The folks over at Rocksteady Studios are a tight-lipped ship of passionate programmers, artists, designers, and community managers. But a leaked trophy list for a rumored Harley Quinn centric story DLC for Batman: Arkham City renewed the debates from fans regarding which characters they would like to see introduced into Arkham City via DLC. This rampant speculation has only intensified with the release of a teaser image on Friday depicting what appear to be Harley’s boots and the head of a sledgehammer. Personally, I’ve been eager to have an excuse to jump back into the confines of Dr. Hugo Strange’s Arkham City and some story based DLC sounds like a fantastic way to do that.
But I’m a comic book nerd and given how large Batman’s rogues gallery is, there’s enormous potential for some other bits of story DLC to be added into Batman: Arkham City. So to start the discussion off, here are some possible DLC angles that Rocksteady could do for Batman: Arkham City. Some of these ideas have hooks already present in the game and others are well…wishful thinking.
Warning: Major spoilers for Batman: Arkham City lie ahead. You have been warned!
1. Scarecrow, Killer Croc, and Black Mask! Oh my!
Rather than break this bullet point into three separate points I thought I would incorporate them all into one heading since all three of these characters are either strongly hinted at or have cameo appearances in Arkham City. In addition, I also hit up YouTube for some videos showing this stuff to those of you that are interested but haven’t seen what I’m talking about.
Starting with the Scarecrow, there is a major secret hidden within the harbor area that definitely foreshadows the triumphant return of Dr. Jonathan Crane aka The Scarecrow. While Arkham City tried to replicate the metaphysical hallucinations found in Arkham Asylum with an encounter with Mad Hatter it just wasn’t the same as the old Scarecrow moments in the last game. In addition to the secret locked away in the harbor there are some side stories and Riddler trophies that point to the fact that the good doctor could be lurking around the walled slums of Gotham. (video courtesy of IGN)
A shipping receipt tacked to the wall with the name ‘J. Crane’ written on it? A guy scared, literally, to death in the cargo hold of a ship? Cockroaches?! Paging Dr. Crane…
Next up is Killer Croc, who some may remember had a significant role in Arkham Asylum. Croc’s appearance in Asylum did draw some criticism for the lack of a decisive boss battle between Mr. Waylon Jones and the Dark Knight. Again, much like Scarecrow, there are Riddler clues and side stories that describe Croc’s whereabouts in Arkham City. However, traversing through the sewers after doing battle with Ra’s al Ghul players are treated to a quick cameo from Killer Croc along with a brief message that he has for Batman. Let’s watch! (via IGN)
It would be cool to have to chase down Killer Croc in Arkham City, but it would be even cooler to be chased by Killer Croc leading up to some inevitable boss battle. Some would argue that including Croc would also mean that some other more calculating villain would also have to be included since Croc can be a bit single minded in his focus. You know…since he’s all obsessed with eating Batman.
Which brings us to Roman Sionis aka Black Mask. Black Mask is a lot like Penguin in that he doesn’t just hate Batman for spoiling his criminal plans, but also has a deep-seeded hatred for Bruce Wayne. Unfortunately, Black Mask loses much of his territory within Arkham City after he is captured by Hugo Strange following an escape attempt. With most of the supercriminals bested by Batman by the end of the game it would seem likely that the resulting power vacuum would leave room for Sionis to begin his criminal enterprise anew. And with the defeat of Strange at the end of the game, it would also be likely that Black Mask would have escaped from the custody of the guards back into Arkham City. Here’s a little clip from the very beginning of Arkham City in which Black Mask shows up. (via badbbbean)
What also makes Black Mask an interesting candidate for inclusion via DLC is the fact that he also appears in the Robin challenge room DLC. Here’s a video of that for those of you that haven’t bought or played it.
Considering that the Harley DLC’s trophy list includes things like Snap Flashing enemies and Zip Kicking bad guys, it seems like it will be a pretty safe bet that whatever the story is with Harley the player will take on the role of Robin for the duration. Or, at the very least, be able to switch between Batman and Robin in a manner similar to the Catwoman DLC content. If that’s true then perhaps Black Mask might make an appearance in the upcoming DLC itself as an obstacle in Robin’s path to one objective or another. There could also be some potential backlash from fans wanting the content to be entirely original if it does recycle some of the Robin challenge room stuff. Again this is all speculation, but it would make sense since Rocksteady already has those levels and assets ready for use.
Nightwing as an add-on character could only be used in the challenge rooms, but DLC exploring what Nightwing is doing while Batman is racing around Arkham City would be an interesting piece of content to play through. Especially since Catwoman’s story runs concurrent to Batman’s story, and Robin makes a cameo to aid Batman. But where is Nightwing during all of this? It’s implausible to think that Dick Grayson, a man who stopped being Robin because he didn’t want to be in Batman’s shadow, would be sitting idly by while the city of Gotham goes to hell with Hugo Strange at the helm. Indeed, even if Batman had specifically told Nightwing to stay out of things there’s no way that Grayson, being the headstrong character that he is, would actually follow said instruction.
Traversing the city as Nightwing would be an interesting endeavor as he plays like a mix between Catwoman and Batman. Of course, there are those out there that would take enormous issue with Nightwing’s inability to glide from one point to another.
3. Azrael and the Order of St. Dumas
If you were like the millions of other people out there that had to milk every drop of story from Arkham City possible, then it stands to reason that you already have an idea as to what’s going on with Azrael and his employer, the Order of St. Dumas. Once this particular side quest is completed the player is treated to a discussion with the mysterious watcher who has a rather dark warning for the Dark Knight. Here’s a video of that conversation to refresh your memories. (via IGN)
Dark days are coming, you say? Why that sounds like something that could easily be explored via DLC. However, if Rocksteady Studios decided to go this route, I would hope that this particular DLC content would have some gravitas and story significance beyond some plot setup fodder for the next game. I’m looking at you ‘The Arrival’ DLC for Mass Effect 2! Also, and many of you can file this under “Cool, but unlikely”, it would be pretty sweet if the player got to take on the role of Azrael. Granted, Azrael has a slightly more…how to say…lethal way of dealing with thugs, but hey…as long as you aren’t killing while being Batman it’s all cool, right? Plus the ‘dark days’ that Azrael refers to could allow Rocksteady to bring some other secret societies into the Arkham mythos. Maybe a group like the Black Glove from the Batman R.I.P storyline or even the Court of the Owls from the recent Scott Snyder Batman series.
Regardless of what Rocksteady decides to do in terms of story DLC, it goes without saying that most gamers will be eager to adopt any new chapters for the Arkham mythos. Moreover, there are numerous other characters that could be added into the mix like the lesser known Professor Pyg or even the monstrous Man-Bat. Truly, the possibilities are endless, but for now all eyes are on this Harley DLC as it will set the bar by which any subsequent DLC will be judged.