Batman: Arkham Origins - Cold, Cold Heart Review

Love, on the rocks.

It wasn't the brawling or the stealth or the grappling and gliding around environments that held Batman: Arkham Origins back from being a good entry in the Arkham saga. These aspects are tried and true; they are necessary components of any Arkham game. Where Origins stumbled was in its pacing, trotting out its expected components in a meandering fashion rather than giving those components the supportive context they deserved. Cold, Cold Heart, the new downloadable content for Arkham Origins, is better about this. It takes only a few hours to complete, but thanks to its strong narrative, a few great locations, and a more focused structure, it's pretty good while it lasts.

Victor Fries' wife Nora is "alive" but not really alive; like too many women in comics, she exists not as an individual with her own value but serves only to fuel the anguish of a male character, and because she is literally being kept frozen, she gives slightly different meaning to the phrase "woman in a refrigerator." Still, his anguish over her fate makes Mr. Freeze perhaps Batman's most sympathetic adversary, and by using his origin story as the basis for its narrative (lifting many elements directly from the classic Batman: The Animated Series episode "Heart of Ice"), Cold, Cold Heart takes on a melancholy mood. You know you have to stop Mr. Freeze, but you come to understand his desperation as Batman learns that the truly coldhearted one is the ruthless industrialist whose actions made Freeze what he is.

Most of your time in Cold, Cold Heart is spent in new locations created for the DLC. The game opens at a charity gala at Wayne Manor, and later takes you to the offices of GothCorp, whose grand entry area evokes the feeling, familiar from The Animated Series, that Gotham is a city stylistically trapped in 1920s sensibilities. You also pay a brief visit to a dingy nightclub owned by the Penguin, but it's here, as it nears its conclusion, that Cold, Cold Heart starts to lose the narrative focus that has thus far had you hot on the heels of Freeze and putting together the pieces that explain how he came to be and what it is he's after. After making your way deep into the GothCorp facility, you encounter a wall of ice that you can pass only after collecting the pieces of a drill from the nightclub and a few other spots around the city, at which point you then have to return to the wall of ice in GothCorp. It's a diversion that sacrifices narrative momentum to increase the chapter's duration, and the trade-off isn't worth it.

Just because Bruce Wayne beats up a bunch of thugs the same way Batman would is no reason to suspect he might be Batman.

What's more, the boss battle with Mr. Freeze that awaits you back at GothCorp plays out a lot like the battle with him in Arkham City. That's the best boss fight in the series thus far, but still, this is such a straightforward copy of it that it prevents Cold, Cold Heart's climax from having an identity of its own. There's no surprise in store, just a repeat of an encounter that you've probably already experienced. But the brawls with thugs throughout Cold, Cold Heart feel just different enough from those in the main game to set them apart, since some criminals are now toting freeze rays whose beams encase you in ice if you're not careful. And for the most part, the DLC's structure has you alternating between brawls, stealth encounters, crime scene analysis, and environmental traversal in a way that keeps the pace moving. It doesn't finish strong, but Cold, Cold Heart is still a satisfying sliver of Arkham storytelling.

The Good
Makes good use of Mr. Freeze's origin story
Has a few cool new locations
Good sense of momentum until you near the end
The Bad
Loses focus near the end
Boss battle is a repeat of one from Arkham City
7
Good
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Batman: Arkham Origins

About the Author

Carolyn has played through all of the Arkham games except Arkham Origins: Blackgate. Cold, Cold Heart took her about three hours to complete. Her favorite Batman is Michael Keaton.

Discussion

100 comments
gruber23
gruber23

Great game, but Soloman Grundy was the worst and most pointless boss fight ever.  There was no sense of accomplishment against him. A baby could beat him with the amount of check points they give.lol If they are going to give a check point after every round against him they could at least check point the health too instead of refilling the health bar each time you die. It took no skill to beat him. It felt like the game just let me win against him. It was on hard & I didn't have to dodge or anything. Just set the bombs die refill health and rinse and repeat until I finished him off.lol Batman: Arkham City Origin

wasakawaka
wasakawaka

Origins is a good game, I don't know why people hate it.

GregoryBastards
GregoryBastards

I personally find the whole Nora Frise story rather interesting....it always made me sympathetic towards freeze and i remember always wanting him to revive Nora at some point....I think mostly all villains in Batman comics and other media are rather well thought out and their story properly imagined.....

WolfBladeKK
WolfBladeKK

Thank you for the 'Heart of Ice" reference. One of the greatest shows from the 90's. Someone did their research.

PcGamingRig
PcGamingRig

only people with a cold, cold heart are the ones not fixing the bugs.

Stu-pendous
Stu-pendous

A review: one person's opinion. Why do we forget this?

From a textual analysis perspective, I'm intrigued, nonetheless, at Carolyn's assertions in her reviews -- whether I personally agree with them or not. But what is sad, however, is that her assertions cannot be deconstructed in the same thoughtful and intelligent manner without bringing her personal circumstance into the argument.

Quick question, if this was a heterosexual male reviewer who had assessed the same things Carolyn broaches on in her reviews, would there be a similar uproar?

Disagreeing is fine. But give a bit more spine to your rebuttals than juvenile commentary.

sdcazares1980
sdcazares1980

"Victor Fries' wife Nora is "alive" but not really alive; like too many women in comics, she exists not as an individual with her own value but serves only to fuel the anguish of a male character, and because she is literally being kept frozen, she gives slightly different meaning to the phrase "woman in a refrigerator." 


This statement from Carolyn is totally unfair because that's been the whole narrative of Nora Fries since 1992. If this were a brand new original character, then I can understand her viewpoint. 

themc_7
themc_7

"like too many women in comics, she exists not as an individual with her own value but serves only to fuel the anguish of a male character" Wow Carolyn, take your feminist BS elsewhere. 

lilflipp
lilflipp

The review was alright all around but you gotta stop with the insecurity.

That thing with GTA5 calling out one of the two main negative aspects as misogyny in a GTA game was ridiculous.

This time it isn't that bad but, it's annoying. It's like everything has to somehow be about that. Maybe it isn't, maybe it's just a poor character, maybe it's just part of the story.


This is not helping unless you're trying to stir some shit, then yeah but it's costing you credibility.


Jean, Storm, Catwoman, Rogue, Wonderwoman, Black Widow, Emma Frost, Black Canary, Supergirl, Tankgirl, Nemesis is one of the most powerful entities in the universe, Kismet, Infinity, Elaine was basically God, Death is a female, The god damn phoenix force, Asteroth is the most powerful hell lord, Jade the incarnation of Green Lantern's ring is a female, Morrigan, Powergirl one of the strongest kryptonians, Ursa Zod's partner is a badass, Starfire.

I can keep going on for about 20 characters that I can think of right now.


My point is, you're losing credibility, and your insecurities are starting to be as transparent as your attempts to associate yourself to your new gender/sex. You're trying to hard.

shamarke
shamarke

Radical feminists they are everywhere......smh.

JustinKnight17
JustinKnight17

I don't try to read Carolyn's reviews but since she already has my page view might as well leave my 2 cents.  Nora Fries is dying, suspended in animation.  Without that little detail, Mr. Freeze ceases to be a character, he would just be a normal scientist with a normal wife.  What could she do to be more interesting? Strike a powerful pose in her stasis? 

Women characters can only be on box art if their ass is pointed at the viewer? I'm down to complain about that.  Changing canon in a series to better accommodate feminists? I am not down.

rIVAL_sWORD84
rIVAL_sWORD84

The best version was on wiiU sadly the DLC is not available on it. PS3 was the most buggy after PC, WB montial wants their consumers to suffer to death with bugs. Hopefully the new arkham game will not be filled with bugs

imfrylock1987
imfrylock1987

Score for this should have been zero. They never fixed any of the game crashing bugs. Picked this up last night, haven't even been able to play it cause the game keeps crashing.

OurSin-360
OurSin-360

They ever stop the game from crashing?

rethgryn
rethgryn

Comments on this article are proof of why we need feminism, in gaming and elsewhere

Gamer3344
Gamer3344

lmao it's rated higher than the main game

PowerDingALing
PowerDingALing

"Like too many women..." That's where I stopped reading. And that is the last thing with Carolyn in it I read/watch. I've had enough, seriously.

Someone fire this tranny. He's got serious issues. And his reviews aren't good at all, don't know why someone employed him in the first place.

DarkJedi8_basic
DarkJedi8_basic

"Like too many women in comics, she exists not as an individual..."

Shame on you, Carolyn.  if you knew the origins of Mr. Freeze, you'd know what she was all about.

Now make amends by making us all sandwiches!

d-man
d-man

@Stu-pendous  You really went all round-about to justify your bigotry, huh?

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

@sdcazares1980  Seriously, did anybody here even read the rest of that paragraph? It seems pretty harmless to me when you take the rest of it into consideration.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@sdcazares1980  

"Unfair" how? That is indeed how Nora Fries has been since Mr. Freeze's character was conceived - as you have said already.

Perhaps you think that because something has been around a long time, it is somehow acceptable?

JM_Lerris
JM_Lerris

Wow themc_7, take your douchey BS elsewhere. Her statement is fact.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@themc_7  

Do tell that to CBS instead of her. ;)

Also, this isn't the first that you have said this, themc_7; I recall you having said something similar in her past reviews whenever she includes a feminist opinion. Much of anything those previous times did, didn't it? She seems to be becoming more defiant instead of being cowed.

It's people like you who turn people like her into the monsters which you make them out to be, by the way.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@lilflipp  

"Credibility" is just a subjective point of view. ;)

With that said, maybe you have insecurities of your own if you feel like you should point out how you find Carolyn's insistence on voicing her opinion to be "annoying" and mentioning so many comic book characters (who are far, far more interesting than Nora Fries would ever be) to make your point - versus Carolyn's passing remark.

Maybe you are one who is the try-hard here.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@JustinKnight17  

Well, if you are saying that, are you down with Copperhead being altered for the video game? ;) 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@rethgryn  

If only to have story-writers and character designers move away from clichés, I would opine.

pip3dream
pip3dream

@PowerDingALing  You ignorant piece of trash.  It's people just like you, yes, just like YOU - that are the reason that whole segments of people in our society are threatened and abused the way they are.  Congratulations! You're a bigot!  Achievement Unlocked!


I pray to the universe you're just a young kid with some growing up to do, and if so, please for the sake of humanity - grow up or FUCK OFF, because no one wants you here.


fluffy_kins
fluffy_kins

@PowerDingALing Wow. I don't agree with Carolyn's particular opinion on Nora here, but be respectful. There's no need to use a hateful slur. and Carolyn is a she, not a he.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@PowerDingALing  

Also, if you are limiting your posts on GameSpot just to lambast Carolyn Petit, then you are still giving GameSpot's CBSI overlords a reason to keep her around, if only to get Internet traffic from the likes of you. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@PowerDingALing  

You want this person fired and yet you visited this page and contributed to the view counter - which helps this person keep her job.

Learn to boycott, dude.

Also, you just made a breach of the Terms of Use.

Moreover, how would you know that her reviews are not "good" if you just stop reading halfway?

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@DarkJedi8_basic  

Looking at origins of Mr. Freeze, she's just Victor Fries's raison d'être. She does make Mr. Freeze seem more human, but there are little other occurrences where she becomes more than that.

Except for when she turned into the anathema of Fries and some other character entirely, and then ret-cons happen to reboot her right back to the role of Sleeping Beauty.

Personally, I think that Mr. Freeze has more value as a character than Nora Fries, and Carolyn certainly did not diss on him - she only dissed on Nora's character.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@d-man

You might want to read Stu-pendous's remark again - more closely.

sdcazares1980
sdcazares1980

@Gelugon_baat


Perhaps you're implying that this kind of narrative is inherently wrong. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that.

themc_7
themc_7

@Gelugon_baat  I'd have thought the community's feedback would make her keep those opinions out of here. She's a fine reviewer, but don't bring your personal life into a game review.

lilflipp
lilflipp

@Gelugon_baat But she is consistently bringing it up. I'm simply making a remark refuting what she said by mentioning the baddest female characters I could think of in the moment and I stopped when I could've kept on listing, so I wasn't trying all that hard.

And like I said "This time it isn't that bad but, it's getting annoying" because it was a passing remark, but in her GTA review she made it one of the two only main problem in a highly satirical game. She has every right to voice her opinion but she is a public reviewer and people watch these so they can find points of views they can relate to in order to build a general idea on how much they would like a game, but when the criticism is based on a intimate and personal issues, it can get confusing. Especially to people who don't know that she has a very delicate sensibility when it comes to that issue can be misled.

Point is, she keeps her reviews might suffer from it and people will look for other reviewers for a more general non biased opinion. That's why people who don't like let's say RTS games wouldn't be good people to review a RTS game. Same principle. You want to try and stay objective, that's how you make a good review.

But hey you can take these comments in a defensive way or take them for what they are. Feedback.

Gravelord_Nito
Gravelord_Nito

@Gelugon_baat @rethgryn COMMENTS? what a joke.

how about the fact that a woman can decide to divorce a guy at any point, even if she is cheating on HIM and clean him up for everything in court, with the child support and alimony attached? how about some women even bragging they are the new leisure class? easy, when man still has to pay your whims.

how about that the entire healthcare is centered about women and their problems. breast cancer isn't more serious or deadly then prostate cancer. how about a clinic for women only cardio healthcare? how about since you are complaining about comments, the ones on fb for example 'i have never met a man i can't blame for something' and such? how about that a woman can kill a man and she only needs to plead she's been molested by him to very likely get off the hook? how about that rape is only considered rape when its women the victims? a mom of a little boy who got raped by his teacher(a woman) pleaded in court FOR the rapist that she wants her to get therapy and better. do you think it would be the same if it was a little girl in question? 

and don't even get me started on rape shield laws. how many guys go to jail innocent just bcs some brat got rejected by him or got her ego bruised, and got accused he raped her.

do you see a pattern here?  women are NOT being bullied and not the bullies, everyone in the world suffer the same stuff. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@sdcazares1980  

I am not implying that - but I would say that I find it clichéd though.

Also, this is a matter of clashing opinions - which perhaps make your suggestion of "agreeing to disagree" quite fitting. ;)

blulight89
blulight89

@themc_7 Game reviews are opinions. People read her reviews because they want to know what she thinks about the game. Seeing another comic book woman used only to further a man's plot is a legitimate criticism. Should she not mention it? If a reviewer was tired of seeing emo brats star in Final Fantasy games, I'd expect them to mention that.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@themc_7

You have spoken as if you don't realize that people can be selective about which "feedback" that they listen to. If that is so, you are quite naïve.

Also, there is no unanimously-agreed rule - informal or otherwise - against bringing personal opinions into a review.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Gravelord_Nito  

Oh, you are one to accuse others of siege mentality, when you have said all that you said to me in an earlier post about so many conspiracies and such.

With that said, what do you think Nora Fries' character function is supposed to be, *hmm*? Outside of the short-lived comic-book arc of her turning into Lazara, she had nothing more than a "Sleeping Beauty" role.

Gravelord_Nito
Gravelord_Nito

@Gelugon_baat wow, if i had a dollar for every time you say 'with that said'...besides, you need to learn how to see other people's facts they present you. you are so stubborn and set in your way of 'victims can't be bullies or proved wrong' that is so damn annoying, seriously.


its how story goes, hi wife is dieing. she is not being used to fuel a male's character anguish. see how feminists even phrase their sentences? they just love putting together USED and WOMEN.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@lilflipp  

Consistently bringing it up how? I have read the review, and the text only contains one sentence of dissing on Nora Fries.

If you are saying that she might have made an over-generalization, then you might want to know that Nora Fries isn't the only example of the "woman behind man" character archetype. For example, there is Bruce Banner's Betty.Ross.

Really, public reviewers have to follow different rules on expressing their personal opinions? Where are these rules? Are they in a set of unanimously-agreed conventions?

With that said, I would say here that she doesn't need to pander to everyone, and there really is no such thing as "general non biased opinion". In fact, that's an oxymoron, because opinions already inherently carry bias.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Gravelord_Nito

I am "aaaaalways on every article"? Really, either you are exaggerating, or you are imagining that I am there when I am not.

Also, when have I "presented women as ultimate victims"? Do cite one single incident where I actually used the phrases "women", "ultimate" and "victims" in a single sentence.

Furthermore, really, you are going to call me "childish"? That is coming from -you- who throws more than a few wild statements around.

Gravelord_Nito
Gravelord_Nito

@Gelugon_baat your conclusions are just amazing, seriously.

i see things really need to be drawn to you, otherwise it will fly over your head. no, it has nothing about agreeing, its about being stubborn and completely dismissing something that you don't even have to look for, bcs it happens around you. but i tell you again, if something happens to women only THEN does that count as bad lately. i have provided you evidence through the work of these people i have told you about. little redundant that i go and do the same kind of research myself.

the thing is, you are always aaaaalways on every article and your comments outnumber everyone else together. and its always presenting women as ultimate victims. when you get a proof that a woman too can do violence, and a man be victim, you go off on saying things with no supstance, like that will refute someone's argument.

you are probably the most childish person on gamespot, and that's a damn accomplishment. 

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Gravelord_Nito

So what if women had committed violence too? Perhaps you think that anyone who doesn't agree with you live under a metaphorical shell?

With that said, I have never ascribed to any conspiracy theory that information about misdeeds by women had been suppressed or some such other paranoid tripe. You do, though.

Also, Christina Hoff Sommers is indeed speaking out against convenient twisting of statistics - but she forwards her arguments and backs them up with citations which can be checked up - you don't. You throw conspiracy theories around.

Moreover, since you have cited Violentwomenamongus, I have checked up that channel to try to find the "lies" which its proponents said they "expose" - where are these "lies" about there being not any violent women really? All I get is the impression that someone cooked up some conspiracy theory - and I have said that I don't follow such conspiracy theories.

Again, I say, you are believing in some fictitious gender war - ironically, that is what the extremist feminists are doing too.

Gravelord_Nito
Gravelord_Nito

@Gelugon_baat @Gravelord_Nitoaha, so when the missdeeds of women are listed, its fictional? do some research and you will see its true. you can see a large amount of it only at Violentwomenamongus channel on youtube. oh and christina hoff summers totally exposed the lies on what rape numbers are.



Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

@Gravelord_Nito  

No, I don't see the "pattern". What you have uttered is a lot of paranoid gibberish about a fictitious gender war.

Batman: Arkham Origins More Info

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  • First Released
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    Batman: Arkham Origins is the latest entry in the Batman Arkham series that will see a younger Caped Crusader facing many noted villains for the first time, including Deathstroke.
    7.8
    Average User RatingOut of 1321 User Ratings
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    Developed by:
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    Genres:
    Adventure, Action, 3D, Open-World
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
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    Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence