Batman: Arkham City–is Nightwing Worth it?

As much as I loved swinging around Manhattan on the Gamecube’s Spider-Man 2, I have to admit…Batman: Arkham City is the best superhero game of all time.  With solid mechanics, inspired art design, and a crazy, mind-bending story, this latest RockSteady release is pretty hard to top.  And one of the key features of their game is the many alternate characters.

Tired of lumbering around Gotham City as the ‘roided Caped Crusader?  Just look to your options menu and you can play as any number of Bat-centric personas.  They’ve pretty much included all of the A-listers:  Robin, Catwoman, Azrael, any number of different Batman costumes, and now…Nightwing?

In the weeks leading up to Arkham City‘s release, a big mouth over at RockSteady’s studio let slip that Nightwing a.k.a. Dick Grayson, would be joining the list of playable characters.  While Marvel die-hards may know him as DC’s Daredevil rip off, Grayson’s actually a pretty big deal among the fanboys.  Before the debut of the youth-centric Batman Beyond, Nightwing served as a critical, cooler alternative for the much gloomier and older Bruce Wayne.  And after Batman’s recent death (you know, before he came back to life), Grayson served as his stand-in.  Suffice to say, Dick Grayson is a BAMF…and he’s a playable character in Batman: Arkham City!!!

But you’ll need to shell out $7 of cold, hard cash if you wanna go gallivanting around Gotham City as the blue and black garbed hero.  That’s right, Nightwing is only available as DLC, but don’t worry…he doesn’t come alone.  He’s bringing two new, fully fleshed out challenge maps to the party.

RockSteady did a pretty good job making Nightwing feel like a completely new and distinct character.  It would have been a lot easier to just make him a cloned copy of Batman, but it seems like they actually put a good deal of thought behind Grayson’s mechanics.  He has his own unique attacks, complete with his notorious melee sticks and some pretty cool range moves.  But don’t get me wrong, the studio didn’t do everything right.  Chief among their mistakes is the lack luster voice acting for this new character…there isn’t any.  They’ve made Nightwing a mute hero, which in itself wouldn’t be that bad of a decision, except that it’s coupled with these two very short challenges.  Considering the great, cheap DLC from games like GTA IV, Oblivion, and  RockSteady’s own Batman: Arkham Asylum…the $7 price tag just doesn’t add up.

I can understand die-hard Dick Grayson fans who absolutely, without a doubt, gotta have Nightwing on their in-game roster, but for the rest of us….I suggest waiting for the price to go down a bit before you buy this content.