A few weeks back, Headset Buddy posted a review of Batman: Arkham Origins. With its captivating story, enjoyable gameplay, experimental multiplayer, and overall loyalty to the existing franchise, the game was a formidable success. Now we’d like to don the cape and cowl one more time, and take a look at the newly released downloadable content, grippingly titled, Cold, Cold Heart.
Downloadable content (DLC) is a trend that many people don’t know where they stand on. On the one hand, it’s a great way to get a little more play out of your game. You can get new material, maps, characters, and all sorts of things that weren’t available at release, to help extend the game’s life. At the same time, it’s seemingly a marketing tool that can be used to peddle all sorts of schlock to gamers who don’t really need it. Or, even worse, it’s an opportunity for developers to leave pieces out of their games that they can then charge you more to install at a later date.
I’m happy to say that Cold, Cold Heart appears to be neither of these. In fact, if DLC does need to exist, more of it should be held to the standard that Cold, Cold Heart was, and we’re very pleased that developer WB Montreal took the opportunity so seriously.
In the previous installment of the franchise, Batman: Arkham City, the DLC expansion Harley Quinn’s Revenge was launched several months after the main game. In Revenge, players were given a new chapter of the main story, which stemmed off from the campaign and could take anywhere from 2-4 hours to complete. They were granted a new playable character, complete with new moves and gadgets to mess around with, and a new area to explore while they did so.
Cold, Cold Heart fits into this mold precisely. WB Montreal’s entire premise with Arkham Origins has been to not fix things that weren’t broken, and here they did more of the same. We were very content with the amount of extra material delivered at the modest $10 price tag, and want to use this opportunity to send the following message to developers: make sure, if you’re going to charge more for new content, to make the content good. Pretty simple.
The new chapter of the story focuses on the origin of one of the most iconic Batman villains: Mister Freeze. The chapter introduces the villain that we saw previously in Arkham City. It walks the player through a web of corporate intrigue and betrayal and places you there at the creation of a three-dimensional character, who even Batman himself can’t help but sympathize with. And it does this by placing the Bat in newly accessible settings, with new gadgets and challenges, all of which is fully voice-acted and produced with the same quality seen in the main game.
Essentially, Cold, Cold Heart uses the Arkham Origins game engine to deliver a brand new adventure, which stems off the original game but has its own identity. It made Headset Buddy feel glad to revisit Gotham City, and excited to be there for a second time. Nothing about it felt tedious. The action was paced well, and the trials, challenges, and eventual boss fight were done with their own unique flair. In short, it was a real pleasure to play, and worth dropping a couple of extra bucks for.