Batgirl has always lived in the shadows of Batman. She’s never been given a fair chance to spread her ‘cape’ and show just what a fantastic character she is outside of the comic books. Is this finally the opportunity she rightfully deserves?
A Matter of Family, though part of the pricey Batman: Arkham Knight DLC, takes place just before events that took place in the original outing – Batman Arkham Asylum. Batgirl’s father, Commissioner Gordon, has been kidnapped by the Joker and you’re tasked in saving him. As with Batman Arkham Knight everything takes place on a rainy evening, but this time events unfold in an amusement park with a oil rig right in the middle of it all. It can only be The Joker and his female companion that could come up with that theme.
It’s all fun and games, sortof
As you’d imagine it’s been decorated in typical Joker fashion with clown-faced balloons and broken rides. The good news is that Batgirl is not alone. Robin is there to assist her, though that’s a bit of a slap in the face as she’s more than capable of holding her own. Like Batman she’ll make short work of any goon, but she is lacking in the gadget department. In her arsenal she’s got a Batarang, Line Launcher, Explosive Gel, Batclaw, Smoke Pellet and a Remote Hacking Device to open doors. So, pretty much on par with the gadgets you would have seen for the first time in Arkham Asylum years ago, including the trademark Grapple. Problem is that you barely get to use most of it.
Once making your way up a set of broken trams, to reach the amusement park, you’ll have to free 3 sets of hostages. Each set comes with the typical silent approach, whereby you’re mostly playing in detective mode to plan your next move. If it’s an attack from above or below, that’s up to you. Between hostage bouts you’ll have Robin asking you to disarm a bomb, followed by another set of goons that requires a beating. A press of the LB button will have the two teaming up, which is of course once again a welcome feature. You can’t however help noticing the wash, rinse, repeat recipe. Before you know it you’ve run out of dirty laundry.
But… but it only just got going?
A Matter of Family will last you just over 2 hours at the very most. This includes mini sidequests that involves popping balloons, destroying joker teeth and discovering the Jack (Harley) in the Box items. If ever there was an anticlimax to ‘what could have been’ then this is a great example of that. The story, if you can call it that, is poorly written and really does feel like a quick cash-in. The short appearance of The Joker and Harley Quinn does not help all that much in explaining events that leads up to Arkham Asylum, but I would be spoiling the short story that’s there if I explained that.
This heroine deserves so much more. Instead she’ll remain in Batman’s shadow. Is this worth picking up the DLC? Definitely not. The main game offers so much more and at just over two hours I’m thinking the Joker must surely be behind this joke.