Batman: Arkham Knight Rated M for "Torture" Sequences

Batman: Arkham Knight Rated M for "Torture" Sequences

Arkham Knight ESRB

According to a summary from the ESRB, Batman: Arkham Knight will feature sequences of torture and give players the chance to visit Gotham's "red-light district."

At the end of February, Rocksteady Games confirmed that Batman: Arkham Knight would be receiving an M for Mature rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board when it released in North America. What was unclear at the time were the exact reasons why. While the developers affirmed that the game would have a harder edge than its previous Batman titles, the ESRB had yet to release its official summary detailing the content that offended it most. If you've remained curious as to the board's reasons, you might be interested in checking out its newly released summary detailing what makes Arkham Knight worse than its T for Teen predecessors.

According to the summary, the game will include "blood, language, suggestive themes [and] violence." That might sound par for the course for the Dark Knight, but the picture becomes a bit grimmer when you delve deeper into the specifics. In addition to the usual bits of Bat-violence, the game will include a sequence where the player uses the Batmobile's wheels "to torture an enemy." There will also be several scenes with prominent "bloodstains/pools of blood" along with "one room [depicting] a person torturing a character on a bloody operating table." Interestingly, players will apparently also be able to "shoot unarmed characters and a hostage" as well as visit Gotham's "red-light district." Foul language will likewise appear in abundance, including words like "b*tch," "a*s," and my personal favorite, "gobsh*te."

Looking at the summary as a whole, it definitely appears as though Rocksteady founder Sefton Hill was telling the truth last month when he said that Akrham Knight will be going "to some dark places." Just speaking personally, I'll be interested to see what under what context Batman decides to run someone over with the Batmobile. It's not like it would be the first time the character went that extreme, but still. Yeesh.

Source: ESRB

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Honestly... it kind of seems like they're trying to be too edgy with this game. Sure, there have been plenty of dark tales told in this universe ("Killing Joke", "Dark Knight Returns", etc.), but I don't think people play Batman games for grittiness.

So far RS has had good ideas with Arkham games, maybe the only good reaction in the spirit of the news would be "F*** yeah!" and keep our fingers crossed the game will be fun and interesting.

Hm... Well if they are already getting an M rating I think they should pull out all the stops. Add a bit of blood or some teeth getting knocked out during some of the fights. It would be interesting to see a hard M Batman game.

Fappy:
Honestly... it kind of seems like they're trying to be too edgy with this game. Sure, there have been plenty of dark tales told in this universe ("Killing Joke", "Dark Knight Returns", etc.), but I don't think people play Batman games for grittiness.

It's pretty much been that way since the first Arkham game though. That game had grit coming out of its nose, and over here it was already rated M or the equivalent of that.

Whether or not Batman going all Mr. Blond on dudes is going to fit the character, I don't know. But then I don't know what the ESRB considers 'torture' -- Maybe we'll get a rhythm game where Batman does the Batusi.

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Casual Shinji:

Fappy:
Honestly... it kind of seems like they're trying to be too edgy with this game. Sure, there have been plenty of dark tales told in this universe ("Killing Joke", "Dark Knight Returns", etc.), but I don't think people play Batman games for grittiness.

It's pretty much been that way since the first Arkham game though. That game had grit coming out of its nose, and over here it was already rated M or the equivalent of that.

Whether or not Batman going all Mr. Blond on dudes is going to fit the character, I don't know. But then I don't know what the ESRB regards as 'torture' -- Maybe we'll get a rhythm game where Batman does the Batusi.

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Of those that I played Arkham Asylum was the only one I really enjoyed, and while it had it grit for sure it also had plenty of camp. I think one of the reasons it worked so well was because of its jarring marriage between classic Batman campiness and Nolan-like seriousness. If it can maintain that balance it should work out fine, but so far all I have seen is grimdark Batman.

So, we're basically going full Frank Miller with this entry into the series. Good to know.

Some of dem hyperlinks appear to be borked.

I'm also curious as to what context these events are going to have. In a vacuum it seems like a, uh, bit much, but the actual game should very well have some explanation. Hopefully.

Sounds like maybe an expansion of the interrogation system, which up to this point was simply "grab guy, watch interrogation". Maybe now you have to smash guys against walls and break bones to get them to talk.

I better be able to save the person being tortured on the table, or I'm not going to be happy. I already didn't like it when The Joker kicked that guy into the electric pool and fried him and there was nothing I could do.

Running, or threatening to run, someone over with the Batmobile, huh? Um...okay. HISHE's How the Dark Knight Should Have Ended comes to mind in a way...

Casual Shinji:

Fappy:
Honestly... it kind of seems like they're trying to be too edgy with this game. Sure, there have been plenty of dark tales told in this universe ("Killing Joke", "Dark Knight Returns", etc.), but I don't think people play Batman games for grittiness.

It's pretty much been that way since the first Arkham game though. That game had grit coming out of its nose, and over here it was already rated M or the equivalent of that.

Whether or not Batman going all Mr. Blond on dudes is going to fit the character, I don't know. But then I don't know what the ESRB considers 'torture' -- Maybe we'll get a rhythm game where Batman does the Batusi.

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...We're never going to get a Batman sandbox set in the 60s series, are we? Nor one set in the Batman Beyond continuity...

RJ Dalton:
So, we're basically going full Frank Miller with this entry into the series. Good to know.

Lord, I hope not. The other games seems to channel the animated series, and really struck the perfect balance between the cartoon, the Nolan films, the comics, and the Tim Burton movies. That's really hard, but it felt like a real celebration of batman. But torturing people for information? Shooting people? No thanks.

Millers interpretation of batman was always my least favorite, and entered into the realm of self parody pretty quickly. I always kind of grimace when people list it as their favorite batman story.

Based on the discription, I guess it's safe to assume that Hush will be around again but I'm having trouble thinking who Bats would torture with the wheels of the Batmobile...one of the heavies would be the best guess obviously, Bane or Killer Croc...Speculation aside though including scenes of torture, especially if it's Batman torturing somebody, just seems like darkness for the sake of darkness. It's almost like this was going to be a Watchmen game staring Warshak. My fingers are crossed for the next non-Lego Batman game being light hearted. My fingers are also crossed that Adam West's Batman will be a playable skin for the campaign just for the fun of it.

Why is this such a big deal at all? Most gamers are old enough to buy an M game, and its not like the rating system has ever stopped a parent from buying their kids these games.

Didn't they get rid of one of the head writers for Asylum and City? That might explain the tone shift somewhat.

Torture is nothing new to this series, just look at Origins. Tortured me greatly.

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Yeah while I don't care for their reasoning behind giving an "M" rating, I am somewhat bewildered by the fact that they announced the rating and delayed the release of the details. There are a limited number of reasons to give something such a rating, so I think people could take a rough stab at it. And if "torture scenes" would put people off the game, it's not going to matter because pre-order people will likely keep up-to-date on the Arkham Knight news and cancel their pre-order anyway.

Maybe we are seeing a new side to Batman? Jokers death still fresh in his mind kind of thing. He might blame himself for Jokers death. and to stop it happening again, using harsher tactics.

Torture is nothing new for Batman though, Hanging people for buildings for interrogations, punching thugs senseless...in the head.

Oooh and did i mention the time he attached riddler to an explosive device in AC where Riddler had to be constantly moving?...yeh. You get the idea.

"Gobshite"?

If anything, that probably means the Penguin is due for an appearance. He's the only one Rocksteady designed with an English background, ergo the only one with the English dialect to fit that word.

Unless Americans have started using "gobshite" instead of "prick" or "asshole" and nobody told me, of course.

But we already ran over Bane once. And $10 says Zsasz is the one playing doctor.

Fappy:

Of those that I played Arkham Asylum was the only one I really enjoyed, and while it had it grit for sure it also had plenty of camp. I think one of the reasons it worked so well was because of its jarring marriage between classic Batman campiness and Nolan-like seriousness. If it can maintain that balance it should work out fine, but so far all I have seen is grimdark Batman.

Honestly, a lot of what I'm guessing you consider the camp aspects wouldn't be considered camp by the writers based on what I've heard them say. It was either unintentional or meant to be more mild really. Some of it was intentional but not as much as you might thing.

Nothing personal, but I'm also really tired of people continuing to cite Nolan as gritty seriousness blargh. Terrible, startling (not truly scary) at best, throat voice with few downtime moments, serious treatment of superhero material, etc. do not alone define gritty and seriousness nor are they alone what necessarily made the good parts of the Nolan movies good (I say this because I hated a lot of what happens in those movies, even if I liked them overall, especially The Dark Knight Rises.)

Also, I don't think they're intentionally emphasizing grimdark Batman. They want to go out with a bang they said. That's all. Plus, that focus is meant to highlight gameplay features and plot and grimdark happens to coincide when discussing. They definitely are emphasizing the stakes, but like how I said campy was somewhat unintended so I like to imagine is some of the grimdark you're seeing especially if you consider Nolan to be a setter for such a standard.

MC1980:
Didn't they get rid of one of the head writers for Asylum and City? That might explain the tone shift somewhat.

Paul Dini. He was told that they were looking less to freelance writers I believe. He wasn't the only writer and they had a general idea about the series anyway. I don't think it explains a tone shift. If you ask me I don't think there will be much of one. Sefton Hill, creative director, said he was frankly taken aback they got an M rating. They didn't go out looking for one. They wanted to go out with a bang since this is the end of a trilogy, but a lot of what we're hearing about the game just sounds like a natural expansion on themes they've already built. But, maybe that's just me.

MC1980:

Torture is nothing new to this series, just look at Origins. Tortured me greatly.

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marioandsonic:

...We're never going to get a Batman sandbox set in the 60s series, are we? Nor one set in the Batman Beyond continuity...

All they had to do was add in those sound effects and the music to the 60s Batman skin. THEY HAD ONE JOB!

Everyone keeps asking for Batman Beyond and I just don't see it happening any time soon =(

I miss the animated series version of batman who actually cared about people. It seems like each iteration of him latley is turning him more and more into the bill o'riely of DC

No idea if this game is out or not, but all I have to say is that without context this information is almost completely useless.

StewShearer:
...the game will include a sequence where the player uses the Batmobile's wheels "to torture an enemy."

Well, they don't specifically state that the player is the one doing the torturing or that the vehicle in question is actually the Batmobile.

As for the hostage-shooting, since the blurb actually states that players "primarily" assume the role of Batman, I could see the player taking one of the rogues for a spin in one or more sequences, be it as part of a fear Toxin-induced hallucination or whatever...

Smilomaniac:
No idea if this game is out or not, but all I have to say is that without context this information is almost completely useless.

Agreed. In an industry where showing a boob is enough to get an M-rating, I'm not very impressed. Oh, but we have torture. OK, GTA V had it too; but that wasn't what made it M-rated (and it wasn't even the best part of the game). We'll have to wait to see how good it ends up.

Just a thought that came to mind.

It says the player uses the wheels of the Batmobile to torture an enemy, but it didn't say Batman was the character being controlled during that segment.

As far as I'm concerned, good.

For all its issues, the part I liked most about "Arkham Origins" was that it felt grittier and more brutal than the other Arkham games. Arkham City is easily one of my favorite games ever, but I definitely rolled my eyes when Batman was punching the crap out of a Shark. Less cheese, more grit is fine in my book.

I'm less surprised by the M rating and more surprised that, after browsing through my game shelf, I've confirmed both Arkham Asylum and City are rated T. Could've sworn the series had been rated M at least since City.

 

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