The Killing Joke: Why Arkham Knight’s DLC should land Rocksteady in the Asylum

Arkham City Joker by greyloch

Imagine, if you will, the following analogy: it’s 2016 and you’ve paid to go and see Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. In a bizarre but exciting twist, you’re offered the opportunity to spend the ticket price again, in order to see what’s advertised as an “extra film” for the fans. You assume, perhaps, that it’ll be the story from another character’s point of view, or a director’s cut or something amazing. Instead, you’re treated to a five minute post-credits sequence – one that cost you the price of admission.

This sounds absolutely outrageous, but it’s exactly what Rocksteady and Warner Bros. Games have done with Batman: Arkham Knight.

Rocksteady’s finale to the Arkham Trilogy dropped back in June to widespread acclaim. But players and fans of Arkham Knight who paid £33 for “six months of regular DLC content” are becoming increasingly unhappy, as Rocksteady continues to release bug-filled Story Packs, stingy Costume Packs and, bizarrely, no challenge maps for characters.

Indeed, £33 for DLC is a Joker-level gag in itself – that’s 89 percent of the value of the original PS4 game as sold by the cheapest retailers! But gullible Bat-fans (including your truly) stumped up the cash in the belief that six months of content would equate to an epic amount. The further we eat into that six months the more apparent it’s become that we were wrong.

So far, three mission packs and various skins are all that have been released, with more skins and a lousy looking Challenge Map Pack still to come. But the ultimate insult to fans has been that the characters featured in said Story Packs: Harley Quinn, Red Hood and Batgirl aren’t playable in any challenges or in free roam. As a result, the play-through time of the DLC amounts to barely more than an hour. This equates to £11 for 75 minutes of gameplay.

As the above tweet proves, game director Sefton Hill acknowledged fan complaints about the lack of challenge maps shortly after the game’s launch. But two months later, Rocksteady still hasn’t addressed the complaints.

This looks even worse when you consider the DLC for predecessor Arkham City. In Rocksteady’s 2011 offering, downloadable characters Robin and Nightwing were available across all challenge maps. A big complaint about City’s DLC was that the aforementioned characters weren’t available in free roam. Naturally, fans assumed that Rocksteady would take this on board with Arkham Knight – instead, the developer went backwards.

Arkham Knight is the most recent case of developers/studios screwing gamers. Do you remember the good old days, where extra characters and levels were unlockables? Where DLC meant almost a brand new game? Well, they’re long gone. Nowadays you can pay over £1 for cosmetic DLC – a measly mask for your characters in The Last of Us will set you back an astonishing £1.69.

What makes this even more unacceptable is that developers like Rockstar offer all of Grand Theft Auto V‘s DLC for free. GTA Online, extra guns, new vehicles and ridiculous outfits are all gratis. Meanwhile, a coat of silver paint for the Arkham Knight Batmobile will set you back nearly £2.

But perhaps we should expect and accept being made poorer. After all, the game’s protagonist is in the one percent…

Header Image – Arkham City Joker by greyloch

J. C. Servante

J. C. Servante

Freelance writer, reviewer and blogger. Politically speculative. Can be found at donkeyokay.com

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