Around one hour into the game, our ragtag group of playable villains finds themselves in The Batman Experience, an interactive exhibit situated in the Metropolis History Museum. This captivating space is dedicated entirely to the Dark Knight himself, and as the anti-heroes navigate its halls, they can activate numerous displays showcasing Batman's heroic feats and his rogues' gallery of vanquished ne'er-do-wells. A voiceover by Gotham's own Jack Ryder provides colorful commentary, expertly dissecting the significance of each foe presented throughout the exhibit.
But as you approach the end of this extraordinary journey, you might notice an odd absence. Not a single display pays homage to 2013's Arkham Origins, a prequel game developed by WB Montreal that came between Rocksteady's own efforts, namely 2011's Arkham City and 2015's Arkham Knight. For years, Rocksteady has consistently referred to their Arkham games as a trilogy that commenced with Arkham Asylum. Now, don't get me wrong, these games are undoubtedly Rocksteady's trilogy of masterpieces, but to label the entire Arkham series as a mere trilogy seems, quite frankly, incorrect. Is it possible they're being hostile toward WB Montreal? Or perhaps it's a sign of respectful humility, indicating that the team doesn't want to claim credit for a game in which they had no involvement. Alternatively, it could be a top-down directive, a talking point that Warner Bros. deems essential for undisclosed reasons.
Regardless of the motivation, Suicide Squad seems determined to uphold this tradition by blatantly disregarding any villains or events from Arkham Origins. While some baddies from Origins, like Deathstroke and Firefly, make their appearances in the museum, the accompanying voiceover only references their involvement in Rocksteady's chapters of the Arkham saga. For instance, Firefly's exhibit mentions his penchant for setting fire to fire departments—an enthralling side mission in Arkham Knight—but completely overlooks Batman's epic showdown with him atop a bridge in Origins. Similarly, Deathstroke's display recalls his grand arrival in Gotham, complete with a menacing militia at his back—an iconic moment from Arkham Knight's storyline—while conveniently ignoring his intense melee duel with Batman in Blackgate prison. Curiously, there's no display for Black Mask, one of the central characters in Arkham Origins, even though secondary villains from Rocksteady's games like Deacon Blackfire and Zsasz each receive their own moments in the spotlight.
This deliberate disregard for Arkham Origins has long been apparent. It's just not clear whose decision it was or why they made it. Granted, I'm still in the early stages of playing the game, and there's a chance I might stumble upon some sort of Arkham Origins acknowledgement in the hours to come. However, this missed opportunity to mention Origins, followed by its conspicuous absence, seems to be a clear sign. At Rocksteady, Arkham Origins remains an Elseworlds storyline, an alternate universe separate from their meticulously crafted canon.
So, as the Suicide Squad takes the gaming world by storm, leaving a trail of chaos and quips in their wake, the mystery of Arkham Origins continues to linger. Will we ever discover the true reason behind its omission from Rocksteady's narrative tapestry? Only time will tell. But one thing's for certain: the Arkhamverse is a complex and enigmatic place, full of surprises and unanswered questions.
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