Batgirl’s very own adventure.
Batgirl: A Matter of Family is our very first chance to play as Batgirl, but the short one-hour gamepaly DLC feels like a missed opportunity. The whole notion of Batgirl is a bit underplayed, and the overall plot is far-detached from the events of Batman: Arkham Knight. The developers’ effort is appreciated, but the game doesn’t do the character justice.
Takes place sometime before the events of Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Joker has kidnapped Commissioner Gordon. Batgirl, desperate to save her father, decides to break into the amusement park where Joker is holding the old Commissioner hostage. With the only help being Robin (Tim Drake) himself, Batgirl must be careful before things are too late.
The game tries its best to make Batgirl different from Batman, but aside from a few gadgets at her disposal, the character fights exactly the same. She has a few unique fighting styles, as well as a further-ranged remote hacking tool. Aside from that, there’s isn’t much differences between Batgirl and the other Arkham characters. Some gameplay mechanics are a bit different too, as Batgirl has the option to either distract enemies with traps, or breaking lights before entering the battle. And yet, this is not enough to make Batgirl stands out.
One of the best part of the game is the appearance of Joker and Harley Quinn, especially her outfit is the one from Batman: The Animated Series! The game does a decent job explaining Joker’s reason to go after Batman’s sidekicks, and it adds an interesting context to the character. However, the ending boss fight with the Joker is a big disappointment, as it’s essentially an all-out brawl with Joker, Harley and their henchmen. The fight doesn’t feel special at all, and you can easily knock Joker out before the whole fight is actually finished. It’s an anti-climatic finish, and it’s sad the game doesn’t tie-into Batgirl’s paralysis either.
The game suffers some serious issue with the AI as well. The henchmen tend to not check their surrounding properly, and it creates some easy picking situation where all I have to do is wait patiently on a gargoyle, and the henchmen will all come one by one for inverted takedown.
Perhaps the biggest disappointing of the DLC is the game offers nothing to the overall Batman: Arkham lore. The game even failed to offer a connection to Arkham Knight, and missed the opportunity to have Jason Todd as the Robin for the game. At the game, the game ends without any major consequences, at Batgirl is proven to be nothing but a gimmick. The game doesn’t even have proper collectables either, with only some Joker Teeth and ballons floating around. And no, there isn’t any new AR challenges either, so the only place you get to enjoy Batgirl is the DLC. Sadly, the DLC doesn’t really have any replay value either.
Overall, while Batgirl: A Matter of Family allows Batgirl a chance to shine, but it doesn’t do the character justice. The character comes with her unique skill set, and some fun ways to approach enemies, but not enough to make the gameplay experience a fun way. The game is especially short too, with a one-hour gameplay and self-contain story. Batgirl: A Matter of Family doesn’t live up to the hype at all.