Joey Sack ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Holy mature audiences only, Batman! It’s been announced that Batman: Arkham Knight, the third and final installment in Rocksteady’s Batman series, has been rated M for Mature by the ESRB, the first time in the series that a game has not been rated T for Teen. According to Rocksteady founder and director of Arkham Knight, Sefton Hill, the team at Rocksteady did not go into Arkham Knight with the intention of making an M-rated game, but would not reveal what caused the game to get that rating.
Anyone who has played the Arkham games will probably see one or two things that push the boundaries when it comes to what a T-rated game can do, especially Batman: Arkham Asylum, the game that started it all. The game had an atmosphere that was almost akin to a horror film, with a sense of dread following you through the darkened halls of the Elizabeth Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. Moreover, the Scarecrow segments and the lead-up to them could be pretty intense and frightening at times. Also, need we forget the boss fight in Killer Croc’s lair? The fact that he could spring up at any time and try to kill you was terrifying and made for a memorably scary close encounter of the reptilian kind. Arkham City toned down most of the fear-inducing elements of its predecessor, but some of the things that made Asylum unsettling also made their way into City. And for all of its missteps, Arkham Origins had a few creepy moments to its credit, especially Batman’s fight with Copperhead and some of the moments with the Joker.
The game has been rated M for Mature for Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, and Violence, all things that you’d often expect to find in an M-rated game. But if Sefton Hill is to be believed, Arkham Knight only barely makes it into M-rated territory, meaning that there were probably a few scenes and elements in the game that were pushing it far enough that the M-rating was warranted. What could they be? In an earlier trailer, we see that there is a lot more detail in the game’s graphics, when we see a Gotham City Police officer fall to ground dead, his face splattered with blood. Most likely, the violence has gotten even more intense in this game than in the others, and the way that violence is depicted made giving this game a T rating a bit of a stretch. Perhaps as next-gen games start to look more life-like in their depiction of violence, they’ll be rated more harshly than in the past, so game series that were rated T on the previous generation of consoles may find more M ratings coming their way. All in all, it sounds like Arkham Knight just barely earns the M rating it has, so there probably won’t be too many things that will deter gamers under the age of 17 (although you have to be that age to buy the game, so that’s a deterrent).
Batman: Arkham Knight will be released June 2nd, 2015, for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This June, you must be 17 or older to become the Batman.