This game gives me a cold, cold heart.
Batman: Arkham Origins has been a disappointing game. The game wasn’t made by the original Batman: Arkham studio, Rocksteady, and it’s a real shame. In short, the game feels like a cheap knock-off that climbs on the franchise’s success, and WB Games just wants to make some quick bucks. When “Cold, Cold Heart” was first announced, fans such as me thought this story DLC is what’s going to redeem the game. We were wrong. If anything, “Cold, Cold Heart” makes Batman: Arkham Origins even worse than it already is.
“Cold, Cold Heart” opens a few days after the main game, with Penguin and Mr. Freeze attacking an event host by Bruce Wayne at the Wayne Manor. The story serves as Mr. Freeze’s first chronological appearance in the Arkham franchise, and that’s an exciting thing. However, Freeze’s origin story is too similar to the ones we already known and loved, thus the entire story seems kind of flat. Also, the whole plot of the game seems too one-dimensional. Batman goes after Freeze, Batman goes after thugs, Batman needs other gadgets, Batman travels to other locations… etc. The story is not compelling at all, and it has too much of a video game element in it. I know this is a video game and all, but the previous Arkham games done such a wonderful job to make the narrations flow, it’s a shame this one couldn’t do the same.
The new gameplay mechanism isn’t too impressive either. In the main game, Batman can activate the Shock Gloves during the fight. This time around, the Shock Gloves are replaced by Thermal Gloves. Now instead of shocking your enemies, you get to burn them. Not much is changed, and just the laziness of game programmers. The EX Suit seems badass when first put on, but it doesn’t do anything. The game features some really cold areas where Batman cannot access without the EX suit, but other than that the suit serves no purpose. There are some new enemies in the game that use cryo-guns and it freezes Batman movement during fights, providing new challenges. However, the suit doesn’t prevent you from being frozen, and you still have to face the enemies the same way. It makes the EX Suit pretty much a gimmick. Although, it does provide some Thermal Batarangs, and those are pretty neat.
Another gimmick comes early in the game when you are able to play as Bruce Wayne. It’s something the franchise has before already, and it nothing too special but to give you the opportunity to play as someone other than Batman. Bruce Wayne punches and counters just like Batman, with the only difference being unable to stun the opponents. However, it is kind of cool that we get to see the Wayne Manor a little more, even if it’s only a small part of it. Hopefully we get to explore the Wayne Manor fully in the next game.
The game also suffers many bugs and graphic problems. The character model seems out of shapes, and Gotham’s city line seems like a painting on the wall, without depth. It’s even more obvious if you travel across the city under Detective Mode. The transition between cut scenes is really bad, and it feels like we went from 720 graphic resolutions to 576 or something. I understand this is a DLC, but it doesn’t mean WB Games get to cheap out on us. Most importantly, the game is super glitchy. Tutorial comments will constantly stuck on the screen, sound will skip, and characters will phase through objects. It seems like WB Games are training their interns or something, and the result is this steamy pile of DLC.
While “Cold, Cold Heart” allows players to revisit the Batman: Arkham franchise, it hardly does the franchise any justice. If you already lose all hopes for Batman: Arkham Origins, then you can go ahead and skip this game. Batman: Arkham Knight is coming out in a few months, hopefully that game can help us forget how bad this DLC is.