Batman: Arkham Asylum

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: While combat is bloodless, Batman has a strict no kill policy, and the majority of disturbing content listed is optional, suggested, and mostly heard, not seen; combat is still brutal and violent; Scarecrow's induced visions are haunting and bizarre; both Harley and—especially—Poison Ivy are dressed in little, act in a suggestive manner and have noticeable "bounce"; language is moderate; Batman may not kill, but the crazies around him do, frequently; and most of all, the Joker's disturbing, devil-may-care mentality (he relishes chaos and others suffering just for the thrill) permeates into his constant mind games and extends to ally behavior, creating a dark, hostile atmosphere for Batman to contend with. So I recommend this game for ages 14+.

Alcohol and tobacco reference: Early in, Batman uses his Evidence Scanner to scan a fallen flask of whiskey bourbon belonging to an enemy he needs to track (you'll see a wafting trail of the substance through your Detective mode's visor)—later, you track kidnapped Commissioner Gordon's pipe tobacco trail. In a villain, Frank Boles' bio, it's mentioned, "He has twice been suspended for drinking on the job."; it's mentioned in Killer Croc's bio that he was, "raised by an alcoholic aunt"; and in a patient "Interview [audio] Tape," after he's given a tough question by an asylum doctor, an inmate and a main villain, Scarecrow asks, "Can I have a drink? A strong one?"

Blood: When Batman is shot in close-quarters by enemy weapons, he appears to shed a light cloud of the substance—otherwise there is no blood in gameplay. There is light to moderate amounts of dark, muddied, pre-existing blood splattered and speckled on walls and floors throughout; at one point you use the blood coming from the Warden's injured face to track him—after saving him and (later) Gordon, both have bloody cuts on their faces—near the end, Batman has a ragged appearance, including a few bloody cuts on his face, and several areas of the asylum have IV machines with what appears to be bright red blood flowing within; nothing is attached to said devices. Unconscious enemy bodies do lingerBatman does not kill—and there are many dead (unbloodied) asylum guard and staff bodies scattered throughout, as well as a dead guard—victim of Joker's toxin—strapped to a dolly; lifeless eyes staring in terror, his face forced into a wide grin; and at one point, a group of skeletal remains.

Specific scenes of blood (& mild gore):

(The ESRB didn't mention that there is mild scenes and reference of gore; "scenes" in regards to certain mutant appearances and transformations, "reference" in regards to optional, collectable patient "Interview [audio] Tapes" and villain biographies.)

  • Many of Joker's thugs have thick, visible stitches around the top of their skulls, and later asylum "lunatics" have attached headgear, which keeps their eyes and mouths open with multiple, sharp rods sticking at their perimeter—these details can be seen in more detail on their unlockable models in "Character Trophies."
  • Early in, it's mentioned that Killer Croc (once human, now a hulking creature in resemblance of his namesake, and prisoner at Arkham Asylum) had chewed off the head guard, Aaron Cash's hand in a failed escape. This is further detailed in Killer Croc's optional, collectable Interview (audio) Tapes; Dr. Whistler: Cash is lucky to be alive. He lost a lot of blood. Killer Croc: Me too, I nearly choked on that bony hand of his (laughs). Dr.: That's disgusting. He could have died. Killer Croc: He's just food to me. And once I get a taste, I want the rest of the meal. Killer Croc: (laughs) Got your scent too, lady! Along with a light confirmation he eats his victims; Killer Croc: So how about this? You let me go, and I won't eat you. Dr.: You don't really eat people. It's an urban myth. Killer Croc: You think? (laughs) Keep believing that, Doc. And lastly, a look into his barbaric methods; Dr. Whistler: What happened in that house? Croc: Just business. Dr.: Business? What kind of business practices result in a house full of mutilated corpses? Croc: They owed me. Dr.: So you killed them. Tore up their bodies. The police never found all the pieces. Croc: They should have looked in the sewers (laughing).
  • In a brief scene, after Batman finds Bane (in his smaller, natural state) he sees Bane hooked to a machine with dozens of tubes sticking into his body; the tubes start to pump Bane's body full of a green liquid, stretching out his flesh, bulging his veins, and causing his muscles to rapidly and grotesquely expand in size.
  • Batman's intel expert, Oracle (aka, Batgirl; her bio says her spine was severed by Joker, and she's been confined to a wheelchair ever since), reads one of the Joker's emails over radio, mentioning Joker sent someone a threat email with a picture of a dead baby—this person was trying to back out, Joker didn't like it.
  • You overhear mentions of the escaped villain, Zsasz, cutting off the ears off his female doctor hostage—which does not come to pass—and when you reach him, he holds a knife to her throat, threatening to, "Paint the room crimson with her blood!" Zsasz's bio describes his twisted behavior, detailing the fact that he is a serial killer with no real pattern, just a compulsive desire to kill, "Arranging the corpses of his victims in life-like poses" and then "Carving a mark for each of his victims into his own body"; this can clearly be seen on his unlockable model. His deranged mind is further revealed in optional, collectable Interview (audio) Tapes, as he threatens the interviewing doctor, saying, "And I have a space for yours—referring to his marks—Do you want to see where?"; Dr. Cassidy: Victor, yesterday we spoke about the people you killed. Zsasz: The zombies. Dr.: They are all people, Victor. Zsasz: They are zombies, waiting for someone to liberate them. Dr. Cassidy: You mean kill. The report states that you have murdered, or liberated if you like, 20 young women in the last 3 months. Each had her throat slit and was left...posed. Zsasz: They were all lucky to be chosen to receive my gift. Another tape reveals his escape; Dr. Whistler: Is there anything you'd like to talk about today? Zsasz: Cutting and cutting and cutting and cutting and. Dr. Whistler: Victor! Get him out of here. Guard 1: You heard the doctor! Guard 2: He's got a knife (screaming/sounds of them struggling)! Guard 2: Get a trank in him! Oh God! He's on Bill! Guard 3: He's cutting him. Get him off. Get him off!
  • After Batman is knocked to the floor from an explosion, you see from his point of view, on the floor, as Harley plunges the Warden own cane into his stomach and knocks him in the face, breaking off the cane's tip and bloodying his face.
  • After capturing Arkham Asylum's Warden, Harley forces him to say things over the loudspeakers (guards should unload their firearms...into their heads, etc).
  • You overhear one of Joker's thugs—who's lying in wait to ambush you—say this to another about someone who owed him money, "When I found out he had no cash, I cut out his kidney, liver and a few other bits, and sold'em on the street."
  • After you catch up to Joker, he proceeds to shoot two of his thugs with his Titan serum, turning them into superhuman, mutated monsters; they begin to squirm violently while their spines and bones break through their skin, raised flesh and muscle tissue visible from around said protrusions, as their bodies swell in size.
  • At the end, the Joker himself takes the Titan serum and transforms into an even more grotesque version of his henchmen, with bulging veins, pasty skin, and an abundance of torn flesh, exposing muscle tissue in patches all over, along with bony protrusions, spine (like jagged spearheads) and ribs included, fully poking from beneath his skin; blood drips down his sides—both his and his henchmen's Titan-formed models can be unlocked and then viewed in "Character Trophies."
  • After the Joker is subdued and reverts back to his original form, he's seen being wheeled back into the asylum with a bloodied and bruised face; he then cracks a wide-smile and begins to laugh, revealing a near complete lack of front teeth.
  • This is heard in an optional, collectable Riddler Interview (audio) Tape; Riddler: What is it that walks on four legs, then two legs, and finally three legs? Dr.: A human. As a baby it crawls on four legs, as an adult it walks around on two and in later years it uses a cane. Riddler: (laughing) Good try, but the answer to all three is a baby. It crawls on all fours, but cut off its legs and it can only wiggle on two limbs. Give it a crutch, it can hobble around on three. Dr. Young: That's horrible. How can you even joke about that? Riddler: Easily. It's not my baby.
  • It's briefly mentioned in Two-Face's bio on how "a criminal threw acid in Dent's face, hideously scarring him" turning him into his present, split-persona form.
  • In a villain, the Great White Shark's bio, it explains how he was sent to Arkham, eventually thrown into Mr. Freeze's cell and "After being in the freezing cold cell for a while, he managed to untie his bonds but 'at a cost of three fingers and his right thumb'." And "fell on his knees and hit his face on the floor in frustration" ruining "the area from his upper lip to the bridge of his nose, scarring him."
  • A villain, Black Mask's bio details how he sought revenge on Bruce Wayne, and "carved one (a mask) from his father's black coffin; his ensuing battle with the Dark Knight caused his mask to be (most permanently) burnt into his skin."
  • A villain, Humpty Dumpty's bio details how he was "obsessed with taking things apart and putting them back together." And "His crimes at first were minor, but soon his obsession grew to a gruesome attempt to 'fix' his abusive grandmother by dismembering her and then attempting a Frankenstein-like reassembly."
  • Many of the above villains' bio illustrations in their biographies (including Killer Croc—who has light blood splatter on his gauze wrapped hands, which is in the position of wiping his mouth; maybe from his consumed victims—Clayface, The Great White Shark, etc.) are mildly disturbing and/or grotesque in appearance.
  • Upon reading hidden writings of Amadeus Arkham, founder of Arkham Asylum (who eventually killed his first patient with a fatal dose of electroshock therapy; said patient murdered Amadeus' wife and daughter—after the incident, Amadeus became a patient) Quincy Sharp, the insane administrator of Arkham Asylum, is obsessed with these messages, eventually intermixing his own—his personality splits, one side wishing to cure Gotham, the other to kill its patients. A couple of Amadeus' optional, scannable messages are quite disturbing, the first detailing his trip back home from abroad, where he was very "eager to see my wife and family." But instead "I ended it kneeling in their blood, broken fragments of my life pouring through dripping red fingers." And after he founded the asylum; My family's killer stood in front of me. Years of therapy have deemed him sane. I was proud to see him walk free. In exchange for his liberty (it) required only a signature. He talked about how he longed to feel fresh air on his face, and then he took my father's fountain pen and killed my secretary. As he was subdued, he screamed out, pleading for forgiveness, I had none. I watched as the guards beat him to a stain on the floor. The lines begin to blur, Quincy's own disturbing messages start to pop-up, with his obsession to ultimately kill Joker; How could I not see it until now? The monster had a confederate! I hid in the darkness near his cell and saw one of the doctors whispering to him. Fighting the urge to dash the woman's head through the glass, I let her continue; I'm sure the woman will reveal what she knows to me. If not willingly, a lobotomy, I think. And then, his failed attempt to kill the Joker; He (Joker) watched as I entered. He smiled as I showed him the knife. I told him how I will use it. And then terror. I struggled. I screamed, but I was silent. He ran my blade slowly across my forehead.

Mild language: There are (including the optional, collectable patient Interview [audio] Tapes) over a dozen uses of hell, under a dozen uses of b*tch, d*mn and God, three or under uses of a** and p*ss, and one use of SoB. An optional, collectable "Spirit of Arkham" audio/text message has one use of d*mn; two villain bios each have a single use of hell, one in context, "hell itself", the other, "hellhole"; and a comic book title in the character bio section—showing when certain characters were first introduced—is titled "Arkham Asylum: Living Hell #1". Other than the main script, Joker's thugs are overheard saying, "Oh God!" or "D*mn it! He's out cold!", when fellow thugs' downed bodies are found; "Oh God! Oh God! I've lost him!", "Where the hell are you!" or "Hell with this!" when they've lost your trail; "What the hell was that?" when they hear you; "What the hell is this thing? D*mn, Batman's screwing with us!" when you toss out a Sonar Batarang; and stun baton equipped thugs will infrequently say, "I'll fry your a** Batman!" These lines will be uttered repeatedly by enemy henchmen in the Challenge Mode's "Predator" stages. There is no option to turn language off.

Suggestive themes:

  • While he's being scanned by a machine for weapons, Joker says, "Y'know what? I prefer the good old cavity search. Much more personal." And as he is visually inspected by one of the asylum's doctors, Joker abruptly states, "Need to take my temperature? I'd be happy to drop my pants *abrupt, maniacal laughter*."
  • Harley (Joker's girlfriend) is in a mildly revealing outfit (roll-over for example), and acts in a somewhat lewd and provocative manner throughout the game.
  • As you attempt to rescue hostages from the Joker's thugs, you overhear a thug ask another, "So that's Doc Young?" who replies, "Yeah, and she can operate on me anytime!" (in reference to one of the Arkham Asylum doctors being held).
  • While you navigate a later area of Arkham Asylum island, Joker asks (over PA), "Tell me bats? what are you really scared of? Failing to save this cesspool of a city? Not finding the Commissioner in time? Me, in a thong (crazed laughter)?"
  • Poison Ivy is very shapely and garbed in an extreme minimum (roll-over for an example). Her speech and movements are seductive and overtly sexual; in her scenes, it will often pan/focus on her pronounced chest and nearly bare behind; and light but discernible breast physics are in effect on both her and Harley.
  • Joker's and Harley's optional, collectable Interview (audio) Tapes contain mildly suggestive dialog(s); Dr. Young: Today I thought we'd try something different. Joker: You'll make me blush, Doc. I have a girlfriend. Dr. Young: Dr. Quinzel. I know. I've seen the tapes. I saw what happened. Dr. Young: Anyway, I thought it'd be good to talk about your childhood. Joker: Ever heard of romance, Doc? I don't give up the goods for free. Harley's Interview Tapes reveal how the Joker slowly seduced her (she was once a doctor at the asylum); Dr. Harleen Quinzel: Patient interview #1. Joker: So, I'm your first, am I, toots? You know what they say, you never forget your first time. I'll try to make it memorable. He gets her to smuggle him a gun; Dr. Harleen Quinzel: (whispering) I got what you wanted. Joker: You did? I mean...good. How did you smuggle it in...actually, I don't want to know. Quincy Sharp's (a mad administrator) view, in an optional message, of their affair from afar gives another look; I hid in the darkness near his cell. She looked at him through the barrier with tenderness, with, dare I say, desire. My skin crawled as she kissed the glass. Unfortunate for one so young, but her lust has put the reputation of Arkham at stake. Yes. A lobotomy, the very thing.
  • Ivy's Interview Tapes tell of her seducing, then almost killing an asylum doctor.
  • Both Harley's and Poison Ivy's bio illustrations (roll-over here/here) are mildly suggestive. And each of their in-game character models can be unlocked, then viewed in "Character Trophies," allowing you to pan up and down, left and right, zoom in and rotate their models in 360 degrees—and in full detail.

Violence: After he easily (too easily) foils the Joker's attack on Gotham City's Major's office, Batman transports the Joker to Arkham Asylum. As he escorts him through the asylum's layers of security, Batman learns that recent fires at Blackgate prison have led hundreds of prisoners (most of which are Joker's men) to be moved to the asylum that very night—not a good sign. After entering a final layer of security, with the help of his inmate girlfriend, Harley Quinn (which made her escape before his arrival), and a crooked security guard, Joker makes his move and takes over the asylum's security system, trapping its staff inside, Commissioner Gordon and Batman included. Now the tables are turned, with the Dark Knight imprisoned and crazed inmates free, ready to stop him from reaching the Joker at all cost. As he navigates the asylum grounds with assistance from his intel expert, Oracle (by radio), Batman discovers Joker's threats to detonate bombs scattered throughout Gotham City. But when this plan falls through, he begins to question Joker's motives; perhaps these events are just a smoke screen for something far more sinister—it's Batman's job to find out...

After you're lured, duped and trapped in Arkham Asylum, you'll begin your mission to take it back from Joker, and the base gameplay consists of using your combat moves and stealth in conjunction with your gadgets, to navigate Arkham Island's exterior and its five main complexes. You'll first use Detective Mode to spot enemies through walls and find exits, like the many grates, which you will then pry off and crawl through, to bypass blockages. You'll proceed with "Predator" stealth mode (when not, you'll brawl groups of surrounding enemies—earn points for each defeated, resulting in a level up) to flank and pick off armed henchmen one by one with the help of gargoyles mounted near ceilings (use the Grapnel Gun to mount), and alternate paths (floor grates, glass roofs, etc.), to (most often) save hostages. To traverse more complex areas, you will use (among an array of later gadgets) the grapple to reach high places; sprint or cape glide to cross gaps; jump to pull up on and/or shimmy across ledges; Explosive Gel to destroy frail walls; Batarangs to cut down objects or disable out-of-reach panels; and the Cryptographic Sequencer to disable security devices.

You'll be combating Joker's Blackgate Henchmen (who fight with their fists—later with pipes, knives and stun batons; in stealth portions, guns), mutated Henchmen on Titan serum; asylum Lunatics; Poison Ivy's spore-shooting plant pods, and poison-controlled asylum guards, along with many of Batman's arch enemies throughout, from Bane to Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow, and the Joker himself. The combat system is moderately brutal, and consists of you using Batman's devastating punches, kicks, elbow, knee, and counter moves to combat surrounding enemies. After wearing one down, Batman will perform a standing finisher—as the camera zooms in and goes into slow-mo—where you see and hear a variety of his audibly bone-crunching moves (if they're armed, he'll use their lead pipes against them) as they ragdoll to the floor, holding their arms in defensive positions; and he'll straddle fallen thugs, then lift and slam their heads to the floor. Batman can also use his Batarangs and Explosive Gel to stun them, or sneak up and non-lethally choke them. But all is bloodless, and (devoid Ivy's plants) Batman does not kill—he just beats them unconscious.

As soon as you step foot in the Arkham Asylum, you're trapped with dozens of freed, crazed inmates, along with the majority of Batman's worst enemies. Because of this, and the island's ruined nature, the atmosphere is dark, gritty and very hostile, a tone set early in by that of the monstrous Killer Croc—"I'll rip you apart. Eat your bones"; everyone has a "bone" to pick with you. Joker and his thugs aren't playing, evident by taunts to newly dead victims, as they talk of "wasting" their families once they're out, and Joker's devil-may-care, mind-game mentality throughout—one thing's clear, Joker is in control; he's the cat, you're the mouse, and devoid Oracle's support by radio, the isolation is palpable. As you navigate the asylum's grounds, the enemy will frequently ambush, surround and mercilessly attack you from all sides in groups of five or over, and they won't wait their turns, hitting all at once. The more clever henchmen will run to nearby walls and pry off lead pipes, then brandish them, or rip off objects and fling them at you—both of which temporarily triple your vision if hit.

When you're not fighting enemies head on, you'll have to use stealth to disarm armed threats, in order to (most often) negate staff hostage situations; but you'll have to be careful, as if you fail to stay hidden, the very alert, accurate and maneuverable thugs will swiftly down you with shotguns and automatics point-blank, causing your demise in little more than two hits—even Batman can only take so much. It only steps up, as brawling thugs equipped with knives (who can't be countered or hit without first being stunned) and stun batons (who can neither be countered nor attacked from the front), become more common later in, along with several brawlers armed with guns (which they can repeatedly pick back up if disarmed), and on the island's exterior, henchmen positioned on watchtowers with sniper rifles. Combat portions become more daunting, like in a couple of sequences where you have to contend with waves of henchmen, as those close to gun lockers on either side of the area will try to pry them open and use them against you, or another, where Harley switches electrical currents from floor to floor, all the while you fight wave upon wave of henchmen.

Once you reach the Penitentiary, the disturbed, animal-like Lunatics will be freed and fill the island; when you're spotted, they'll dash at, then lunge onto you in a snarling frenzy, forcing you to toss them off. Stealth portions also step up; each thug becomes fitted with a collar, letting all other patrollers in that area know when you've downed their fellows; at one point, you can't even use gargoyles—as they have been rigged to explode; and in a couple of on-edge sequences, you only have a limited time to save hostages, including one where you have to disable electricity surging through pools of water (with two guards hanging above them, soon to drop) and a locked door in order to disarm a bomb, all within two minutes. The Joker traps you in small areas and sics his mutated, Titan-drugged Henchmen on you throughout (in several instances, two at a time); huge, lumbering things that charge you like enraged bulls, send shock waves through the floor with their fists, and toss downed guard (and even allied thug) bodies your way, all as waves of undrugged Henchmen back them up.

Many of Batman's arch enemies make an appearance through tense boss battles, like the giant, strong-as-an-ox Bane, who rips off and flings heaps of concrete pillars and rams into you with his huge body, waves of thugs lending him a hand. Or Killer Croc, where you sneak on platforms floating above his underwater lair (in order to procure samples to destroy Ivy's mutated plants; they litter the island, firing damaging spores as you pass, and fill the interiors with lethal fumes); slight sounds tip him off to your positions as he breaks your footing or flies out of the water charging. The Scarecrow's creepy visions haunt you intermittently; he stands center within his dreamworld like a lighthouse, forcing you to avoid his searchlight gaze, as he rests his needle fingers on walls and peers over with his giant masked head, or calls his glowing-eyed skeletons to fight you; this intermixes with Bruce's inner fears, as he relives his parents' deaths, or his role switched, he the crazed, Joker the hero. If you're killed, the screen will go black as the offender taunts you in death, but despite being the hunted, it's never too daunting—with Batman's unparalleled skills, they don't stand a chance.

(Continue past the specific scenes below for the "Violence" section's closing paragraph)

Specific scenes of violence:

(Many of the below scenes can be disturbing in nature. Others only refer to or suggest violence—like villain biographies or enemies' overheard conversations.)

  • As he makes his hasty escape, the Joker wraps his handcuffs around an asylum guard's neck and chokes him, and violently hits the other guard several times.
  • Joker uses the asylum's vent system to pipe in his toxic green gas; you see this from behind a plate glass window as the asylum guards slowly choke to death.
  • Commissioner Gordon is briefly seen being violently knocked in the head with a baton by an undercover enemy on one of the asylum's security monitor feeds.
  • As you climb through a grate in an early area, you see two guards beg for their lives to the off-screen enemies; one guard says he has a kid, the other tells the enemy he doesn't have to do this. The enemy replies, "You're right. I don't have to, I just want to." Both of these guards are swiftly shot and killed (no blood).
  • When you reach a more secure (crazy) area of the prison, you watch through a plate glass window as asylum doctors and their crazed patients scream in terror and clutch their heads from the effects of Scarecrow's toxin—a disturbed inmate then abruptly presses his head against the separator, screaming in your face.
  • Scarecrow lures you to the morgue while you're unknowingly under his toxin. As you enter it, you see three bags on medical slabs; two are squirming. You unzip the first, revealing Bruce's father's deathly pale, pupil-lacking face; he turns his head eerily in your direction, saying that you should've helped face their killer. You open up the second, Bruce's mother, her body screams from her death. You then approach the motionless third and open it, as the Scarecrow unexpectedly jumps out, causing you to fall to your knees as your vision blurs and doubles.
  • You overhear the following conversation, as the Joker's henchmen lie in wait to ambush you; Enemy 1: Joker told me to kill my sister once. Enemy 2: Did you do it? Enemy 1: Hell yeah, never liked her anyway. Enemy 3: He said the same thing to me. I told him I ain't even have a sister. He just kept telling me to do it. So, I got in my car and ran over the first b*tch I saw. Joker seemed happy.
  • As you wait for an asylum doctor to reclaim notes from a safe, she opens it, and finds a bomb. Batman tells her to back away, but he's too late, as they're flung by the explosions—she's killed; her scorched body is visible in the aftermath.
  • Your second vision under the influence of Scarecrow's toxin begins as you walk down a long, warped hallway, which slowly morphs into a rain-drenched alley. You overhear the events that lead to Bruce's parents' deaths as you walk, the killer's gruff voice, his mother's distress, his father's pleas, and then a loud gun- shot, followed by child Bruce's and his mother's repeated screams to his father. She tells child Bruce to run, as you hear the man fire again; the screen flashes, revealing Bruce's dead (unbloodied) parents' bodies, one body atop the other.
  • You see Joker's thugs set trigger bombs on the gargoyles you use for stealth; to test it, Joker sets a bomb off as a thug is still setting one in place on a ladder.
  • As you traverse Arkham Island's catacombs, you overhear a radio conversation between Joker and one of his henchmen; after this thug lightly questions one of the Joker's orders, the Joker, in a matter-of-fact tone, replies with this, "I'll just have someone drive round to your house and break your wife's legs." And after telling him to forget it, Joker reinforces this, asking, "Did I ever tell you the one about the guy who came home to find his wife a paraplegic *cruel laughter*."
  • The third vision under the influence of Scarecrow's toxin shows as Batman's and the Joker's roles are switched; you play as Joker escorting Batman, who's being wheeled into the asylum. It switches to first-person, while Harley and the Joker patronize you, and Scarecrow acts as the inspecting doctor, telling them you're not worth salvaging—the Joker then pulls out a gun and shoots you point-blank. It cuts to Scarecrow's dreamworld and his "grave," as Batman's hand shoots out of the dirt and pulls himself out. As you traverse the bizzare landscape, you see Lunatic versions of Batman in cells, swatting at the air, rocking back and forth, arms wrapped around knees, and one even stooped down and eating at a rat.
  • Gordon is briefly seen being electrocuted in a chair as he screams and contorts.
  • After an interview gone sour (in a collectable [audio] Interview Tape), the Joker makes a blatant threat to his interviewer, "Didn't you hear me? You scratch my back, Doc, and...well, I won't have you wrapped in plastic and left in a gutter."
  • It's briefly detailed in a villain, the Ventriloquist's bio, that when he arrived at the Blackgate prison, "There he encountered the puppet Scarface, and promptly murdered the man who'd carved the puppet." Scarface was made from the tree, "from which 313 criminals with death sentences were hanged."

Along with the above listed, cutscenes contain a few explosions; the Joker's thugs are seen roughing up restrained asylum staff throughout; and a side character's killed in a violent explosion. As for age, while the combat is bloodless, Batman has a very strict no kill policy, and the majority of disturbing content listed is optional, suggested, and mostly heard, not seen; combat is still brutal and violent; Scarecrow's toxin-induced visions are haunting and bizarre; both Harley and—especially—Poison Ivy are dressed in little, act in a overtly suggestive manner and have noticeable "bounce"; language is moderate; Batman may not kill, but the crazies around him do, frequently; and most of all, the Joker's disturbing, devil-may-care psychology (he relishes chaos and others suffering just for the thrill; no sanity present) permeates into his constant, unnerving mind games and extends to ally behavior; creating a dark, hostile atmosphere for the Dark Knight to contend with—it's just more suited to mid-teens up.

Content review posted: 09/17/09

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