Why I Think The Joker Should NOT Be In Arkham Origins

Oh yes, you did read that correctly. I honestly don’t think The Joker should be in Batman: Arkham Origins. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Joker, but I’m not blindly going to get something because The Joker is in it. Also I’m not saying they should take him out last minute or anything, or generally saying they should undo all of their hard work; though I will concede that this is basically “he never should’ve been in it in the first place”. I also will make a follow up article after I have played the game stating whether I hold true to this opinion, or if the game has made me change my mind. Remember, this is written having not played the game yet, so my opinion could easily change once it’s released.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand exactly why The Joker seems to be in everything and is everywhere; he’s an iconic villain and the character has earned that spot. However Joker has been the main focus of both previous Arkham games. Sure, he was the main villain in Arkham Asylum, so that gets a pass, however he also hogs the spotlight in Arkham City; a game where the main villain is SUPPOSED to be Hugo Strange (or Ra’s Al Ghul, or both). Don’t believe me? His story ends AFTER the main plot does. I will admit it worked due to how they handled the conclusion of that story, but the fact remains that a sub-plot concluded after the main story.

Now, we come to Arkham Origins, where the main villain is supposed to be Black Mask, which automatically drew me to the game out of curiosity as to how that would play out, with Deathstroke’s inclusion being what sealed the deal for me. But what will most people like me (comic adaptation fans) most likely care about? The Joker is in there! Come on guys! Even Batman Begins didn’t have Joker! Why should this? I get it, I get it…”Joker sells”, fine, but come on guys, if you’re going to include him, make him a flat out side villain with guys like Anarky, or flat out diminish him to a cameo appearance like Mad Hatter got in Arkham City.

Hell, think about it. If they’re trying to “fall back in mainstream known villains”, and that’s their logic for using Joker in every game, guess what? THEY DID A POOR JOB OF THAT IN ASYLUM!

  • Riddler – voice only
  • Two-Face – only verbally mentioned right at the end
  • Mr. Freeze – no verbal mention
  • Catwoman – no verbal mention (Yes I know she isn’t always a bad guy but still)
  • The Penguin – no verbal mention

They didn’t seem too preoccupied with trying to throw in a bucket load of well-known (mainstream wise) Batman villains. Hell, even the biographies in Arkham Asylum are filled with a bunch of villains I had no idea existed at the time (Great White Shark, Tweedledum & Tweedledee, Killer Moth, etc.). Honestly I wish that trend had continued with the Arkham City biographies, but oh well, a man can dream.

Actually, that’s a whole other thing I’d like to bring up. Fine, Joker’s in it. But guess what? I actually find myself being drawn towards EVERY OTHER VILLAIN more than Joker, purely because I don’t know as much about the other villains. Does that mean I’ll necessarily like all of the other villains? No. But to me the unknown is a lot more fascinating in this sort of case. Mad Hatter was a case for this in Arkham City, and he turned out to be one of my favourite villains despite only making a cameo appearance, so I’m excited to learn he’s having a (probably only somewhat) larger role in Arkham Origins. As far as Joker goes though, I honestly do not care about Joker’s storyline at all as of writing this. He wants to blow up a bunch of buildings on Christmas Eve? Seems more like a Calendar Man scheme to me. Seriously, switch out Joker for Calendar Man in that scenario and see if it changes anything. Makes more sense with Calendar Man doesn’t it?

Going along with that, Joker’s sub-plot seems entirely tacked on and pointless to me. Here we’ve got a game where the main plot is that, for some reason, Black Mask has hired eight assassins to try and kill Batman; so Batman has to survive their attacks and find Black Mask, also trying to figure out why this is even happening in the first place. Sounds like a basic, yet strong, story to base a game around to me. If Joker is a major player then it just throws everything out of balance, considering we have NINE main villains already. There are enough characters to focus on without needing Joker as a major player, or even a minor player. Once again, Batman Begins didn’t need The Joker, so why does Arkham Origins? As of now it’s a completely unnecessary addition to an already appealing game in my eyes; whether it’s handled well or not

That aside, I realise I could actually end up being wrong about how large a role Joker even plays in this game. For all I know, he could actually just be stuck in the same boat as Anarky and be a side-mission villain (ala Riddler, Zsasz & Bane in Arkham City), rather than a major sub-plot villain. If that’s the case? Then fine, I won’t mind as much, and I’ll admit that in a follow up article. But as of right now, I firmly believe this game does NOT need The Joker. And I honestly doubt that his story being well done will change that. Whether it does or not, I do intend to do a follow up article.

Does anyone actually agree with me? Do you disagree? Either way leave your opinions below (Negative wise only if you actually have something constructive to say) and I’ll see you all again next time.

6 thoughts on “Why I Think The Joker Should NOT Be In Arkham Origins

  1. I agree wholeheartedly. I was actually glad that he died at the end of Arkham City, and was looking forward to a Joker-free sequel! Alas, that is not to be…

    • Well, to be fair, this is a prequel, not a sequel. Though if Joker is in the Arkham City sequel I will be legit pissed off.

      I forgot to mention it in the article but it does feel like they only did a prequel first before an Arkham City sequel because they wanted to get another game out with Joker in it.

  2. Agree. Enough is enough and hopefully, Joker won’t be in next Arkham game. I do like him, but even in Arkham City it was weird for him to be back. I didn’t know what to focus on. Hugo Strange or Joker? But no, let’s put Joker in Arkham Origins too, instead of for instance introducing someone else. We could see Batman vs Calendar Man, throwing in Man-Bat wouldn’t hurt, Scarecrow could came back with fresh new plans. BUT what do we get? Mainly Joker (all 3 games), Bane (all 3 games), also Penguin (AC and AO), finally Killer Croc (AA and AO (brief cameo in AC)).
    IMHO, Two-face wasn’t given enough space in AC. He is my second favourite Batman villain. I could get used to him as the next main Arkham villain.

    • Bane I don’t mind being a “major player” in Arkham Origins because he was only a minor player in both Arkham Asylum (only shows up once for what turns out to be a plot relevant mini-boss fight) & Arkham City (side-quest).

      Penguin…..I didn’t know was in Arkham Origins, neither did I know Croc was (haven’t played the game yet, have to wait until my birthday)…….either way I think Scarecrow is being held off for the Arkham game based after AC, and they’ve already set up enough stuff for that anyway without needing to bring anyone back who wasn’t introduced in AC. Hush, Scarecrow teaser, .Azrael…..those three guys alone could carry the next game based on the set ups.

      • I see. Well, then I really hope there would be rather those guys than another Joker solo. I was kinda disappointed with the story of AO: *SPOILERS* : We are lead to believe Black Mask is behind everything and that he hired 8 assassins. So far, great idea, even though some of them have already been seen (Croc, Bane). I expect great gameplay of tracking the assassins, falling into their traps followed by escaping, great intriques (e.g. letting them believe they got you while you would strike to their backs unexpectedly), bossfights suitable for each assassin. BUT NO. The only worthy bossfights were Deathstroke, Firefly and Bane. I’d rather not mention Electrocutioner. Copperhead was probably meant to be replacement for AA Scarecrow and halucinations, but I quite dislike this part (even though I loved Scarecrow’s teasing in AA). Croc appearing only for 2 minutes, Deadshot and Shiva as side quests (and pretty tacky too).
        It didn’t help when I realized there are no riddles to scan. Only packages (=trophies) to collect. *SPOILERS* I played it, because I consider myself as a Batman fan. I know every time a game is announced to be made, I always want it to be as fast as it can be. But I believe many fans including me would prefer this game to be released even 2 years later, just to be tuned to perfection.

        • Thankfully it seems Rocksteady aren’t making the mistake of bringing Joker back from the dead for Arkham Knight, but I won’t entirely hold my breath on that considering the whole Black Mask fiasco from Arkham Origins.

          Different companies but still. lol.

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