The long anticipated finale to the Arkham Trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight, is just four months away from its release on next-gen consoles (I better hurry and get a PS4 so I can play this)! Since its release date is so close, we didn't really expect that much news regarding the game, other than minor story info or perhaps a quick minor character reveal. But the one thing know one was thinking about, was the rating. Mainly because the previous two games in the series, Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, and even the prequel, Arkham Origins, were all rated 'T' for teen. So obviously, Arkham Knight had to be 'T' as well...right?
Nope! That big 'M' up there means "mature" and the newest Batman game has got it plastered on its cover art! That's right, this is no mistake; Batman: Arkham Knight will be rated M! Now, as a fan of the dark, nitty and gritty version of Batman, I love this! But, as a fan of the previous Arkham games, and a gamer who's well aware of the things an 'M' rating can mean for a game (excessive swearing, blood and gore etc.), I'm a little worried about this.
But according to Sefton Hill, founder of Rocksteady and game director on Arkham Knight, we don't have too much to worry about:
"From our point of view, we never wrote it or made it with a rating in mind. We never did that in the previous two games... We just felt that this is the story that we really wanted to tell.
In terms of creating the story, with such strong characters, sometimes they lead you in interesting directions. They lead you because you know who they are and you build the world around that."
I'm glad that they didn't go out of the way to make this game 'M' rated. It makes sense for them to have been focusing on the game itself and its worlds and characters more than they were focusing on the rating; and honestly makes their dedication towards this game even more impressive. The world of Batman is notoriously dark in the comics, and the Arkham games are the only things that have ever gotten close to successfully simulating the dark vibes that the tales of the caped crusader give off. With this game bringing all of Batman's toughest enemies together in a plan to take him down, you know this isn't going to be a walk in the park type of game.
It's going to get dark, gritty, and just about every feeling that gives off the exact opposite of sunshine and happiness is going to be present in this game. And with the "king of fear", Scarecrow behind it all, you know it's going to be frightening.
But I'm really glad that they're not exploiting this 'M' rating. I mean, the other games have definitely pushed the very boundaries of their 'T' rating already! Sure, there wasn't a lot of excessive blood and minimal to no gore, but Arkham Asylum was extremely dark and frightening for a 'T' game, and Arkham City definitely pushed the envelope with their excessive use of the word b*tch. So the Arkham games have always been close to the 'M' rating, but only ever for staying true to the harsh world of the source material. So if being rated 'M' is what it takes to make a truly awesome and faithful Batman game, then that's fine with me!
But obviously there are some Arkham fans out there who are under the age of 17 and thus, unfortunately, can not buy the game without a parent. Sefton Hill has addressed this:
"I'm not blind to the fact that [the M rating] does mean some fans will miss out... I don't want to be oblivious to that fact. It would have been wrong to water down the game and deliver a story we didn't believe in to keep the game "mass market" or enable it for more people. We feel that's the wrong way to go about it. We said we love the story and we don't want to jeopardize that."
Honestly, I think underage fans would be more angered if they were given a bad rated 'T' Arkham Knight, so I think it's a good decision on Rocksteady's part to keep the rating for the sake of the greatness of the game. But parents, or parental guardians, if you're looking at this rating and immediately thinking "too inappropriate for my child!", I URGE you to think differently. According to Hill, this 'M' rating is not like your average 'M' rating. It's not going to be sweary, bloody or gorey to the point where it might scar your young child. It may be frightening and dark and I get that might be a problem. But if you were to ever get them just one 'M' rated game, just one, I say skip over the most recent Call of Duty update..er, sorry...game and buy them this! Or at the very least, get it and play it with/for them because this is one game no Batman fan should have to miss!
Batman: Arkham Knight is coming out for PS4, Xbox One and PC on June 2nd, 2015! It will be the final game in the Arkham trilogy and the biggest! With insane visuals, improved game mechanics and a story set to get you on the edge of your couch seat, Arkham Knight needs to be on your wishlist!