Batman: Arkham City - Catwoman

Catwoman Cover
Platforms PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows
Recommended? No
Buy from Amazon

This console generation will probably be well remembered for the rise of downloadable content. In an era where publishers whine about used game sales, they certainly found one of the most effective ways to further their profits. Whether it’s armor for your horse, patches that turn burlesque breasts tassel-less, or multiple hours worth of new content, DLC is here to stay.

I generally have little problem with it, most of the time I pass, especially when I pick up games used for cheap and I have to spend more on the DLC than the actual game itself. But I’ve also bought some quality downloads that are worth the money. I begin to have issues with it when a game is advertised in such a way that you expect that content to be there in the first place.

Take Batman: Arkham City, an excellent game starring the caped crusader. When Game Informer featured the title on its cover, we got an artsy and sexy preview for it with Catwoman right alongside Batman. That pairing, however, is not guaranteed for all owners of the game. Here’s my review of the Catwoman DLC in Batman: Arkham City.

Might as well get my point across I was trying to make in the introduction out of the way: the Catwoman DLC code is available to all consumers who buy the game new for free, this is not unusual at all, except for the fact that not only was Catwoman heavily featured in advertising, but she also plays an integral role in the game. I think it’s ridiculous that anybody who buys the game used has to pay another $10 to play as her. I don’t have complaints about the similar Nightwing or Robin DLCs because in now way were they featured on magazine covers or trailers.

All right, about the actual DLC. The Catwoman story is so well integrated into Batman’s night, that it seems likely she was always designed to be in the game, and then carefully excised out later when someone realized they could make extra money off selling her chapters. From the perspective of someone playing a brand new copy, this is awesome! She fits right into the story with a few chapters scattered around, and all’s right with the world.

But it must be odd playing Batman: Arkham City without Catwoman, does she just show up to save the day every few hours without notice? I believe it would be jarring, to say the least. You also play as Catwoman before you even control Batman, so if you’re planning to enter that Catwoman code tomorrow, well, do it now.

Catwoman herself controls beautifully, I already love the Arkham combat system, and she adds another layer of silky smoothness to it. She flies across the battlefield with well detailed animations and delivers her own brand of night justice. While her weapon and gadget belt is much smaller than Batman’s, I found it substantial enough for our time spent together. She also has a few upgrades of her own, but nowhere near the upgrade path of Batman.

Her story is pretty well tied to Batman’s, though she has her own motives of going into Arkham City. The DLC also gives players the opportunity to see even more of Batman’s rogue gallery, including more Two-Face time, and Poison Ivy’s only appearance in the game (lackluster as it is).

She also has her own array of Riddler trophies to collect, and while Batman can see them, he can’t pick them up. Imagine not owning the Catwoman DLC and seeing all these red Riddler trophies scattered around that you can do absolutely nothing about. I’d be ticked.

One more thing to comment on, when the game was released, I heard lots of complaints about how all the scum of Arkham City was calling Catwoman a “bitch” constantly while they only called Batman at worst a “freak”, so I tried to pay attention to this while playing. I don’t think I could even count on one hand the number of times I heard Catwoman called a bitch, so unless Rocksteady patched the game, the huge barrage of complaints seems completely unwarranted.

While I did enjoy my time with Catwoman in Batman: Arkham City, I can’t recommend it for gamers buying the title used. For one, it’s a $10 purchase for about an hour or so of required content, and then a few hours more of optional Riddler trophy-collecting time. Secondly, I take offense to such a well-integrated character being obviously cut out of the main game to be sold as an extra. But if a new copy of Arkham City is only a few bucks more than a used copy, definitely pick it up for the sexy bonus.

Batman Arkham City Catwoman