A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Batman: Arkham Knight is the latest game in the Arkham franchise. It's a darker entry than previous games, including more graphic scenes of violence and torture. Combat is still the primary focus of the game, with lots of overwhelming close-up melee fighting. The addition of the Batmobile as a core mechanic also introduces vehicular combat. The dialogue is gritty, and criminals make fairly regular use of profanity. Plenty of characters refer to drinking and drug use, and the Penguin in particular is frequently shown smoking a cigar. Criminals occasionally mention innuendo or sexual references, female characters are dressed in suggestive outfits, and the town's red-light district has signs advertising adult entertainment.
What's it about?
BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT is the fourth game in the series and the conclusion to the main Arkham story arc. In the story, the Scarecrow has threatened to release a new version of his fear toxin, forcing an evacuation of Gotham. This is part of a larger plan, as the various villains in Batman's Rogues Gallery have teamed up to take out the Dark Knight once and for all. In addition, a mysterious new antihero, the "Arkham Knight," has appeared to deliver his own brand of justice while plotting the downfall of Batman. New to the series is the Dark Knight's ability to take to the streets in the Batmobile, as well as occasional team-ups with various allies, including Nightwing, Robin, and Catwoman.
Is it any good?
For fans of any or all the previous Arkham games, or any Batman fan for that matter, Batman: Arkham Knight represents the pinnacle of the franchise. It's the first Batman game to carry a Mature rating from the ESRB, so younger sidekicks might want to be left in the Batcave this time around. The game is bigger, deeper, grittier, more detailed, and, on the whole, more engaging than any of the previous entries. Plus, the addition of the Batmobile to the game fulfills many fans' biggest wishes.
If there's one main criticism to be levied against Arkham Knight, it would be that the game is almost too big. By adding new abilities and moves to the combat system, as well as the extra layer of controls dedicated to driving and using the Batmobile, the controls aren't quite as instinctual. There's a steeper learning curve this time around, and until you get the hang of it, things simply don't feel as smooth as prior entries in the series. On the upside, once you get past that learning curve and start to really enjoy everything Arkham Knight has to offer, you're left with one simple thought: "I AM Batman!"
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what defines a "superhero." What are the traits that make a hero stand out and that separate the heroes from the criminals they fight?
How has the Batman character changed over the years? Discuss how changes in the audience and worldview have dictated changes in the character, from the cheesy '60s television version to the ultra violent Dark Knight version to the current Arkham version.
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $59.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
- Release date: June 23, 2015
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs
- ESRB rating: M for Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.