Barbara Gordon has played a supporting role in Rocksteady Studios’ Arkham trilogy as Oracle, using her computer expertise to aid Batman in his battle against evil. But she’s getting her turn in the cape and cowl as Batgirl in a downloadable story expansion for Batman: Arkham Knight. Set before the events of 2009’s Arkham Asylum, “Batgirl: A Matter of Family” sees our heroine team up with Robin to save her father, Commissioner Gordon, who’s been kidnapped by the Joker.
Created by Arkham Origins’ developer WB Games Montreal, the DLC takes place in an entirely new area called the Seagate Amusement Park, a nautical theme park built on top of an oil rig that the Joker has rigged to be a massive death trap. “We wanted to recreate the feeling of being trapped in a bizarre and unique open environment playing a game of cat and mouse with the Joker,” says design producer Justin Vazquez.
Batgirl’s combat style is a combination of the Dark Knight’s brawn and her own computer-genius brain, as she uses her hacking abilities to take down enemies, control objects, and solve puzzles. “Hacking is really what separates her from the other characters. It’s a gameplay mechanic with which the player can create situations for Batgirl to really shine,” Vazquez says. “Our intention was that Batgirl should be less powerful than Batman, but that Batgirl plus hacking could give her opportunities do things that not even Batman can pull off.”
The expansion incorporates Arkham Knight’s Dual Play system that allows the player to switch characters at the press of a button, and culminates in an epic tag-team throwdown between Batgirl and Robin and the Joker and Harley Quinn. “Seeing these four iconic characters together at the same time will be a real thrill,” Vazquez says. And for the first time in the Arkham series, Harley will be sporting her trademark black and red ensemble from Batman: The Animated Series.
The DLC features side quests, collectibles left behind by the Joker, and Easter eggs for hardcore DC Comics fans. “[It’s] a love letter to the original game that started this incredible franchise,” Vazquez says. “Batgirl: A Matter of Family” launches July 14 for Arkham Knight DLC season-pass holders (PS4 and Xbox One, $40), or it can be purchased separately on July 21 for $6.99.