As news of Batman: Arkham Knight lights up message boards, Twitter feeds and YouTube channels, you’d be forgiven for forgetting entirely about Warner Bros. Montreal’s somewhat tepid effort at breathing more life into the Bruce Wayne mythos.
Yet, some seven months after Arkham Origins arrived, here we have an expensive-feeling piece of single-player DLC; always promised with the game’s otherwise disappointing season pass, but still hard to actually wrap your head around the fact that it's actually here.
Stranger still, then, that it’s thoroughly decent. Cold, Cold Heart kicks off with Mr. Freeze gatecrashing a posh function at Wayne Manor on New Year’s Eve, icing half the guests in the process and making off with renowned Gotham philanthropist Ferris Boyle. After a few scraps as Wayne himself, you get to the Batcave, don the suit, and try to figure just what is going on and how to stop it.
The results are all familiar Arkham fare, jumping from free-flow combat to ‘predator’ stealth sections with a smattering of scripted detective work in the middle. This is a story told with flair, though, and with the production values to back it up. The four-hour duration also has a thematic consistency that was basically absent from Arkham Origins.
About half way through, you pick up a new suit too. The chunky EX costume looks daft, like Batman has been lifting and eating with the Gears Of War boys (aka Miller’s dream), but it features thermal gloves that can smash through ice and lend the exploration sections another wrinkle.
In truth, the gameplay has begun to tire slightly – certainly the stealth sections feel strained due to a lack of options – but this is still a strong piece of content and a genuinely pleasant surprise. Rocksteady will always be the true Dark Knight, but Cold, Cold Heart proves Warner Bros. Montreal is a decent Dick Grayson after all.
Version Tested: PC. Played for 6 hours, including a game-breaking progress bug that I’ve not seen reported elsewhere (hopefully a one-off).
7 / 10
- Solid story content.
- Thematically consistent and entertaining.
- Fundamentals are beginning to tire.
- Some bugs.