Why Batman: Arkham Knight Earned the Mature ESRB Age Rating

Batman: Arkham Knight will carry the M for Mature rating when it releases. Here's why

As much as I have always held a candle for the Dark Knight, I often felt that he was a bit tame in the sense that he refused to kill even the most heinous of villains. With that said, it was always very obvious that he had a real darkness lurking just below the surface and a large part of Batman's story hinges on his internal struggle of letting the more murderous of his enemies leave the fight with their lives. 

Despite his unwillingness to deal the killing blow, there was never a shortage of ass-kicking and it looks like Rocksteady Studios are letting a lot more of it into the newest iteration of the Arkham series: Batman: Arkham Knight. Many people were shocked to hear that the game will carry a Mature rating as superheroes are often seen as children's entertainment. What they don't realize is that although many of us were exposed to these caped crusaders  in our early years, we have since grown up and these characters have grown up with us.

The ESRB has released their statement for the hefty rating (via Lazygamer.net):

Content Descriptors: Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Rating Summary: This is an action-adventure game in which players primarily assume the role of Batman as he battles several villains spreading chaos across Gotham City. Players traverse a variety of locations around Gotham while battling thugs, examining crime scenes, and occasionally rescuing hostages. Players engage in melee-style combat using punches, kicks, and gadgets (e.g., batarangs, explosives).

Enemies cry out in pain when struck, and some takedowns are highlighted by brief slow-motion effects and loud impact sounds. Some sequences allow players to use tank-like vehicles with machine gun turrets and rockets to shoot enemies; a vehicle’s wheels are also used to torture an enemy in one sequence. Cutscenes depict characters getting shot (on and off camera) while restrained or unarmed. Large bloodstains/pools of blood appear in crime scenes and in the aftermath of violent acts; one room depicts a person torturing a character on a bloody operating table. During the course of the game, players can shoot unarmed characters and a hostage. Neon signs in a red-light district read “live nude girls” and “XXX.” The words “b*tch,” “gobsh*te,” and “a*s” appear in the dialogue.

This is a fairly risky move on the part of Warner Brothers considering their history of family orientated entertainment and a sizable portion of their player base is under the age of 12. That said, it does seem that this game is geared towards the more mature player and I think that will allow for a deeper understanding of the World's Greatest Detective. 

Batman: Arkham Knight is scheduled for release on 2 June.

Featured Contributor

Glen is an avid rock climber, sky diver and bungee jumper who tends to lie about enjoying outdoor activities when in reality, all he does is play a lot of video games.

Published Mar. 10th 2015

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