[SPOILERS for Batman: Arkham Knight ahead.]
Batman: Arkham Knight is allegedly Rocksteady Studios’ last Batman game and there’s plenty for players to do in Gotham City before they reach 100% and unlock the “true” ending. Even though there’s numerous side missions to complete, challenges to master, and riddles to solve in Batman’s city, the game doesn’t have to end when a player reaches 100% because even more content will arrive very soon.
The first wave of downloadable content was limited to various pre-order bonuses – which included a variety of new skins, three Scarecrow missions involving the Batmobile, and the ability to play as Harley Quinn and Jason Todd in short stories. However, soon the first big incentive of the game’s season pass will arrive: Batgirl: A Matter of Family, a new story which is the first time gamers can play as Batgirl.
Barbara Gordon, a.k.a Batgirl/Oracale, played a fairly big role in Arkham Knight’s story. Not only did she serves as a key ally for Batman – providing tactical and tech support as Oracle – but she’s also captured by Arkham Knight and Scarecrow’s forces, and that produces some major drama between her father, Commissioner Gordon, and Batman. Despite her intelligence and skill, Arkham Knight’s story was a rough road for Barbara and the fact it had a flashback of her being shot in the spine by Joker – which occurred in the The Killing Joke and made her unable to use her legs- made her role in the story even harsher. Now, Batgirl fans will have a chance to see the character fight back against Joker’s forces and the first trailer for the DLC story (which can be watched above), shows her unleashing all kinds of moves against his goons.
Taking place before Rocksteady’s first Batman game, Arkham Asylum, Joker (voiced by Mark Hamill, of course) has kidnapped Commissioner Gordon and it’s up to Batgirl and Robin to save the day. As for why Batman isn’t around, it’s explained that Joker will kill the Commissioner if Batman arrives, so it’s up to Batgirl and Robin to rescue him. (There’s obviously no word yet if Batman will make a cameo at some point in the DLC.)
The Batgirl DLC trailer for Arkham Knight shows Batgirl has a variety of slick hand-to-hand moves – and, just like Batman, she can use her grappling line to pull enemies towards her and then take them down with a brutal clothesline. It looks like she then follows-up with a harsh heel kick when her enemy is on the floor.
In addition to Batgirl’s impressive combat technique (Batman trains his family well, after all), what sets Batgirl apart from the other vigilantes is her hacking capabilities. She can use this skill to solve puzzles and assault groups of enemies, so that’ll bring some new gameplay elements and tactics to the adventure. It was previously confirmed Robin would join her in the mission – which takes place in an all-new area – and the footage shows a few of the ways they can use dual takedowns, a gameplay mechanic introduced in Arkham Knight, against Joker’s forces.
One nice and unexpected surprise for fans in the trailer is the reveal of Harley Quinn in her classic costume. Given her popularity, it seems likely she’ll be a boss battle or at least provide some kind of obstacle in the DLC story – it would be odd to include her and not have her play a decent role. As of right now, Harley Quinn can only be used in one of Arkham Knight’s pre-order missions (unfortunately, players cannot select which character they want to use in the various challenges) and there’s no word yet on whether or not the iconic costume seen in Batgirl: A Matter of Family will be selectable for Harley Quinn’s only playable mission. Fingers crossed, though.
One question remains: will this DLC end with Batgirl’s tragic moment from The Killing Joke? Seeing as that moment is already shown in Arkham Knight, it would seem cruel to conclude one of her heroic adventures with such a tragedy. That said, it is worth noting she’s Oracle (the title she takes after Joker assaults her), not Batgirl, in Batman: Arkham Asylum, and that video game takes place an unspecified amount of time after this DLC’s story. Only time shall tell whether Batgirl has a happy ending in this story – one which could shed more light on why Joker wants to go after her – or if it’ll show the violent incident all over again.
Batgirl: A Matter of Family was developed by Warner Bros. Montréal (the team behind Batman: Arkham Origins) and will be downloadable on July 14 for players with the season pass. It’ll be sold separately for $6.99 on July 21.
Batman: Arkham Knight is currently available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.