Copperhead may not have made it onto our wishlist of villains for Batman: Arkham Origins, but this slippery character has certainly made it into the game, as one of the seven assassins hired by Black Mask to fight it out for the prize of a £50,000 bounty. Their task is simple: they kill the Batman.
Of course, it's never truly that simple, even if Batman is technically supposed be slightly more inexperienced than he was in the two games developed by Rocksteady Games, since this is a sequel. When Game Rant previewed Batman: Arkham Origins at E3, we found that if anything he actually has a few more gadgets to play around with in Gotham than he had in Arkham City or Arkham Asylum, which is why this new cinematic trailer showing Batman facing off against Copperhead gives us hope that the assassins are going to present a challenge.
Based on this footage, it looks like Copperhead is going to be a considerably tricky foe to deal with. There's little worse than enemies who move impossibly fast and who can poison you if they get close enough, but Copperhead will at least make a nice change from boss fights with slow, hulking bad guys who telegraph all their moves well in advance. Newsarama, reporting from the SDCC Batman: Arkham Origins panel, revealed that it actually took three motion capture subjects to piece together all the movements for Copperhead: a stunt woman, a martial artist and a performer from the Cirque du Soleil.
The character is best known as a contortionist, which is why she is able to escape from handcuffs and easily evade the Bat, and in this sense some of her movements are similar in style to those of Catwoman in the previous games. She also has a forked tongue and "claws" with poison tips, which emphasize the snakelike aspects of her character. In the comics Copperhead was eventually transformed into a snake-man hybrid when he sold his soul to the demon Neron, but in Batman: Arkham Origins it looks like the character may have just indulged in some body modification and clever costuming to match her theme.
Copperhead was a male character in the original DC comics, and there is a wink to this in the trailer, but is being rebooted as female (it's possible that female Copperhead is a twin, alternate universe version or copycat) for Batman: Arkham Origins and also in the New 52 line of comics. No offence intended towards Copperhead's original outfit - he really rocked that snake-shaped hood - but this new character design is pretty fantastic.
OK, so Copperhead has apparently seen Catwoman running around with her top unzipped to her navel and figured that it was a good look, but her tattoos, hair and mask give her a pretty threatening appearance that's reminiscent of Pris from Blade Runner. She also wears only foot wraps, with the front halves of her feet exposes, presumably in order to use her toes for a better grip when climbing, running or fighting. Since she has no dialogue in this trailer, however, we'll have to wait and see how good the writing for her character, provided by new developers Warner Bros. Games Montreal, turns out.
Do you like the look of the new Copperhead, or are you upset by the gender-swap?
Batman: Arkham Origins will be available on Wii U, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC October 25, 2013.