The United States' Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) has explained why Rocksteady Studios and Warner Bros' summer blockbuster Batman: Arkham Knight received a mature rating in February 2015.
The anticipated final entry in Rocksteady's Batman trilogy of games has been rated M for Mature due to "Blood, language, suggestive themes and violence".
Going further, their description of the game's content reveals large "pools of blood" at crime scenes after people are shot "on and off camera". They also describe a room in which the player witnesses someone torturing a person on a "bloody operating table."
Intriguingly, they also note that "during the course of the game, players can shoot unarmed characters and a hostage." Given Batman's stance on killing people (he doesn't) then this could be a sign that the player at some point takes over as another character.
That, or when they shoot they do not mean with lethal force, because Batman does regularly use non-lethal rounds. The ability to shoot a hostage does seem to undermine that however.
Rocksteady's Arkham trilogy began with Arkham Asylum in 2009. A sequel – Arkham City – was released in 2011 and a prequel – developed by Warner Bros Montreal – was released in 2013. Arkham Knight is Rocksteady's third and final game in the series, and the first to be released on the PS4 and Xbox One.
Below is the ESRB's full product description...
Batman: Arkham Knight will be released on 2 June for PC, Xbox One and PS4.