Opinion: Batman Arkham Knight Gets A Mature Rating. Okay, So What?

I try to not write overly cynical or snarky posts here but after reading not one but two “news” pieces on IGN yesterday, this is something I need to get off my chest.

The posts in question relate to Rcoksteady’s upcoming Batman: Arkham Knight, a game that I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on when it releases in June. News broke recently that Arkham Knight was given an “M” (Mature) rating by the ESRB and for some odd reason IGN felt the need to write not one but two posts about it, both of which were extremely similar to one another.


My first thought was something to the effect of: “Okay, so?”

Now, I understand that this is the first real M rated Batman and that’s fine, I just don’t get why it’s such a huge news story. They made it seem like this is a massive deal and frankly, I don’t see it that way. Based on the comments those posts garnered, many readers feel the same way as I do.

Whether or not you enjoy the Arkham games, I think we can all agree that the games present Batman in a more gritty and mature light. The city itself is dark, dirty and filled to the gills with thugs, so you kind of know what you’re getting into. All three games don’t hesitate to dive into some dark, scary territory (anyone remember that Morgue scene from Arkham Asylum? *shivers*) and I’m not surprised that Arkham Knight pushes the franchise further down that path. Even Arkham City pushed the Teen rating it got so I am curious how much more brutal the series can get.

Listen, I’m glad Rocksteady stuck to their guns and didn’t back down on their vision for Arkham Knight even after confronted with a higher rating than they thought they’d get. I don’t expect a huge change in tone as compared to the previous games even with the maturing rating on this one. Based on the trailers and information we’ve gotten on the game, it’s reasonable enough to assume how high the stakes are for Batman this time around as many (if not all) of the villains unite to take him down. That could factor into the rating in some way as Batman’s enemies pull out all the stops to take him out. Even with that said, I still expect to see bone crunching melee combat, brutal takedowns, female villains in light skimpy clothes, and swearing. Nothing out of the ordinary from what we’ve gotten up to this point.

So it does make you wonder just what Rocksteady has added to push the game further in the ESRB’s eyes. With the Scarecrow back in the mix, one can only wonder…

What about you? Is the “M” rating truly a big deal or is it getting a little blown out of proportion? Let me know what you think.

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6 Responses to Opinion: Batman Arkham Knight Gets A Mature Rating. Okay, So What?

  1. C. T. Murphy says:

    I was one of the people who thought The Dark Knight should’ve been a R movie. Lack of fucks and gore are one thing, but it just seemed especially creepy and dark to only be PG-13. The same goes for this series: I am not sure T really covers the emotional sense of fear and dread you get.

    Though, either rating system is pretty stupid, so take these opinions with a grain of salt.

    • Yeah, I definitely see where you’re coming from. Personally, the T or M debate doesn’t affect me much anyway so whatever happens I’m okay with.

      In terms of the game franchise, I’ve always felt that Rocksteady has managed to push the T rating in each of their games in terms of atmosphere and story. The games already have a mature vibe about them which is why I can’t understand why so much attention has been given to the ‘M’ rating. I can’t see Arkham Knight really changing all that much due to an M on it’s box.

  2. cary says:

    Mmmm…my response to Arkham Knight and its rating will be seen later on a particularly nice website that unites gamers… But I have to agree with you that the Batman games have already gone to the edge of the “T” rating as it is. Each game deals with plenty of disturbed individuals, some more than others, and Batman himself can be particularly ruthless and emotionless at times. They certainly aren’t “nice” games. Will the “M” rating really make a difference for Arkham Knight? I doubt it as well.

  3. Tyler Baker says:

    i think it’s hog-wash. look at the differences in the rating Rating Summary and the Content Descriptors between ac and ak. i think we can all agree it’s gonna be a bit more clean.

    • Exactly, not sure why it was such a hot topic news story. The Arkham games were already gritty and violent so it’s going to be more of the same.
      The rating doesn’t matter as people should know what they’re getting into already from the previous games.

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