Saturday, March 31, 2012

DLC Hodge-Podge

Greetings true believers! This post will cover some of the DLC that I've experienced since the beginning of this year for Batman: Arkham City and Deadspace 2.

Arkham City:

Unlike the previous tittle Arkham City has seen a ton of post launch support. Some of the content was available since day one in the guise of pre-order bonuses, but eventually everything went up for sale on Xbox Live or the PSN. The slew of content contains different costumes for Batman as well as new maps and characters for the Riddler Challenge Mode.

The most boring pack only gives you costumes for Batman to wear in the campaign or challenge mode. The kicker is you have to complete the game before changing tights. If you are not planning multiple playthroughs, then you may want to avoid this purchase. Luckily the other content packs are a bit more robust.

The Robin pack features the character by the same name and two maps. Robin feels like a weaker version of Batman with a few unique gadgets and a staff. In particular, I enjoyed the remote detonating shock-wave mines. Like all non-Batman characters, Robin is lacking some key moves which really hinder his combat strength. Fans will automatically be frustrated when they can't destroy enemy weapons, or discovers the lack of gadgets in stealth situations. Regardless having different playable characters extends the replay value of the challenge mode.

Nightwing is also featured in his own DLC pack with a couple of new maps. As I mentioned with Robin, Dick is lacking some moves and gadgets compared to the Dark Knight. Unlike Robin I believe Nightwing holds his own in combat, and feels like an upgraded Catwoman. Most of his area of effect abilities are fantastic, and make up for the lack of take-down moves. For stealth sections NW can be a bit frustrating. He lacks the ability to glide, and many of his gadgets are glorified batarangs.

Both the Nightwing and Robin packs features awesome maps. Each comes with a stealth, and my personal favorite, brawler game modes. The train level found in the Robin pack gives a left to right string of events versus the more traditional open room design. The level ends with a boss fight against the Black Mask. The Nightwing pack has you exploring Wayne Manor, and the brawler features a good mixture of enemies.

Finally there is the map pack featuring two brawler levels and one stealth segment. I didn't care much for the Batcave sneaky stuff, but the other maps had unique twists to the typical combat scenario. The Iceberg Lounge is the cliche unending bad guy design. Villains will move faster, and weapons become more prevalent, as time goes on. Joker's Carnival is similar, but features a cash in system. Build up the meter by kicking ass and not getting hit. Any damage taken resets the meter. The higher the meter the more difficult the enemies. If you get up to a one-hundred hit combo Joker himself comes to crash the party. Fun stuff.

Obviously if you don't like the challenge mode in Arkham City the DLC content is not for you. There is no effect on the main story. The costumes are superficial. The new characters are a nice touch, but they are also not game changing. I only recommend this purchase for the die hard fans, or for people who seriously enjoy the challenge modes.

Deadspace 2: Severed

Severed is a short but sweet return to the world of Deadspace 2. Players take on the roll of a soldier named Gabe Weller. His story takes place during the events of the main game. Gabe is constantly coming across areas that Issac has plowed through, and is desperately trying to find his girlfriend Lexine Murdoch. She is the target of some government agents because of a big secret that is revealed towards the end of the two chapters.

The plot follows the general survival horror and conspiracy beats that Issac Clark experiences. The gameplay is unchanged, and because the main character is different all stats are reset. This is actually a good thing because it keeps the DLC challenging. There is one boss fight against a gunship, and the ending is cliche but well done.

Overall Servered is fun trip back to the world of Deadspace. A little short, but what's there is solid. I wouldn't recommend this content for fair weather fans. If, however, you can't wait for the next Deadspace, then Severed will help you scratch that itch.

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