SLIDESHOW

Batman Fans Will Go Bat-Crazy for Arkham Asylum

Here are eight giant reasons why you'll want to play Batman's gritty upcoming adventure.

Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy Reprise their Roles as Joker and Batman

Kevin Conroy possesses the kind of voice that could probably part the Red Sea. It's only fitting that his acting prowess from Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and five seasons of the Justice League series would bring the Caped Crusader to life in Arkham Asylum, and it's good to have him back. That deep, baritone pitch has been something that Christian Bale likely weeped at his inability to mimic, although it probably doesn't help that Conroy's normal civilian speech sounds like the voice of God with a touch of Clint Eastwood (also God).

On the other end of the spectrum, Mark Hamill, who is arguably more famous for voice acting than his lightsaber skills, is providing the voice of the Joker. It doesn't get much better than that. Unlike goofy incarnations of Batman's less threatening foes, Mark Hamill makes the Joker sound straight up psychotic. How psychotic? Expose some small children to Batman: The Animated Series, and it's 90 percent certain that they'll develop a sudden, volatile fear of clowns.

Play with Insanely Cool Bat Tools like Explosive Jelly and Razor-Sharp Batarangs

Even if they don't always get the combat right (cough, Batman: Dark Tomorrow), most Batman games don't skimp on those wonderful toys. Arkham Asylum's no slouch either, as you've got everything from grappling hooks, mid-flight-controlled Batarangs and explosive Bat-Jelly that can pretty much turn anything into rubble. Heck, even the Joker's packing some heat, and by heat we mean face-searing, skin-melting acid. Oh, and he has a gun. Just in case the acid wasn't painful enough.

Joker, Bane, Croc, Harley Quinn and Others are in It

Unlike the trainwreck that was Batman & Robin, you'll actually like seeing Bane and Poison Ivy in Arkham Asylum. Instead of cramming overpaid ham actors into bright neon suits, this game is taking a much-needed page from the actual comic material (and in some cases, the animated series). All of the inmates in Arkham are the right mix of dark and humorous, and it definitely pays off in the delivery.

It's Metal Gear Solid Meets The Dark Knight

We can't stress this point enough. (Seriously, just imagine Solid Snake and Batman in a growling competition.) Half of the combat in Arkham Asylum is focused around getting the drop on your enemies, just like Batman would do.

In fact, the whole game is peppered with challenges that train you to swoop from ceilings and hide in the shadows. Remember, this isn't the Michael Keaton-Batman who's got Inspector Gadget crap flying out of his butt. This is the real DC-Comics Batman, and that Batman is a badass, assassin-trained ninja with major anger management problems.

It Embraces the Grittier Side of the Batman Universe

The first time you hear Batman snap some poor henchman's forearm like an old, stale Slim Jim, you'll get your first introduction to what makes the combat so delicious in Arkham Asylum. Remember the pencil trick from the Dark Knight? It gets a lot more gruesome than that. Moreover, Batman's never been the kind of crimefighter to blindy throw haymakers. That's too easy. No, he'd much rather jam his steel-toed combat boots directly into your sternum to break ribs like dry plywood.

Surprisingly, even the Joker hasn't been toned down for Arkham Asylum. He can shoot people in the face, blow them up with dynamite or simply just slap them with a good jolt of electricity.

It's NOT a Movie Tie-In

We've got to give Rocksteady Studios a hell of a lot of credit for this one. With today's tech, it would be a lot easier and cheaper to just rip some audio tracks from the Dark Knight and slap them across a re-skin of Batman Begins and go home to count the incoming piles of money. But not Rocksteady Studios. No, these guys luckily noticed that most movie tie-in games at their best can be considered a form of mass terrorism and decided to make Arkham Asylum a completely unique Batman adventure.

Heck, Arkham Asylum: Serious House on a Serious Earth has more to do with this game than any of the Batman films. You should read it. Excellent book.

It's Not Up for Debate: Arkham Asylum is the Best Looking Batman Game Ever

Rocksteady Studios devoted a team of animators to work on Batman's cape. Not the character model, not his costume -- just the freaking CAPE. With that kind of attention to detail, it's no wonder that Arkham Asylum's graphics are a cut above most other next-generation games. Really, this game looks too good to true.

In fact, we've been playing it and found ourselves occasionally muttering, "I can't believe this game looks so good." Every character has a unique, updated design that blends with the scenery better than a team of Navy SEALs blends with a dark forest at night. We kid you not: after a few minutes of playing Arkham Asylum, you'll be wishing that all video game adaptations of beloved comics were handled as well.

It's the Best Thing to Happen to Batman Since Batman Begins/The Dark Knight

Okay, so it hasn't been that long since the Dark Knight hit the silver screen, but think about all the crap that Batman fans have to endure: Gotham City Racer, Dark Tommorow, Rise of Sin Tzu, Chris O' Donnell, bat-nipples. Arkham Asylum may yet be another welcome step in a long trend of not making Batman suck. And at the end of the day, that's something all of us comic books fans can get behind. Especially Reviews Assistant Will Herring, who has threatened severe bodily harm to anyone and anything that's foolish enough to get between him and this game.