the gadgets, to the story, to her own Batman lore. To reach Poison Ivy as a boss in the game, you need Catwoman. To reach Two-Face as a plot in the story, you need Catwoman. If you play the game without Catwoman downloaded, the story doesn’t really make sense until you’ve really taken time with Catwoman. Especially at the beginning of the game, where Catwoman is captured. There’s a plot point before she gets captured, and you need Catwoman installed to see it.
The controls are drastically different, radically different from Batman, too. Some parts of Arkham City prevents you from reaching Catwoman’s locations even though that you have Batman’s Grapple. Catwoman’s moves are just as flexible as seen in the comics, or the movies.
I donno, something clicked for me with Catwoman’s DLC inclusion. It feels more complete than anything. I’m on my second playthrough of Arkham City, and I’m lovin’ it so far. Good job Rocksteady!
I think the way that Rocksteady/WBGames implemented the DLC’s is something that other game developers need to take notice of, and follow in the years to come.