Weekend Confirmed 143 - Far Cry 3, The Walking Dead, Tera

By Jeff Mattas, Dec 14, 2012 11:00am PST

On today's episode of Weekend Confirmed, Garnett, Jeff, and Jeff are joined by Shacknews' John Keefer to spread some pre-holiday cheer. The crew spends some time chatting about Far Cry 3's multiplayer modes, opines about the success of Telltale Games' The Walking Dead adventure series, and there's also some MMO talk focusing on Tera and Guild Wars 2. Naturally, Finishing Moves--complete with a new holiday-themed, fan-made intro--closes the show out properly, followed by a quick, post-show NFL TailGate.

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 143: 12/14/2012

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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 - 00:00:40 - 00:29:25

    Whatcha' Been Playin Part 1 - 00:30:02 - 01:00:24

    Whatcha Been Playin Part 2 01:01:04 - 01:22:20

    Listener Feedback/Front Page News - 01:23:00 - 01:52:15

    Tailgate - 01:53:02 - 01:59:02

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John Keefer @keefinator

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Original music in the show by Del Rio. Get his latest Album, Club Tipsy 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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  • While I'm glad to hear Jeff acknowledge the importance of writing in games, almost every other single thing he said in this episode about The Walking Dead was wrong. You did not craft the circumstances around which anything happens in the game. You chose a few of the details regarding how the action occurs, but those details are ultimately arbitrary because the game's circumstances are so rigid.

    The choices were still interesting to make because the writing was so good, but the impact of the linearity despite your choices did result in pangs of disappointment. The most glaring example for me is the show down between Carley and Lilly. No matter what you choose, or how you manage your relationships in the game, both characters are ceremoniously cut out of the plot in Episode 3.

    It hurts the experience because the game telegraphs both characters as potential love interests early on---or at least characters you could choose to bond with---but neither relationship can materialize. This means that if I compare Carley to say Andrea in the comic books, Andrea will always be an infinitely better character because she's existed for over 100 issues now. She is written as well as any character in the game, but more importantly I've watched her personality, her survival instincts and so forth develop over the course of the story.

    [walking dead canon spoilage below]
    So for that reason, to say that the game is better than the comic books is fundamentally laughable. None of the deaths in the game meant as much as the way Lorie died in the comic. Or the way (Spoiler) Glenn recently met his end for that matter. There isn't a single villain in the game as convincing or brutal as either Negan or The Governor. The interpersonal conflicts and moral confrontations aren't anymore grueling or stark. It is way better than the show, and a noble achievement for being the contained vignette it is, but it sure as fuck aint up to par with the comics.***

    Really your only through line relationship in the game is with Clementine, and frankly that ending did not have me moved to tears. I was wondering if there was some way of making Lee survive the whole time, and then the whole thing just ended in a way that actually felt anti-climactic. Now the end of Final Fantasy IX---that is the closest I've come to being moved by a game ending. And that's because it builds such a big dramatic arc that it earns its outcome.

    ***On that comic/game comparison point there seems to be some real life acting/film bias peaking through Jeff's whole analysis. Like, apparently games can not be good stories unless they could be recreated with real actors right? But one of the things intrinsic about games, that I've always felt was a strength, is that they are animation.

    The acting may not be as nuanced, but the audience can relate to the characters based on how they are modeled. Its often more effective to say 'this character has this disposition' by giving their face a certain shape, more than say putting 500 points of animation on one of the dead mannequins faces found in many other games, and relying on the actor's realness.

    To Garnet's point, part of the reason the hyper violence and parlell world-ness of The Walking Dead works, is because its done in hand drawn animation. If you look at Kill Bill Volume 1 for instance, the most violent scene in that movie is probably the animation sequence retelling O-Ren Ishii's childhood. As a thesis on violence and fantasy in story telling, there was a point to Tarantino doing that.