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In Batman: Arkham City, there are different playable characters that are available with pre-orders. It appears they are either Catwoman, or Robin. I've seen mention of Nightwing, but I think that's for later release.

My question is, do these playable characters have an affect on the main storyline? If I have the Catwoman pack, does that change the main storyline? Or, is it different with Robin? Or, are these just typical extra characters available to use in challenge maps, and things like that?

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I don't have the game yet, so not making this an answer, but my understanding is Catwoman makes the single-player game substantially different in both gameplay and storyline, but the others are akin to the Joker unlockable from the first game where they're challenge-only. –  Shinrai Oct 19 '11 at 3:08
    
I do have the Catwoman version, so I'm just curious, because so far, she has played a decent role in the first part of it. I really stayed away from much news about the game to avoid spoilers –  Doozer Blake Oct 19 '11 at 3:34

2 Answers 2

up vote 9 down vote accepted

First off, it's worth mentioning that while Robin is indeed a pre-order bonus character, as detailed in this site (he's a pre-order bonus in BestBuy in the US and GAME in the UK), Catwoman is not a pre-order bonus. Catwoman is only available for people who purchase the game new or pay extra for a key once they buy a used copy. See this article.

Neither effect the main plot directly. Robin is a challenge only character:

exclusive Robin character with his own unique gadgets and moves. Playable in all challenge maps of the game, including two additional maps that are only available with Best Buy preorders (Black Mask Hideout and Freight Train Escape).

And as for Catwoman, it is best to have a look over here:

Playing as Catwoman is not required to complete the game.

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Catwoman is a unique character with her own story, moves, and weapons.

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Without the VIP pass code, Catwoman still appears in the game as part of the story, but her playable missions remain locked.

EDIT: While she does not appear to affect main story, technically, she does change the way the game begins and the amount of Riddler challenges (from here):

Get that Catwoman DLC, and get it before you start... because it will affect how the game begins. The new Catwoman intro isn't great, but her later missions are good (plus, she's fun to play as, as you can see here).

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There are 400 Riddler things to do even if you don't have the Catwoman content (at least 40 more if you do).

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The Riddler side-mission does change slightly if you have Catwoman: Catwoman's Riddler trophies count against Batman's progress, so if you don't have the Catwoman content you have to finish all 400 Riddler challenges. –  Merus Oct 26 '11 at 7:39

Catwoman kinda has an effect on the storyline, Robin does not.

Catwoman has her own sideplot (consisting of 4 "sections" or missions) which expands/adds to the story in the game, but it doesn't (afaik) have any noticeable effect on the main storyline of the game.

Robin on the other hand doesn't have any relevance to the main storyline and is just there as a playable character for challenge maps.

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Also worth noting that Nightwing will be a playable character, though whether his involvement will be in campaign (a la Catwoman) or only for challenge maps (a la Robin) hasn't yet been revealed. –  Jordaan Mylonas Oct 19 '11 at 5:52

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