The video game world was shocked when the Entertainment Software Rating Board or ESRB awarded the final chapter in Batman's Arkham adventures, Batman Arkham Knight an M rating meaning the game would not be as accessible to younger Batman fans as previous games which received a T rating. However we never received an actual reason behind the rating which the reason behind the decision has now been revealed.
The explanation behind the rating provided by the ESRB centers around a scene in the game in which someone is tortured on "a bloody operating table", though they also mention moments where you can shoot unarmed characters and a hostage. It is questionable because of this reasoning whether we might be playing as another character during a few instances based simply on Batman not being a killer and constantly refusing to kill. The full reasoning from the ESRB is below:
"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."
It is good reasoning behind the rating and I am glad it was explained, either way I am excited to play the game. Interestingly this does make me wonder the exact rating other countries will get when Arkham City was rated M in Australia and 16 in England, this does make me question if Australia will see an MA 15+ rating on Arkham Knight. I will just have to wait and see.