Weekend Confirmed 118 - Spec Ops: The Line, Lollipop Chainsaw, Magic 2013

By Garnett Lee, Jun 22, 2012 11:00am PDT

On this week's episode of Weekend Confirmed, Lead Designer of Spec Ops: The Line joins Garnett and the two Jeffs to talk about the upcoming Heart of Darkness-inspired shooter. There's also some more Diablo 3 discussion surrounding the new real-money auction house, as well as some impressions of Lollipop Chainsaw, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and Magic: The Gathering - Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013, before the crew wraps things up with some Finishing Moves.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 118: 06/22/2012

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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 00:00:30 – 00:28:29

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 1 00:28:59 – 00:56:55

    Whatcha Been Playing Part 2 00:57:31 – 01:27:45

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News 01:28:31 – 01:58:18

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 crew on Twitter, too!

Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @jeffcannata

Jeff Mattas @JeffMattas

Cory Davis @Snak3Fist

2K Games @2K Games

You can also check out the 2K Games YouTube Page to see some Spec Ops: The Line videos.

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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.

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  • My biggest problem with games trying to become more cinematic is that in doing that, they're losing what makes them a game, or to be more specific, what makes them an interactive experience where the player has an influence over the outcome, short-term or long-term, in a gameplay mechanic system. That system may be as simple as "press X to not die" (see: Dragon's Lair), or "watch this character's performance and judge them based on your thoughts" (I haven't played LA Noire, but this is what it sounds like the gameplay mechanic is, with the "Truth / Lie / Doubt" mechanic).

    The mechanic that I personally enjoy the most is real-time action, primarily in first-person, whether it's a shooter (the first time I saw Doom in 1993 was when gaming really took off for me) or a racing sim (I was playing so much GT5 Prologue at the BMW Welt in Munich in 2010, I finally decided to save $400 worth of expenses on my vacation, and get a PS3 and Prologue). I could take any car in GT5 or Forza 4 on a single car time trial, and have a blast playing around with vehicle dynamics; other people would feel imprisoned by that experience since there aren't any AI or multiplayer cars to try and beat, but I love focusing on the engine's simulation of each car's dynamics, which have a real-life analog. However, for shooters, they seem to be getting far more constricted, with ultra-agressive gating and setpieces shoving players down corridors, penalizing "lollygagging" with QTE deaths, not letting the player into larger arenas where the AI routines can have enough entropy to create an experience that varies between gameplay sessions. This is the main reason why I've soured away from the Call of Duty experience: because the single-player campaign is a $60 6-hour movie that you've memorized after playing through 3 times, and the multiplayer is the same stuff we've been seeing since Call of Duty 4 in holiday 2007.

    Treyarch claim to be shaking things up in Black Ops 2, and are going ultra-aggressive with press events and interviews, since this is that part of their PR cycle. CVG released a puff piece with the title "SET TO CHANGE THE FACE OF SHOOTERS FOREVAR!!!" ( http://www.computerandvideogames.com/354958/previews/black-ops-2-set-to-change-the-face-of-shooters-forever/ ), but it looks like all the same mechanics, setpieces, and turret sequences we've been seeing for the past 5 years, only with a few "do this or do that" branches in some levels, which don't seem to be creating any "arenas" that would allow first-person gun combat to become dynamic. After reading that article, I still wasn't bought into the promise, since it sounds just like every previous post-E3 timeframe Call of Duty preview article that's been released before.

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 2 replies.

    • I'm torn. I love getting swept up into the convoluted Halo plot. I can watch the DVD of the cinematics for Halo 1, 2 and 3 and love every second. On the other hand I can dick round for hours in the sandbox, the physics of the warthog being as compelling as any story.

      I think a good game is about that balance. A game should be confident enough to throw a story at your face that a gamer can watch with their controller put down. But it should also be confident enough to give you hours of gameplay without having to shoehorn the narrative into every nook and cranny.