Here’s How ‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ Earned That Mature Rating

Batman: Arkham Knight is the first Batman: Arkham game to be rated Mature. Which in retrospect is a bit odd, considering the overall themes of psychosis, child abduction, serial murder, and cruelly pranking the Riddler that run through those games. But man, if the ESRB is any indication, Rocksteady is taking it to a whole other level for their finale. Possible spoilers below.

As found by Kotaku, the ESRB gave Batman: Arkham Knight a Mature rating for, among other things…

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. 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.

Torture? Gunning down hostages? What is this? A Punisher game?

At a guess, that last one, which is the most arresting, means one of two things. The first is that at some point, you play as some other character in the course of the game, which is interesting in its own right. The second is that Rocksteady has decided you can’t just run around willy-nilly with the Batmobile, spraying rubber bullets and rockets everywhere, but can only use them in specific situations or you have to pick your shots while driving.

Either way, it sounds like this will be unusually intense outing for Batman. You know, beyond his being dosed with fear toxin and seeing his dead parents tell him he’s a failure, or Zsasz leaving corpses posed all around Arkham’s grounds. Yeesh, why did the earlier games get rated for Teens again?