Batman: Arkham Origins – Cold, Cold Heart DLC
It has taken a long time, three games in fact, but Batman has finally received some more substantial downloadable content than a handful of Challenge maps.
Building story downloadable content for the Batman: Arkham series was something that Rocksteady had shied away from, instead cramming their games full of the villains that have haunted Batman since Bob Kane first created the caped crusader way back in 1939.
WB Montreal took a different approach, shipping in some of the DC Universe's other nasty characters to trouble Batman in his second Christmas as Gotham's protector. This meant that some of his most iconic opponents were left out in the cold.
One character that has always featured heavily in the Batman games is Mr Freeze and it seems only fitting that it is his tragic story that becomes the focus of the first ever story DLC for the Batman: Arkham series.
Set barely one month after the events of the main story of Batman: Arkham Origins, Cold, Cold Heart begins when Penguin's thugs gatecrash an awards ceremony at Wayne Mansion armed with some pretty hefty cryogenic weaponry.
Bruce must battle his way down to the Batcave, that still bears the scars of the events of the end of Batman: Arkham Origins only to return to the mansion to find that the thugs have torched the place and taken one of the award-winners and boss of GothCorp, Ferris Boyle, hostage.
Given the new cryogenic weaponry Batman gets Alfred to warm up his new toy, the new Extreme Environment XE Batsuit while he begins following the trail in south Gotham. Bizarrely Alfred notes that the glue from Batman's Glue Grenade has expired dropping them out of his utility belt. The XE Suit also comes with new Thermal Gloves which replace the Electro-Gloves that he poached from the Electrocutioner.
The XE Suit is definitely functional but it very much feels like a means to an end in order to introduce some slightly varied gameplay mechanics rather than a cool new toy in its own right.
Story-wise, it's not too bad either but it rarely comes alive. While it plays almost identically to the main game the it feels fairly short and the feature set-pieces are far less memorable. There are just no moments like the halucinogen-tinged fight with Copperhead or the unceremonious end of the Electrocutioner.
Sadly, the hallmark of the Batman games is the memorable moments like the nightmarish Scarecrow sequences in Arkham Asylum or the intense encounter with Ras Al-Ghuul in Arkham City. These are the moments that stick with us and while it's an entertaining diversion, Cold, Cold Heart lacks a defining moment that stays with you.
Cold, Cold Heart was a brave move from Warner Bros Montreal given how horrendously hard their job has been living up to Rocksteady's legacy. Unfortunately, while it definitely has a heart, however cold, it lacks the soul that defines the rest of the series.
Cold, Cold Heart is available now to download on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 either on its own or as part of the Batman: Arkham Origins season pass.
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