Here is my full, now spellchecked, EGX coverage. I have moved it to it's own thread so that new users can find it more easily, I can answer questions quicker and hopefully CODA will read it.
First off, and most importantly, I did not manage to get a video interview. The WB employees were there to help manage the theatre and when I found CODA inside he also could not release information in video form. Its all to do with PR and legality...
Having not seen the forum post by CODA, as I was travelling up to London in the morning, I had no idea that there was a way I could get in contact with a WB representative to interview, that I could skip the queue or that CODA was there at all... I asked WB employees from Batman, Lego Batman and the Twitch area if I could do I quick interview but I was given a card to send queries to and an apology.
Distraught, my only hope was that I could give my impression on the demo, which I had been avoiding leaked footage of. I got in the queue and waited patiently, when suddenly I was told that Gaz Deaves was in the theatre and may be able to help me. I had no clue this was CODA, but was hopeful I could at least say I tried.
The demo was everything I wanted it to be, and does match up to the leaked footage. I have now watched the leaked version and can tell you that you are missing out on the graphics and sound if you don't see the real thing. The rain effects were fantastic, you could watch each droplet fall from the sky and drip down the cape, it formed pools on the ground that splashed as you stand on them- it looked great. There also seemed to be some sort of storm brewing, as I think I saw lightning flashes at two points, which lit up the sky. Smoke formed in grates and pipes flowing upward beautifully. On the other hand, there were moments of disappointment. Even thought the facial animation is leaps and bounds over the other games, it still looks a bit mechanical- though I understand this, as the majority of talking is either done through cutscenes, over comms or on tapes in the Arkham games- and very rarely in engine.
The sound was immense. Each punch felt like it shattered bones, similar to the thunder sound in Asylum. The Batmobile roars like a formula one car in pursuit mode, then becomes a hovering, elegant being in Battle mode. The Batmobile fight sequences were almost like ballets, which I love! This is because, when you get into the flow of normal combat, it becomes almost like a rhythm game, timing being the most important part. Fighting becoming elegant rhythm is mirrored in the Batmobile- if you get a combo, it will become much more fluid and ballet-like, if you do badly- it will look like you are a tank blasting through opposition. The issue I have with the Batmobile so far is that the riot suppressor did a one-hit takedown on each of the goons it came across. I get that its meant to be the best car ever- but the need to fight anyone on the open-world ground level will be gone if you can just shoot them. This could mean that a large part of the game will be spent making up ways for Batman to not just call in the Batmobile or even having to bring it into each new area a different way.
The new features to combat look dynamic and fluid also. I was worried that environmental takedowns would interrupt flow, but it fits as a respite, just like a combo takedown would- just looking cooler and more varied. Batman really does have entirely different moves, all the animations I saw looked different and new- and that you really connected more with the enemy instead of the usual 'flying across the room like a rubber band then punch' moves- perhaps that bit of surrealism is gone from fighting? The Batmobile takedowns seem to be just as the environmental takedowns work, as a combo move. However, the animation for Batmobile takedown was the same twice- this either means that the Batmobile won't be available for much combat, or it just happened to repeat. Imagine if it was in a challenge map- the same Batmobile uppercut 100 times would get boring. The new 'Combat Specialist', or as I like to call them 'Good Martial Artists' look pretty good. Where in Origins, the double counter icon meant that sometimes I would end up countering nothing, or one of my conters not registering and many of my high combo attempts were ruined. With the 'Combat Specialist' I saw only single counters, many of which having ninja style attack animations e.g. jumping on an enemy to gain height and attack Batman from above. While these look great and will spice up combat, I hope there is a better excuse for why they are in the game than 'Each of the assassins went to the same ninja shop when buying goons' from Origins. Just a little mention that they are- etc. from the Arkham Knight's apprentices.
The Bat-Scanner looks to me like the reverse Batarang style of doing things- used in specific mission circumstances and maybe has a different purpose in open world. When it was thrown, a minigame started where you had to find all the frequencies to track down the factory workers. This was similar to the cryptographic sequencer puzzles, but without co-ordinates. Unfortunately, I can see it either being used once or twice through the game or too much. I could be an occasional item used for story, or something you use at the beginning of each mission, in Riddler challenges, to find fights etc. I hope Rocksteady can find a good middle ground. Another new addition was the passenger seat. I wasn't quite sure what to make of this, as it turns the rescuing of civilians into fetch quests. Having to return to a point every time you save someone could become a drag- there were still 4 more people to save in Ace Chemicals by my count. The animation for the passenger seat was a bit off as well, as to keep the design perfect- the Batmobile just sucks the passenger inside. Then where's the engine, and do the passengers just see gears or does it have a calming massage, spa and drinks in that thing? Who can tell, but I figure by the way Gordon says in the gameplay (i'm paraphrasing btw) 'Bring all the villains to me' that we may have to escort each villain to GCPD in the Batmobile after we catch them. I hope i'm wrong, as the only way to make that cheesier is if they say a one-liner like 'I'll get you next time' as they get sucked in. Back to the civilian you save, Batman tells him to 'Stand by the Batmobile', not 'Buckle up buddy, cos it's gonna be a bumpy ride'. Are the citizens of Gotham briefed via PSA's that they should get in the Batmobile seat if they ever have to be saved? It seemed a bit strange to me.
Predator mode looked like we had only scratched the surface. They only showed the fear takedown again, and the vent slide. The fear takedown is fantastic as usual, as was made even better by CODA's description of the events- which I will leave as a secret for those who went to the Expo . But there has to be a reason that no predator room stuff is being shown yet, nor detective vision much. I think its because the whole mode has been given an overhaul, possibly the use of shadows, but I have no idea. I just know it'l be big and fantastic and we'll all love it. The vent slide was seamless and put to rest my fear of the character disappearing in the animation, which happened in the Gamescom demo. But the main new movement mechanic is the 'chain grapnel' which showed Batman seamlessly scaling buildings without the need to 'boost, pause in midair, and boost to the next one' from City. It also has a new animation which changes depending on the direction you grapnel from right to left arm, and gives an impression of being pulled by a line with difficulty instead of gravitating toward a building magically.
I have to say, the highlight for me was CODA's commentary. The way he showed such enthusiasm for each hit, and glee to share the new mechanics. It demonstrated how exited Rocksteady are to be releasing this game next year. And a huge thank you to him, as in order to answer a few of my questions, he slowed the next theatre showing. I did however, have only a couple minutes and so only managed to get a few questions done- but I was given answers with depth and new information from our esteemed moderator.
I can't exactly recollect the answers, but I can give an overview of each. These are not in CODA's words as I am paraphrasing- CODA- if you read this and see any mistakes, please correct me. Here goes:
Mix of both games or evolution of City?
While it will have the expansive, Batman-simulator feel of Arkham City, due to map size and amount of things to do- it will connect with Batman player on a psychological level the way Asylum did- even linking back to the Cat-and-Mouse style of story with Joker being replace with Scarecrow and the Arkham Knight. City had a different feel of looking for cures and having to hunt criminals instead of them hunting you. Batman, of course feels in control of the situation.
With what button can you turn on the detective mode? Is it true that it will now be on the D-pad, if that's the case, you can't use detective mode and gadgets at the same time?
@JokerAsylum1: I saw in the demo the gadgets work on a wheel system- so I don't think the detective vision to D-pad change will affect gameplay.
@Mut4nt6712: CODA wouldnt give me any spoilers, not even how they will be designed.
@JulieJames: Yes, they did consider it, when they decided to make it for the new consoles, they were thinking about it. But, after looking at how many adjustments they had made to UE3, they now saw it as its own independent engine, (and it looks great in the demo) CODA told me about a guy at Rocksteady who had done much of the coding for the engine himself and how great it was.
Is the entire map new and from scratch?
YES, it is! This is new news as far as I can tell, as all of the open world is new (designed for the Batmobile i guess) I asked further if Arkham City would be visited, and I heard something like it had been bombed (I may have misheard do not quote) so that was a no. I was told he cannot say about Arkham Asylum being re-visited. The Origins section of Gotham it appears, will not feature. I checked again that all of Origins was canon- it was- but it has a different version of Gotham. I guess that means the additional districts in Origins are not canon, or just destroyed and built over somewhere in the lore. The lack of answer for any Wayne manor stuff was consistent with other answers, hopefully it will be a big announcement soon.
Is Nightwing playable in the main story
@MrHolmes37: CODA immediately said that they were not talking about playable characters right now, and that he wasn't sure why I thought Nightwing was in the game. I told him about the action figure photos of Robin and such, he hadn't seen them. He said Nightwing hadnt been announced for the game, let alone story.
Predator and Detective modes
@ShadowDash and @PsychoSlaughter: Again, CODA wouldn't give me any clues further than what is in the demo. But we can start guessing as to what new features will be as not much Predator and detective modes have been shown yet. When I asked about shadows being used in stealth, I was not told no- but that he can't talk about it and that all the modes will be evolved.
Overall, how long would it take to bring justice to every supervillain in the game?
@Headshot08957: CODA wasn't sure, he had seen a lot of content so far. As a quote 'You will not be disappointed' We can assume a more fleshed out side mission list, more types of Riddler missions and a long storyline.
When (roughly) the public will have access to a new trailer?
@Dzgonzalez: I was at first told the generic 'soon', as he didn't know of any dates or timeframes, but when I asked for a rough estimate he said that he didn't like giving a date to when we might think about getting a date for a trailer. I myself would assume Halloween as the next big announcement.
ITS A BLACK CAPE
@BatWayne007 CODA was not best pleased to be hearing this question again. 'It's black, it was black in City and it was black in the demo'. I guess that means it'll be(SARCASM) Byzantium or Palatinate. Or indeed BLACK.
Can someone please ask how they came up with the awesome design for harley quinn and if she will have roller skates
@Harley16: I used exactly your wording, and was given the answer that they were not talking about playable characters right now- there was confusion over where the idea of rollerskates came from.
And that was all I had time for before the next theatre presentation had to begin.
I have a couple of regrets that I would like to share with CODA. Hopefully he reads this far. I was in such a rush to pick out the best questions and was astounded I had anyone to ask.
Firstly, I completely skipped over the question that I cared the most about, please can you answer it so I can sleep.
'In the end of Arkham City, Joker stands atop the lazarus pit and is promptly knocked off it by a sword in the works. Batman has the cure in his left hand. The machine falls down, clayface is knocked into the lazarus pit, there's an explosion. Batman has the cure in his left hand. Cut to black, Batman wakes up with the cure in his RIGHT HAND. Please tell me this is a continuity error, so all my thoughts of the Joker living can go away'
Secondly, my 7 hour run of Arkham City was on NG+ and only had the Riddler side mission at 100 percent. I dont even know why I mentioned it, I just wanted to show you how deeply in love with the Arkham franchise I am. Same goes for the 1000x combo humblebrag :3
Finally, another question I forgot was 'Are there any easter eggs left to find in Arkham City?' If there is I'll start up the game and search straight away.
Thank you to everyone who sent in questions, and if you have any more questions for me about anything in this post- i'll answer ASAP.
feel like this should've happened by now, but i can't find evidence that is has, and not for a lack of trying. am i looking in the wrong places or am i out of luck?
i realize arkham origins' batman has a different face, but the rig is otherwise fuctionally the same, so it should pretty much work even if the facial animation is screwed up as a result. and of course armored batman should slot right into arkham city without issue