Batman: Arkham City – Nightwing DLC Bundle Review

Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Release Date: November 1, 2011

Batman: Arkham City
only came out a few weeks ago, but I’m already clamoring for some DLC to expand my experience. Lucky for me (and you), some has finally been provided. Similar to Mortal Kombat‘s new fighters, Rocksteady has opted to throw in some of Batman’s pals for some challenge room debauchery. For only $7, Nightwing and his bundled environments can prove to be a solid deal to an already amazing game.

Rocksteady knows the combat in Arkham City is nearly flawless, so it was a wise choice not to change it up too much. Like Catwoman, Nightwing controls similarly to Batman, but with a few added gadgets, tweaks, and animations. He shares some of the Dark Night’s gadgets with a few of his own that are fairly useful. Stun darts (in which a headshot deals an immediate knockout), batarang-like projectiles, a thunder jump stun move, a ricochet projectile, and a few shared from Batman round out Nightwing’s arsenal and all have a viable use in combat, predator modes, or both. Quick firing the gadgets is useful if you have the dexterity to pull it off in combat, and works just as well when steadily trying to take down foes in the stealth missions.

Of course, each mode has their own unique animations for Nightwing. Stealth takedowns are still badass in a ninja style way, but the new combat animations are still superior. Batman must have showed him a few moves because he doesn’t think twice to break an elbow the wrong way to bust a few skulls and all look pretty impressive. He does have the special takedown moves that require a five or eight multiplier, all but one are different than the Bat’s but have equal use and function. Stunning multiple enemies or incapacitating one is usually the end result of these flashy finishers. Nightwing does have the electric nightsticks, and needless to say, he uses them effectively.

Besides the actual character, there are a few new neat things to round out the package. Two challenge maps, one stealth and one combat, are included. They’re just maps but new backgrounds in these types of arenas are always appreciated. The same applies to Nightwing’s alternate animated skin. While adding new is great, the old has been treated too. Nightwing can participate in any existing maps with his own unique stealth medals and vice versa with the other characters which gives the game even more replayability. I was impressed how detailed and thought out the whole add-on process was. I was only expecting new maps and a character, but wasn’t anticipating he’d fit in so well retroactively with the “old” content.

Nightwing is pretty much a no-brainer if you want more of the brilliant Batman combat and stealth. He’s similar enough, but also different enough to not just feel like a rehash. While his lack of a voice is a bit odd, everything in this bundle is good news. From the acceptable price to the surprisingly beefy content, it’s hard to not buy. Nightwing may not stand up to Batman, but second place to Batman isn’t a thing to scoff at.

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