Weekend Confirmed 171 - Xbox One, The Last of Us Spoiler-Cast

By Ozzie Mejia, Jun 28, 2013 11:00am PDT

With Jeff Cannata absent, host Garnett Lee is left to discuss the beginning of the summer doldrums. He welcomes in "Indie" Jeff Mattas and Nikole Zivalich to discuss any final Xbox One thoughts before shifting to Borderlands 2's Assault on Dragon's Keep DLC and discuss the pros and cons of the Season Pass model. Shacknews' Andrew Yoon joins the show for the latter half to help briefly discuss Company of Heroes 2, before ending the normal part of the show a little early with some Finishing Move. That paves the way for a special Spoiler-cast, as the final half-hour of the show is fully dedicated to discussing The Last of Us and its many twists and turns. If you haven't finished the game yet, bookmark it for the future. If you have, enjoy the discussion!

Weekend Confirmed Ep. 171: 6/28/2013

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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 - 00:00:35 - 00:30:14

    Round 2 - 00:31:41 - 00:56:59

    Round 3 - 01:03:58 - 01:31:17

    The Last of Us Spoiler-cast - 01:31:49 - 02:02:07

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Weekend Confirmed @WeekendConfirmd

Garnett Lee @GarnettLee

Jeff Cannata @JeffCannata

Andrew Yoon @scxzor

Jeff Mattas @JeffMattas

Nikole Zivalich @NikoleZ

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Original music in the show by Del Rio. Check out his latest music video, I Brought It Here, featuring cameos from Jeff Cannata and Christian Spicer on YouTube. 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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  • ................LoU spoilers...............

    On the Hospital Sequence/AK47/ludo-narrative/blahblahblah naval gaze:

    Garnett is obviously applying a 10,000 foot concept of morality to what a specific character's psychology. Tess says "We're shitty people Joel its been that way for a long time." Joel says "No we're survivors." So where as Tess is sort of a willful badass who lives with her actions, his cognitive dissonance runs so deep, that in his mind killing is like taking out the garbage. But beyond that you have to consider the fictional context of the entire world, and how Joel's trauma was specifically triggered (no pun intended...).

    A huge theme in the game is the military's usurping of society. Humanity has endured a pandemic, but it is more presciently suffering under a military state. If you look at films like Children of Men and 28 Weeks Later, it is a common in these kinds of genre stories. In the later of those two films, most people die because of military's retaliation rather than the outbreak itself. Just look at the whole mansion scene of 28 Days Later---it is very similar to when Joel and Ellie escape the Boston museum, right after Tess' death, even visually.

    So in terms of the story telling cannon LoU operates in, revenge on the military, is a totally central conceit. If you look at LoU specifically, you can infer that since Sarah's death (and in the game) Joel has had to scrape by without many resources. His means of life along with Tess was of all things a guns trade. In his world, guns equate autocratic power, as well as actual currency.

    Now if you go back to his cognitive dissonance about killing and what incited his trauma, his daughter was killed specifically by a hail of bullets from an AK47. His original sin as a person, was not being able to protect her. And he didn't only fail to protect her, but by being in his arms, she absorbed the gunfire and effectively saved his life. His only way to reconcile his pain and guilt, with the state of the world, is that death is simply a way of governing the infected world's chaos.

    So combine the context of militarism, and Joel's personal stake in that oppression, suddenly the hospital sequence has a whole other meaning. Joel acquiring that AK47 isn't just an upgrade in his arsenal---it has symbolic value because it is the weapon that killed his daughter, and the symbol of political oppression. He's not just going Rambo, he's leveling a paradigm that destroyed his family and made his life a living hell for 2 decades. Its kind of the classic horror film reversal, where the victim gets ahold of the prod, or whip, or whatever the assailant used to control them.

    On gameplay/the infected:

    Despite all that narrative relevance, I wanted to drive home the point that you can actually skip the combat in the hospital sequence.

    When the gameplay starts out, or when it starts in basically any "encounter" (as the game's menu dubs them) Joel is hidden. Therefore your gameplay objective is pretty explicitly not to fight your enemies directly. In the final hallway before the operating room there's like 15 Fireflies maybe, with make shift barricades and what not, but there's a whole series of offices that running parallel, so you can easily sneak around them.

    This goes to Garnett's complaints about the infected "combat" as well, and Jeff saying that the clickers have "terrible AI." Like, the clickers aren't supposed to have AI. Obviously that is the entire point of them being clickers. They have an on and off switch, and it is up to the player to decide when you flip that switch, or better yet how to avoid flipping the switch. I don't see how it would be merited to just make them another brand of video game mutant/alien that the player shoots through indiscriminately.