That's fine, EA. You take all the time you need before announcing your Batman game. In the meantime, we'll make do with this one. Announced today by the folks at Game Informer, Batman: Arkham Asylum is a new title currently in development at Rocksteady Studios (Urban Chaos: Riot Response), which will be published by Eidos. Why the different publishers? EA only have the rights to the movies, while Eidos have a deal to make games based on the Batman comics. Hence this game, which GI describe as being "reminiscent of Bioshock".
With a story written by Paul Dini, and art by the team at Wildstorm comics, the game will be set exclusively in and around Arkham Asylum, which has been taken over by the Joker. The asylum will be a contained, persistent location, making the game feel more like Riddick or BioShock than other more recent, more open-world superhero titles. The Joker's not alone, either: because they hold the comics licence, Batman will also be up against the Riddler, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and more.
Gameplay won't just be about combat, either. Batman's a detective, see, so there'll be investigative work (puzzles, etc) to be done as well, including extensive use of what sounds a lot like Metroid Prime's scanning system. When combat is used, the emphasis will be on stealth and speed, and the game will only use three buttons: attack, stun and throw. Oh, and there'll be boss battles too, some with a focus on combat, others playing out more like a Zelda boss battle, as you use particular tech or gadgets to bring them down.
Batman: Arkham Asylum is due for release sometime in 2009, and will be appearing on PS3, 360 and PC.