Sounds Like Batman: Arkham Knight Will Be Surprisingly Violent

Illustration for article titled Sounds Like iBatman: Arkham Knight /iWill Be Surprisingly Violent

The world raised an eyebrow when it was revealed Batman: Arkham Knight would be M-rated, since the previous games—Arkham Asylum, Arkham City—were both T-Rated. The ESRB has now released its official ratings entry for Arkham Knight, providing insight into the decision.

If you don't want to know anything about Arkham Knight, consider this spoiler territory.

Here's what Arkham Knight's ERSB entry looks like:

Content Descriptors: Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence

Rating Summary: 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.


Kotaku has explored how the ESRB has viewed Rocksteady's Batman games in the past, wondering Arkham was getting away with T ratings, compared to other violent video games.

One could theorize the ESRB is simply judging Arkham Knight a tad harsher because of the increased visual fidelity, but there's one line that really stick out in the ratings description:

During the course of the game, players can shoot unarmed characters and a hostage.


That doesn't sound like Batman. Is it possible there are sequences where players control someone who doesn't have the same lofty ethical standards at the bat? We'll have to see.

You can reach the author of this post at or on Twitter at @patrickklepek.


Contact the author at

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


William MurderFace

Batman, The Dark Knight, and Detective Comics are very violent comics so this isn't really pushing boundaries. I remember when Batman shot his grappling hook through the Scarecrows jaw and out his mouth, got out of the hole he was thrown into, then ripped his hook out of the Scarecrows mouth thus ripping half of his jaw completely off. Yeah, this is childs play compared to the comics.