Jason Todd, a.k.a. Red Hood, is one of my favorite underrated anti-heroes. His backstory – both on the comic page and in the real world – and his motivations are absolutely fascinating for me. And, as you can tell by my review for Batman: Arkham Knight, the Arkham series is one of my favorites. So, when I saw that a story pack where you get to play as Red Hood was a pre-order bonus from GameStop, I literally pre-ordered it right then and there. I was almost more excited for the Red Hood pack than the actual game.
Maybe I expected a bit too much, but the Red Hood pack didn’t quite deliver.
It’s definitely not bad. Red Hood has his own moves, his own arsenal, and his own takedowns. Unlike Batman, Red Hood is willing to kill – his signature weapons are dual handguns, and it’s an absolute blast to gun down thugs. That’s what I enjoyed most about the pack – it wasn’t just a re-skinning of Batman, you actually were Red Hood.
It’s the “story” department that I have issue with. It very – very – loosely follows the plot of the graphic novel/animated film Under the Red Hood – Red Hood tries to take down the crime boss Black Mask by any means necessary. In the story pack, however, we aren’t given any reasons why. You start off crashing through the roof of a group of thugs buying guns. You beat them up, then get a quick cut-scene interrogation, then move on to the next level, one focused on stealth. It happens just about the same way – you pull yourself onto a bar, you’re introduced to a new enemy type, and set free. Once you take down all the thugs, you get another quick cut-scene interrogation. This time, you’re actually sent after Black Mask himself. You fight in a small room against Black Mask and an endless group of thugs. It’s a fun boss fight, but it’s basically only the one round. Once you get a pattern down, you can win in minutes. You can go after Black Mask exclusively, only bothering to counter the other thugs, and not have any trouble. If you decide to have some more fun and fight the group, Black Mask will pull out a pistol and try to shoot you. You can dodge the shot (in an admittedly baller animation) and return fire. But after you lower Black Mask’s health bar down all the way, that’s it. You’re shown a cut-scene of Red Hood kicking him out of a window (with an appropriately badass one-liner).
There’s just so little content with the Red Hood pack. They’re basically just three short levels – two fights and a stealth sequence. At least for the Harley Quinn pack Rocksteady made the sections feel more unified and more cohesive with the main game by making it one continuous level with extra dialogue by Penguin. The Red Hood pack didn’t really feel like part of the Arkham universe, it just felt like a couple levels where you can play as Red Hood, and those levels are over before you know it.
I wanted to love the Red Hood pack, but I only like it. It felt as if Rocksteady just needed something to put as a pre-order bonus, so they threw something together. There isn’t as much love put into it as the Harley Quinn pack, and it’s noticeable. I hate to say it, but I’m disappointed.
Overall, I’d probably give it a 6 out of 10. It’s only something I can really recommend if you love the main game or love Red Hood.