Weekend Confirmed 88 - Skyrim, Holiday leftovers

By Garnett Lee, Nov 23, 2011 11:00am PST

Join Xav, Jeff, Andrea, and Garnett as they celebrate the long Thanksgiving weekend. They share tales from Skyrim and Assassin's Creed Revelations during the beginning of the show. Some of the excellent discussions from the show comments last week fuel plenty of discussion on whether gamers want to be told a story, or play their own. Everyone is set for the 360 dashboard update, now that it's finally coming December 6. And the group starts to sort through the gaming leftovers already gathering from a great year of games that included LittleBIGPlanet 2, Bulletstorm, Crysis 2, L.A. Noire, and so many more titles that are already fading into memories. Finishing moves and a special Thanksgiving games edition of the tailgate wrap it all up.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 88: 11/23/2011

Subscription Links:

If you're viewing this in the GameFly application, you can play Weekend Confirmed Episode 88 directly.

Weekend Confirmed comes in four segments to make it easy to listen to in segments or all at once. Here's the timing for this week's episode:

    Show Breakdown:

    Round 1 00:00:00 to 00:27:48

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:28:23 to 00:57:40

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:58:09 to 01:22:05

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:22:33 to 02:00:28

    NFL Tailgate 02:01:12 to 02:11:45

Catch Andrea Rene everyday hosting ClevverGames on YouTube. And you can keep up with her on twitter.

Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, The Wait is Over on iTunes. Check out more, including the Super Mega Worm mix and other mash-ups on his ReverbNation page or Facebook page, and follow him on twitter delriomusic.

Jeff Cannata can also be seen on The Totally Rad Show. They've gone daily so there's a new segment to watch every day of the week!

Follow the Weekend Confirmed hosts on Twitter, too! Garnett Lee @GarnettLee, Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata, and Xav de Matos @xav.

Remember to join the Official Facebook Weekend Confirmed Page and add us to your Facebook routine. We'll be keeping you up with the latest on the show there as well.

Click here to comment...

Comments

  • I'd like to chime in on the whole story/narrative subject.

    I feel like Skyrim's story telling is hit and miss. Sometimes when characters are standing, on the spot, spewing forth monologues and exposition it's awkward and boring and long winded. It's just a bit clumsy and bulky and I don't think stationary talking people is really a strong way to deliver story. And some of the script is a bit silly or ridiculous.

    Games with focused cutscenes do a lot better job at conveying powerful story and narrative.

    However, where Skyrim really shines and rises to a place that linear style video game stories cannot tread is in the world, the ambience and the atmosphere.

    For example. During the beginning of my play through I was sitting in a tavern talking to the barkeep and buying some wine when in the background I could hear the bard singing about the civil war and I overheard some people talking about how the Empire has outlawed the worship of one of the chief Nord gods. Despite the fact that the first Jarl I met cast a favorable light on the Empire this made me wonder which side had the best interests of the Nords in mind. Later when I met Ulfric Stormcloak and overheard his passionate speech to his general I glimpsed his real passion to win the Nords their freedom. The very next city I came to greeted me with the spectacle of a public Stormcloak beheading which cemented my stance on the war. After the crowd dispersed I snuck up to the executed prisoner and searched his body and discovered a religious amulet outlawed by the Empire. I took it and wore it in his honor. Some time later I was wandering the wilderness and came across a group of Imperial soldiers escorting a bound Stormcloak prisoner. At this point I had chosen my side. I freed the prisoner and slew his captors and began my career with the rebellion.

    Now, no one made this series of events occur in that order. They happened dynamically. And I'm sure someone else could play the game and have a completely different experience entirely that doesn't even slightly resemble mine. Because of the place I chose to go and the things that occurred both randomly and scripted, I had a story experience that was unique to me. If I had chosen to keep walking and not stop at that tavern who knows how different my experience may have been.

    Skyrim's strength lies in its setting and world. As you wander the ruins you get hints of the cultures and history and setting. You might read a book that gives you insight to a misunderstood race or a conversation you overhear may lead you to a point in the map that others may never visit. While a game like Assassin's Creed may deliver a much more dramatic and fine tuned story that hits very deliberate beats, the world of Skyrim is infinitely more dynamic.

    AC is like a rope, it has a beginning and an end and you know where you are along that experience. It's clear and powerful and effective. It has a deliberate beginning, middle and an end and it hits certain beats and twists in the proper order. The world of Skyrim however is more like a tapestry. There's no clear line. It's full of little threads dangling in front of you that are entirely optional and dynamic. You chose which threads you want to follow or ignore and find out where they lead you to. Do you pick up that book and read it? Do you sit and listen to the bard's song? Do you stop to investigate that abandoned fort or move on? Do you choose to get involved in the civil war or ignore it entirely? The setting of the world adds context to the encounters and characters and environments and they in turn feed back into the setting. As you experience the world dynamically, you chose how you respond to what you see, where you go, what you do next and you take those individual threads and weave your own unique experience.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 3 replies.