Just two weeks after release and the critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham City has already received its first downloadable content (DLC) pack. The Nightwing DLC extends the fun by adding Batman’s former protégé as a playable character for The Riddler’s Revenge challenge maps. The pack also includes a couple of additional maps as well as a bonus Nightwing skin from the Batman animated series.
Batman: Arkham City is one of those games that just keeps on giving. It features a superb campaign mode that provides loads of fun and also offers hours of replay value via the game’s challenge maps. These challenge maps offer nice, bite-sized chunks of gameplay that allow players to revisit some of the game’s multi-opponent brawls and stealth sequences. The two characters available to play out of the box, Batman and Catwoman, play so differently they effectively double the replay value of the challenge maps.
Enter Nightwing. If you aren’t a fan of the comic books, you’ve probably never heard of him, even though you may know the name of his alter-ego, Dick Grayson. Nightwing is the grown-up Boy Wonder, Robin. Nightwing’s moves are a little more acrobatic and the fights more like well-choreographed martial arts demonstrations, as opposed to Batman’s brutal but effective bar-style brawling. I’d say that Nightwing sits nicely between Batman’s powerful attacks and Catwoman’s more graceful melee moves.
Instead of fists, Nightwing uses two clubs called Escrima sticks, in keeping with his martial arts fighting style. When he’s not beating thugs with the sticks he’s bouncing them off walls and knocking his opponents down with them. Like Batman, Nightwing also has a Batclaw for grappling, a disrupter for, umm, disrupting (guns mainly), and an infinite supply of Batarangs (which he calls Wing Dings). Nightwing also has a three-shot wrist dart device that with careful aim can stun a victim or, if hit in the head, take them down for good. As well as the usual aerial attacks, Nightwing also has an electrical blast that can be used to incapacitate foes when jumping to the ground.
The Nightwing DLC doesn’t have any extra campaign missions, which is a shame as it would have been nice to unleash Nightwing on the unsuspecting denizens of Arkham City. Instead the pack includes two extra challenge maps: a brawl in the Wayne Manor armoury and a Wayne Manor predator map. Whilst a lot of fun, they’re not really that different from the dozens of maps that players will already have access to. It would have been nice if they were a bit different like The Jokers Carnival and Iceberg Lounge add-on challenge maps.
If you like Batman: Arkham City and enjoy the challenge maps, you’ll have no choice but to buy this DLC. It is expensive at 500 MS Points, especially as this probably won’t be the last bit of DLC that you buy for the game, but it’s well worth it. I just wish I could take Nightwing for a prowl across the rooftops of Arkham City instead of just being limited to the challenge map.
Lasting appeal: 9