Today Warner Bros. Entertainment and DC Entertainment announced a new update for the Batman: Arkham City Lockdown App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is now available. The update will include a brand new level featuring Harley Quinn, a Bruce Wayne skin and achievements, and a Batarang mini-game, all for the low low price of free. It’s strange how consumers will pay top dollar for the latest tech but they’re hesitant for one dollar apps.
As I sat and reviewed the trailer for the new portion of Batman: Arkham City Lockdown I was instantly hit by the realization that Harley Quinn has somehow gone from this cute little thing, to a tarted up sex-pot. Yes, yes, I know that’s what the industry is all about these days but whatever happened to old school costumes and characters? Over the years I’ve watched many comic book characters get the costume overhaul. Some of it just turns way to suggestive. Have you seen the Star Sapphire’s latest costume? When Harley Quinn first debuted, it was in “Batman: The Animated Series”, the costumed started a a modest one piece, traditional harlequin jester outfit, worn by Dr. Harleen Frances Quinzel who had some serious nightingale issues.
The popularity of the character prompted DC comics to introduce the Harley into their universe. This time the costume wasn’t so modest and over years became more and more… pronounced.
My initial reaction to the visual of Harley Quinn in the video game was that she looks very much like the Malkavian from Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines, right down to the raccoon make-up and blonde pig-tails. Harley Quinn is supposed to have a one piece outfit with a hat, not some leather outfit and pig-tails. Although I can understand the attraction.
Since then, DC comics seems to have updated Harley’s costume with The New 52 reboot. The basis seems to merge the Arkham City video game attire with her traditional costume. Her hair is dyed half-red and half-blue, similar to the jester cap of her original costume, while the rest of the ensemble is still present day skimpy; but just appropriately color coded now.
Aside from the initial realization of Harley looking all wrong, the graphics on the game look very good. If the trailer is any indication of how the game plays on your iWhatever then it looks like the game runs smoothly and is well designed. Harley Quinn’s voice still sounds like a 60’s era chippy, but it’s what I grew up with and still a classic, right next to Mark Hamill voicing the Joker. The scenery is still wrapped in the darkness of Gotham City and at least Batman still looks like he should. The Dark Knight isn’t sporting any nipples on his costume. So that’s a big plus right there.