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Batman: Arkham Origins, A Cold, Cold Heart DLC Review – A Swan Song of Ice and Fire

Cold, Cold Heart is the final piece of DLC for Batman: Arkham Origins once again putting players in the boots and cowl of Batman. This mini campaign takes place one week after the events of the main games Christmas Eve setting. It features a few new characters and gadgets, and gives you around three hours of new content, so is it worth it?

While holding a New Years Eve gathering/fund-raiser/Award ceremony for Ferris Boyle, the CEO of GothCorp, the party is shattered and suddenly interrupted by Mr Freeze and a collection of Ice based goons who attempt to take Ferris hostage and burn Wayne Manor to the ground.

Unlike previous DLC  for Batman: Arkham Origins, which focused on challenge maps, A Cold, Cold Heart defiantly feels more like a mini campaign rather than a string of challenges. After escaping from Wayne Manor two of the games districts are open to explore with new collectables and side quests to find and complete.

The Cold, Cold Heart DLC opens with players controlling Bruce Wayne, rather than Batman, moving through Wayne Manor dressed in formal ware, as Bruce you take out goons left and right but the main focus in this scenario is more on stealth but group fights do break out fairly regularly regardless.

One of the main disappointments for me in this scenario is Bruce Wayne feeling exactly like Batman rather than having different fight animations. Bruce is constantly concerned that the guests will find out his secret, but still fights exactly like Batman. It would have been a nice touch to have clumsier fight animations to make his success look more like luck than actual skilled attacks.

All the gadgets from the main game are available when you don the Batsuit, with the exception of the glue grenades. The shock gloves return and like the main campaign make some fights a little too easy. Because being able to punch anyone without having to worry about tactics make do take away some of the challenge the combat provides.

Batman: Arkham Origins, A Cold, Cold Heart DLC Review – A Swan Song of Ice and Fire - n3rdabl3

The EX Suit also comes in to play although only later in the campaign. With the EX Suit the shock gloves turn in to thermal gloves, but the change is only ornamental as they still work the same way but with heat rather than electricity. The EX Suit also allows Batman to rescue people who have been encased in Ice as well as the ability to access areas that were blocked by freezing conditions.

Predator encounters and the fight mechanics work the same as the main game, the Arkham fights are some of the best out there and are as great as ever in the Cold, Cold Heart DLC. New challenges do come to the table in this DLC which come in the form powerful enemies with freeze weapons. If you’re caught in the beam of their weapons, this freezes Batman as well as enemies, so dodging and using the goon’s clumsiness to your advantage adds a new dimension to large group fights.

Overall the Cold, Cold Heart DLC looks great but there are some weird glitches and facial animations throughout, Alfred’s voice acting is great as always and some of his comments are often the best in the game. Back to graphics, things are okay when at a distance but when the camera moves in there are some weird facial animations. Talking to Alfred early in the game leads to a disturbing moment. The game does look good but moments like this really distract from the game.

Batman: Arkham Origins, A Cold, Cold Heart DLC Review – A Swan Song of Ice and Fire - n3rdabl3

Side mission come in the form of Anarchy followers. Stopping riots, saving people encased in ice and Anarchy Tags unlock thermal versions of the quick fire weapons. Stopping the riots is really the only side mission that you have to complete as the Thermal Batarangs are much-needed, especially during the boss fight.

While A Cold, Cold Heart doesn’t really add anything new to the game other than a few more hours of gameplay, it is an enjoyable add-on. Mr. Freeze is, as always, a great bad guy, while his story will be familiar to many Batman fan, it does serve to make him one of the most sympathetic villains in any Batman game.

A Cold, Cold Heart is well worth playing and a great swan song for Arkham Origins.

This review was written based on the PlayStation 3 version of Arkham Origins and the Cold, Cold Heart DLC.

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