Warning – This mini-review contains spoilers for Batman: Arkham Origins and the “Cold, Cold Heart” DLC. Read at your own discretion.
The “Cold, Cold Heart” DLC takes place shortly after the events of Batman: Arkham Origins on New Years Eve. The story opens in Wayne manor as Bruce Wayne himself hosts a humanitarian gala in honor of Ferris Boyle, CEO of GothCorp. Soon after Boyle takes the stage a mysterious man in a mechanical suit crashes the party with a big bang and a lot of ice. Making his way away from the crowds and towards the Batcave, Bruce must fight through hordes of enemies in his formal wear. This aspect of the DLC was particularly fun due to the fact that we have never gotten to play through such a long sequence as Bruce instead of Batman. Combat is obviously the same, but not wearing the Batsuit yet still kicking ass and taking names has a certain allure to it.
After making his way to the Batcave and properly equipping himself, Batman heads back into the mansion with the intent of rescuing Boyle and this mysterious new enemy, who has taken Ferris Boyle hostage. The DLC features the typical combat style that was used in the core game but adds a few new challenges such as a new type of enemy that attempts to freeze you and is decked out in body armor, an enemy which is faced for the first time as Batman makes his way out of the mansion. This enemy is particularly challenging when one or more is thrown into a large brawl as it is difficult to attack them while being attacked and not attacking them is equally difficult since they will attempt to freeze you while you fight others. Through a series of events, Batman leave his mansion in search of Boyle and the new enemy – now dubbed Mr. Freeze – who has taken Boyle to the GothCorp building in Gotham City.
While in the GothCorp building Batman faces a series of combat and predator scenarios as he tracks down Boyle. Throughout the DLC you will run across detective mode areas, much like in the core game. One of these highlights Mr. Freeze’s origin, showcasing how he became the way he is and why, leading Batman to the realization that while Freeze is not completely innocent he is also a victim of Ferris Boyle. At one point it becomes clear to Batman that he cannot proceed without a specialty Extreme Environment (XE) Suit due to subzero temperatures and icy conditions. He also needs to build a drilling device to break down a thick wall of ice that Mr. Freeze created to keep Batman away from himself and Boyle. Batman leaves the GothCorp building and heads to Penguin’s club “My Alibi” in order to find the drill as well as acquire his XE Suit which was dropped off nearby. Once you gain the XE suit and head into the club you will be sent out on another set of missions to find the drill, which has since been split apart and sold off in pieces.
After acquiring the drill in its entirety you will now have the ability to access the area in which Mr. Freeze is holding Boyle captive. Upon confronting him and assuring Freeze that Boyle will pay for his crimes it becomes clear that Freeze’s need to protect his wife Nora and deal with this problem alone will lead to a battle between the two of them. Of course Batman comes out victorious, but this boss fight is a pretty nice challenge. It’s split up into two sections; one of the sections is more about stealth and capturing points while the other focuses on actually attacking Mr. Freeze. In a way, it plays out a lot like the battle between Freeze and Batman in Batman: Arkham City but of course there are a few differences which make it a new experience.
Overall, this DLC was very fulfilling. I felt that there were enough new abilities and a compelling enough narrative to keep the DLC fresh throughout the entire campaign, which is about 4 hours long. If you are interested in Batman at all and already own Batman: Arkham Origins then I would definitely recommend “Cold, Cold Heart” to you.