Written by: Jonathan Rosa
Season’s Greetings Gotham City!!! As the holidays descend on the gothic and somber city bringing joy as always, it never lasts. Criminals in every corner that dwell in the darkness are now invading the snowy and cold streets of Gotham City. Petty criminals, crime syndicates and deranged monsters prepare their gifts as well as the police with the slightly and unfortunate problem that is corrupted by its highest-ranking officials. Therefore, no one is safe except that the dark knight persists in saving its doomed city. Batman is again entering the main stage as the savior of Gotham with the only issue that this will be his first mission to save the city and transform him from vigilante to hero.
Batman Arkham Origins (2013) is developed by WB Games Montreal as the prequel chapter in the acclaimed Batman Arkham Saga game series. This chapter is set in the early vigilante days of Bruce Wayne (AKA Batman) on Christmas Eve where he is hunted by 8 assassins for a bounty of $50 million as placed by Black Mask. The game begins with a breakout at Blackgate Prison where Black Mask releases various criminals which includes Killer Croc; in addition, he ties loose ends on his corrupted law enforcement. As the chaos looms, Batman arrives to capture Black Mask and eventually fights Killer Croc which he defeats. Later, Batman learns on the bounty on his head that Black Mask placed and sees a list of assassins who will stop at nothing to kill him. Killer Croc, Deathstroke, Deadshot, Shiva, Copperhead, Electrocutioner, Firefly, and Bane are the assassins whom perform a series of disasters on holiday Gotham City. With the help from Alfred Pennyworth, Batman begins his investigation and attempt to defeat each assassin that soon becomes complicated with the mysterious and heinous arrival of The Joker. Worse, other criminals such as Mad Hatter, Anarky,
Bird and The Penguin complicate Batman’s journey. The loss of the Spirit of Christmas continues in Gotham as bridges fell, buildings explode, anarchism rises, mass murders occur, and madness reigns. Batman also faces increased challenges from the police department as he is labeled as the creator of these criminals and the downfall of Gotham. Not to mention, Alfred’s insistence in convincing Bruce to step down as Batman for his safety. As the long night transpires, Batman and the rest of Gotham realize that working together can exterminate the plague that infects Gotham and bring peace to it.
In its follow up with Batman Arkham Origins: Cold Cold Heart, it sets the stage for the arrival of Mr. Freeze on New Year’s Eve. The chapter commences at a New Year’s Eve party at Wayne Manor where GothamCorp CEO, Ferris Boyle is awarded for his humanitarian efforts. Unfortunately, the party is crashed by Mr. Freeze as he kidnaps Ferris and destroys Wayne Manor. As new threats arise and the celebration of the new year turns sour, Batman and Alfred work together in saving Ferris and stopping Mr. Freeze. However, as Batman dwells in the coldest areas of Gotham City while focusing on GothamCorp, he soon learns of a terrifying and heartbreaking truth. Mr. Freeze motives
are revealed to be vengeance against Ferris’s corrupt scheme and cold heart in disrupting peace by making Weapons of Mass Destruction. Weapons that tore Mr. Freeze’s and his wife’s lives by plunging them into a deep cold soul. Thus, the New Year is ringing with the coldest hearts of corruption and betrayals that has swept Gotham in the past.
These two chapters that focuses on the darkness that looms over Gotham City on Christmas and New Year’s Eve brings lots of discussion regarding the very problems of the city. Corruption, anarchism, class warfare, power, control, revenge, justice, and vigilantism take over the story as Batman witnesses the inner and outside problems of the society he lives and pursues to stop. He and Alfred work and sometimes argue over the role they play in bringing justice to Gotham as they witness the loss of a beautiful holiday that was supposed to bring joy and peace; something that Bruce never had due to the murder of his parents and trying to move forward in pursuing justice by becoming Gotham’s Dark Knight. Batman Arkham Origins serves as an extraordinary holiday horror game as it transforms a most joyous occasion into a fight for survival. As darkness reigns, the city goes colder than ever leaving no hope for justice and peace. However, Batman is the sole hero that can bring light from the darkness only by his determination as well as the aid from the city’s goodwill citizens. The holidays tell us to unite in harmony which Batman does with his allies as they vanquish their enemies. In the end, the spirit of Christmas is restored by the dark knight who keeps his promise in helping Gotham move forward from its past mistakes.