Arkham Origins brings back Joker, but not Mark Hamill

New voices for a new era

TODO alt text

Word on the street was that Batman: Arkham Origins would ditch the classic Batman voices, losing Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy in favor of some new blood. First, Mark Hamill claimed that Arkham City would be his last dance in the Joker's dusty purple jacket, and then reports came out that Kevin Conroy's voice wouldn't be coming from Batman's mouth (Conroy has since confirmed he'll be doing a voice in the game, but wouldn't say who it was).

Funny thing about internet rumors... they're right more often than we like to admit. We've seen the game, and can confirm that the reports are true. Conroy and Hamill are both out for the characters they're known for, replaced with different actors. While the replacements are definitely AAA-level, the results are a bit mixed.

Conroy is being replaced with the wholly capable Roger Craig Smith, known for voicing Ezio in Assassin's Creed II and Sonic the Hedgehog in all of the blue blur's recent outings. While we're going to withhold final judgment on the job until the game is in our hands, we weren't in love with what we heard. He sounds similar to Conroy, and it's obvious he's going for that same tone, but he doesn't quite pull it off. He lacks the conviction; the confidence. Maybe this will play to the game's advantage--it does take place only two years after Bruce Wayne decided to don the cowl, and a little inexperience in his voice could sell that--but within the context we were shown, Smith sounds like someone trying to do a Conroy impression, and it ends up being kind of awkward.

The Joker's voice fares a bit better. Hamill has been swapped with Troy Baker, known for doing damn near every voice in damn near every game to release in the past few years. He was Booker DeWitt in BioShock Infinite, the default hero in Saints Row the Third, Kanji in Persona 4, and… yeah. He's in everything nowadays. From the section we saw, Baker totally nails the Joker. When the clown appeared and started instigating the caped crusader we assumed that Hamill had returned--he gets the tone completely. He even has the laugh down, something we assumed would be impossible to recreate.

Thankfully, we know more about the game than who is voicing who. If you're looking for more information you can check out our Batman: Arkham Origins preview, where we discuss the new weapons and locations we saw when we went hands-on with the upcoming open-world adventure.

We recommend