Batman: Arkham Knight will take its titular hero to some "dark places", according to game director Sefton Hill. This follows confirmation that the release has been awarded an M rating by US ratings board ESRB, meaning that it's intended for players aged 17 or over only. However, the executive insists that the studio won't be going overboard with the release's violence.
"We never wrote it or made it with a rating in mind," he told IGN. "We never did that in the previous two games. As the end of the trilogy, we have every villain in Gotham working together to destroy Batman. It's unavoidable that some bad stuff is going to happen. But that doesn't mean that 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."
According to Hill, Warner Bros had previously warned him that a couple of mature scenes may affect the rating, but he opted to keep them in. "They were key scenes – we couldn't lose them," he exclaimed. "I'm not blind to the fact that [the M rating] does mean that some fans will miss out. It would have been wrong to water down the game and deliver a story that we didn't believe in to keep the game 'mass market' or enable it for more people."
Apparently, the title features "blood, language, suggestive themes, and violence" – but we'll need to wait for the full release to see which specific scenes pushed it over the edge. It's probably safe to assume that the Dark Knight won't be doing much murdering – but he's unlikely to have any qualms knocking a few heads together.