More than any other villain, the Joker must not be found anywhere in the rumoured Batman Arkham Crisis.
Although it's by no means official, Warner Bros. are no doubt going to publish another Batman game in the future. The rumours suggest it could come out this year with Warner Bros. Montreal being the developers instead of Rocksteady, and further whispers suggest it will be called Arkham Crisis with The Court Of Owls as the primary rogues. If true, then this would be great as there's a slew of recurrent bad guys who must be replaced by a gallery of fresh villains.
Not all of the villains from previous games need to be replaced. Two-Face and The Penguin are iconic baddies whose stories haven't come to a befitting end, and the next game will need famous rogues to avoid completely rummaging through the garbage for punching bags like Firefly and Electrocutioner. However, there are a few Arkhamverse baddies who must not come back because they're boring and stale cretins who need a break.
Scarecrow was undoubtedly the biggest victim of Arkham Knight. While his design was the stuff of nightmares, he quickly became a monotonous bore who was more interested in giving long-winded speeches than actually defeating the bat. Compared to his old self in Arkham Asylum, the new Scarecrow was wasted more than Cillian Murphy’s portrayals in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy.
Instead of bringing Scarecrow back, the developers should introduce a new villain like Cornelius Stirk. As a serial killer meta-human with the ability to take on any guise, Kirk would be a fine replacement so long as they didn’t turn him from unhinged into a philosopher.
Please, no more Riddler. Yes, he gives players something to do when the main campaign is finished, but his schtick became old during Arkahm City thanks to Rocksteady including an insane 440 riddler trophies. He’s not intimidating, his foray into combat was laughable, and he’s just become a poor Jigsaw.
Maybe if he’s part of the narrative his inclusion could be fine, but if he’s just going to be a baddie for completionists then he might as well go away and never come back. The next Batman game needs to be innovative rather than another rehash with pretty graphics, so the developers need to implement something fresh to pre-occupy gamers obsessed with achievements.
The biggest issue with Rocksteady’s Bane is that he’s a boring Neanderthal who just cannon balls into walls. Yes, he’s got mountains for biceps, and he speaks a little Spanish, but he’s completely forgettable. Unlike the comics and even The Dark Knight Rises, the Arkhamverse Bane is stupid rather than smart. He never has a plan, he’s thinner than paper (metaphorically, of course), and his boss fights with Batman emphasise how greatly he pales in comparison to his comic book self.
Despite the saying “there’s no Batman without the Joker”, the Clown Prince of Crime must not be in Arkham Crisis. This shouldn’t need to be said considering the greatest comic book villain of all time is burning in the Arkhamverse version of Hell along with Ras and his daughter Talia, but it unfortunately does because of the stunt Rocksteady pulled with Arkham Knight.
The Joker is undoubtedly Batman’s greatest foe, and Mark Hamill’s performances no doubt elevated the games’ to legendary status. However, he’s already been the main antagonist in four games. First Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and then in Origins where he stole the spotlight from Black Mask, and in Arkham Knight where he was again the leading baddie despite being dinner for maggots.
Regardless if it’s developed by Rocksteady or Warner Bros. Montreal, the next Batman game must give the spotlight to some new villains rather than the same murderous and lean Krusty the Clown who rehashes the same jokes.