Batman: Arkham Knight has been rated an M [17 or older] by the US ratings board ESRB. This makes it the first game in the series to do so.
Does this mean we're going to get an overly edgy rendition of the goddamn Batman?
Not so, according to Rocksteady founder and game director Sefton Hill. "We never wrote it or made it with a rating in mind," Hill explained in an interview with 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," Hill added. "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."
Hill wasn't that surprised by the rating as Warner Bros. had previously sent him an e-mail concerning a couple of particularly mature scenes that were likely to affect the age-rating.
Hill said VP of production at DC Comics, Ames Kirshen, asked him what he wanted to do and he remained stalwart in his belief that the scenes needed to stay. "They were key scenes! We couldn't lose them!"
"I'm not blind to the fact that [the M rating] does mean some fans will miss out," Hill lamented. "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 jeopardise that."
According to the ESRB, Batman: Arkham Knight contains: "blood, language, suggestive themes [and] violence."
Unless Rocksteady makes any drastic changes to the series, we're pretty sure the player isn't going to kill anyone. Causing permanent brain damage and unspecified amounts of emotional trauma however remains to be seen.
Batman: Arkham Knight is due on 2nd June for PS4, Xbox One and PC.