Regardless of medium, sequels are often marketed as the darker evolution of their predecessor, both in terms of story and style. For Batman: Arkham Knight, though, Rocksteady’s conclusive chapter is stealing headlines due to the fact that it represents the franchise’s first installment to be rated M for Mature.
It was an announcement that came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the studio has largely retained the gothic, crime-ridden nature of Gotham across Asylum and City. However, it appears as though Rocksteady isn’t pulling any punches with the upcoming threequel, which landed its M rating due to violence, swearing and use of blood.
To clarify the decision, the ESRB released a detailed, spoiler-filled breakdown of the content within Batman: Arkham Knight, though if you wish to remain relatively fresh ahead of its June release date, we would advise against reading on.
“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.”
Batman: Arkham Knight will swoop onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on June 2.