Rocksteady founder Sefton Hill says that Batman: Arkham Knight will take players “to some dark places.”
Batman (at least the modern iteration) is a character that tends not to tread in shiny, happy places. He fights mobsters and psychopaths; taking on the horribleness of the world and pounding it into submission with the power of his hyper-trained fists. It’s not uncommon, in turn, for his stories to involve some supremely messed up stuff. Regardless of that fact, he’s considered by many to be a superhero for all ages. Be it comics, movies, television or video games, parents of children young and older often have no qualms about exposing their younglings to the adventures of the Dark Knight.
According to the ESRB however, parents may want to pause for a moment before giving little Johnny or Judy Batman: Arkham Knight. While the ratings group has yet to reveal exactly why, it has recently been confirmed that Rocksteady’s latest Batman game will be receiving a Mature rating. Addressing the board’s decision, Rocksteady founder Sefton Hill attributed it mainly to the game’s story, which he said will go “to some dark places.”
“As the end of the trilogy, we have every villain in Gotham working together to destroy Batman,” he said. “It’s unavoidable that some bad stuff is going to happen. But that doesn’t mean we changed our approach. We’re not including gratuitous blood or swearing. We want to deliver a true end with no compromises, and it takes us to some dark places.” He would go on to say that while the game will maintain a balance in terms of its overall tone, it will include “more mature” themes than previous entries in the series. “In the case of Arkham Knight, Batman is at his peak and most powerful… But to counter that strength, the super villains are going to fight dirty and take him to dark places.”
According to Hill, there was some concern from the game’s publishers at Warner Brothers about certain “key scenes.” Despite this however, Rocksteady stuck to its guns and intends to release the game as is, even if some younger gamers aren’t able to play as a result of its higher rating. “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,'” he said. “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.”