It is fair to say that fan reaction to the ‘Arkham Episodes’ story DLC has not been overwhelmingly positive. So far we have had three prequel story packs showing players how Harley rescued Poison Ivy to bring her to Scarecrow, we saw Red Hood taking out Black Mask and the controversial Batgirl prequel story (because it was not developed by Rocksteady but WB Montreal, developers of Arkham Origins) which has been the longest in play through time but lacklustre in story.
This week saw the release of the fourth story DLC pack ‘GCPD Lockdown’ which is the first to be set post ending of the main Arkham Knight game story and features Nightwing as the playable hero. Due to that, there will be spoilers if you have yet to complete the main story!
To start off, as you can see this is again another short in length content, coming in well under 15 minutes, but this is reflected in the crazy silly pocket change price of £1.69 standalone but included as part of the Season Pass. Like the previous story DLC, it is composed of combat and Predator sections of gameplay mixed with a few cutscenes.
The story sees Nightwing looking to prevent Penguin escaping the GCPD with the help of his gang. With Tim (Robin) and Barbara (Batgirl/Oracle) off on their honeymoon, Nightwing is babysitting Gotham in their absence. With his history with Penguin, the story has a nice a sense of humour between Nightwing and Penguin which plays out during the cut scenes which are fun to watch. We learn that Lucious Fox is now the owner of Wayne Enterprises and the former Wayne fortune, and is again offering support to Nightwing by radio. Not much is mentioned about the apparent demise of Bruce Wayne/Batman following the Knight fall Protocol but neither Nightwing or Mr Fox sound at all mournful about it, with just an opening quip by Nightwing to Fox about Bruce asking for a self destruct feature in the Bat signal, now destroyed, being a warning sign.
As for the combat well Nightwing is fast and hits almost as hard as Batman when in free flow mode. He has less gadgets to use but uses his Escrima Sticks for both defense nd attack. They can be thrown like a Batarang for ranged attacks and put out an electric charge to stun groups or individual enemies one combo chain built up. I really enjoyed using Nightwing in the Arkham City challenge maps and in Arkham Knight he is still fun to use, with a quick but hard hitting combat style. The combat elements to the DLC follow the standard Arkham style of varying types from large thugs to stun baton users and those carrying blades or guns. Nothing really overly challenging and fighting locations allow for some player flair.
The Predator section makes great use of the GCPD setting as you have to take out twelve of Penguins rescue gang over 3 floors. Navigating between the floors as you take out the thugs requires some planning and is a really fun way to play a different style of stealth compared to Batman’s which is refreshing. Nightwing can use the same Fear multi take down as Batman’s despite not having the ‘super Batsuit’ . It was a fun challenge to experience as Nightwing.
The story itself is more about the humour of Nightwing taking pleasure in mocking Penguin with some nice comedy moments throughout. As an Arkham fan it was the nods to Gotham post Knight fall Protocol that stood out more with Cash asking Nightwing if he should fix the Batsignal but with his logo only for Nightwing to decline saying he’s only there on a temporary basis suggesting Gotham is already being protected, possibly by Robin and Oracle or perhaps the demon Batman you see at the 100% completion of main game, although neither Nightwing, Mr Fox or the GCPD make any reference to it.
Overall it is a good piece of DLC which for £1.69 is really superb value for it. If however you bought the season pass for £32.99 you might be feeling a little burned with the length of the Arkham Episodes. Was hoping for more meaty story to be told in the story packs but so far they are just tid bits but again their standalone prices are so cheap outside the season pass they are all worth picking up.
If you are looking for more Arkham action then this story pack is a great purchase and opportunity to experience Nightwing as a playable hero. Definitely worth picking up.
*Available now as part of the Arkham Knight Season Pass or to buy on PSN Store as stand-alone DLC for £1.69. Content was purchased by me for review.