Ai-Wars The Awakening

Game review

Developer: Nexus Interactive Studios

Publisher: Nexus Interactive Studios

Platforms: Microsoft Windows

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Moderate

Degree of Cyberpunk Themes: Moderate

Genre: First-person shooter

Rating:7/10

 

Overview: Enter a world full of artificial intelligence where even the one who will do the online shopping for you is an agent who ruled the NET.

The story: In the past century, all transactions are only handed by the agents. They are the expert programs that are only allowed to have an interaction on the NET. These artificial intelligence are the ones who do almost everything for their human master—be a researcher, a middlemen, broker, and the salesman. However, they are very intelligent that none of these artificial agents are sentiment.

Your main goal in this game is to create your own computer system, setting up the basics of a program so that you can play the game. It will let you enter the NET, wherein you have to find information or anything useful that you can bid in the black market. You should also make sure that you are able to increase the power and performance of your computer and steal high-end software.

You can have as many goals as you want as long as you can survive on the NET. If you want to increase your survival, you might want to form alliances from other hackers as well or rogues that you share the same goal with.

One of the twists of this story is that there are some ghosts in the system that you have to defeat. Many have claimed that the army had lost again artificial intelligence a couple of years ago and these defeated troops are now roaming around the NET without any barrier. Some of these ghosts are actually helpful while some will just drag you down.

You need to use you blending and masking skills if you want to protect yourself from these ghosts. Pretty interesting because you need to create a strategy wherein they can’t suspect you as a hacker. As long as you can’t still attack, all you need to do is to gather all the required information. When you are ready, that’s the time that you make your first move with brute force.

Of course, it involves a perfect strategy with your alliance and cunning in order to defeat these artificial intelligence because sometimes, they are much smarter than you. What will you do in order to defeat someone whose knowledge surpasses a human being?

If you want to survive, you need to surpass their intelligence, create a strategy, strengthened your force, and once you are ready, attack with brute force in order to defeat your enemy, to which, ironically is just a high-end program made by humans.

This game is pretty much cool especially if you are fun with computers, hacking, and the like. In a world full of artificial intelligence and the overloaded information from the NET, how sure are you that you are able to protect yourself?

For more CyberPunk Games please visit our dedicated page for games here: CyberPunk Games.

Blade Runner Final Cut It’s The Unicorn

Movie review

Date of Release:

Director: Ridley Scott

Genre: Science fiction

Degree of Cyberpunk: Moderate

Rate: 9/10

 

At last, after 25 long years of waiting, Ridely Scott is going to release The Blade Runner: The Final Cut. Obviously, there is a massive difference between the Director’s Cut in 1992 and The Final Cut to be released.

A unicorn.

There is a unicorn dream sequence that can be spotted in the Director’s Cut but now it’s extended and much longer. Deckard’s daydream of a unicorn jumping around, in a super slow motion, in the forest is the pivotal scene that left the audience wanting for more.

Ridley explained this scene before. He said that in the end. Gaff couldn’t find it to like Deckard, and the reason is still unknown. He stated that Deckard’s life span is still unknown and he is slowly becoming a human. Gaff, on the other hand, left behind an origami, a silver paper that people can usually found in a pack of cigarette. Therefore, the unicorn in his dream just indicates that it would be unusual for Deckard to talk to anyone about that thing. However, if Gaff has any idea about this, it’s just his way of telling that he knows everything and read the file already.

Compared to its 1997 version, the Blade Runner film and audio are both impressive. Instead of the original negatives, the digital print of the movie dramatically changes. Also, the 2019 dystopic landscape of Los Angeles is equally impressive. Their opening sequence involves some sort of flames leaping towards the sky from the darkness is a good way to catch the attention of viewers.

The soundtrack is good as well. It was composed by Vangelis and it’s very likable than before. It complements the story very well, all the intense and speedy scenes to the slow and breath-taking scenes, the soundtrack is enough to send you chills.

Notice how the Blade Runner introduces the decaying world where multicultural inhabitants are all struggling to survive. They live mostly in the abandoned office buildings and struggle in the busy city streets as well.

I notice two exotic dancers with hockey masks and a lot of interesting things about this movie—making the entire footage appealing. The scenes are well-played. For instance, the death scene of Roy Batty features a dove flying peacefully in the sky. But there are some scenes that should be included in the movie, are missing. For instance, the first encounter of Gaff and Deckard in the noodle bars. There are also lines that are completely different from the earlier versions. Whether it’s to improve the dialogue or it’s a failed attempt to change some of the story’s plot—that I don’t know. For instance, the line “One of them got friend running through an electrical field” is changed into “Two of them got fried running through an electrical field.”

Conclusion: While it can’t be hard not to compare the earlier version of the Blade Runner, you cannot deny the fact that the latest version is much better. While there are scenes that are removed and dialogue that were tweaked, it’s still a good movie that you shouldn’t miss at all.

Don’t miss out our upcoming movies category: Upcoming Movies It’s updated every week!

Understanding the Matrix Trilogy from a Man Machine Interface Perspective

Movie review

First appearance: The Matrix

Last appearance: The Matrix revolutions

Creator: The Wachowskis

Actor: Keanu Reeves

Voice actor: Andrew Bowen (The Matrix. Path of Neo)

 

In order to fully understand the matrix trilogy, you must comprehend it through the terms that can be found from the man-machine interface perspective.

Story: Neo is a programmer that runs a highly-recognized software company called Meta Cortex. He is also a hacker as well that steals confidential information and hides under the name Neo. The Matrix refers to the feeling that Neo describes as “there is something wrong with this world.” He spent the next few years trying to understand the matrix. He was given a choice to remove all his memories about the matrix or continue to have an in-depth research about it. It soon unravels revelations that helped Neo to fight back against the Matrix, which, unfortunately, uses the humans in order to have a source for the giant machine.

Just like any other people who have watched the film, the first encounter with this movie will surely blow your mind but it will keep you wanting for more. You know what I’m talking about? Yes, unanswered questions. There are a lot of unanswered questions in the movie and unfortunately, it wasn’t able to fulfill the promise of the earlier film.

This is the perfect time for you to understand the Matrix Trilogy: A Man-Machine Interface Perspective. It will help you to understand and think of it differently instead of arguing with people from online forums about this matrix trilogy.

Some speculations are that Neo is already dead, and if you did not really understand the movie, you would think that he is.

On the Machine City, Neo tries to fight the Matrix. It was an epic battle with Smith to the point where he was almost defeated but then a light erupts from Neo’s chest and he was able to end the war between the machines and the humans. He was kind of resurrected from the destruction.

It can be seen from the movie that Neo has this bandage around his eyes. A girl asked the oracle if she will be able to see Neo again and the oracle answered it in a way anyone else will do. “I suspect so. Someday.”

Conclusion: Overall, it’s a good movie. It just failed to have a clear ending that sparked a debate and arguments from their viewers. They all have different interpretations about the ending of the story. Some believed Neo is dead, while others pressed that he’s not. You may need to watch the trilogy over and over again, pay attention to their conversations, and analyze the plot twist very carefully before you are able to conclude if Neo is really gone or not. Nevertheless, the failure of this movie to convey its plot to the viewers may help you to have fun watching it again and knowing what really happened way back then.

If you want to find out more about movies you can check our homepage where we have our latest posts.

Almost Human (Pilot plus First Season)

April 7, 2014

Movie Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 2013-2014

Executive Producers: J. H. Wyman, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Burk

Created by: J. H. Wyman

Produced by: Frequency Films, Bad Robot, Warner Brothers Television

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: High

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: High

Key Cast Members:

  • Detective John Kennex: Karl Urban
  • DRN-0167, aka “Dorian”: Michael Ealy
  • Detective Valerie Stah: Minka Kelly
  • Rudy Lom: Mackenzie Crook
  • Detective Richard Paul:Michael Irby
  • Captain Sandra Maldonado: Lili Taylor
Rating: 8 out of 10

Almost Human (Dorian re-awakens)

Once in a great while a TV show comes along that wake you up. And when it’s a cyberpunk show…

Overview: Almost missed out on Almost Human, Fox TV’s latest attempt at a cyberpunk/sci-fi show. Really didn’t know about this until mid-Febuary, and then it was almost too late. Mostly because of a similar sounding show on SyFy called Being Human which was more supernatural than sci-fi. Now I need to catch up with the reruns, or try video on demand (even if I have to purchase), or wait until the DVD, or maybe Pirate Bay… only as a last resort (Amazon already has season one for download). But based on what I have seen from the pilot and season finale, this may be one that’s going to stay for a while… but it has some serious past history to overcome, more later.

At first glance, Almost Human sounds like your typical police-buddy drama with a cyberpunk twist. That might be true, but there’s more to it. Check this:

The Story: The year 2048 sees rapid advances in science and technology; Too rapid for legal and government systems to control. The crime rate has jumped 400%, fueled by organized crime groups quick to exploit the lag. The most successful organization is the Insyndicate group. Desperate to combat these groups, police departments implement a new strategy: Pair human officers with an MX series advanced combat android.

Detective John Kennex (Urban) leads a raid on an Insyndicate warehouse, only to have his team wiped out in an ambush. Refusing to leave a critically injured partner, he is abandoned by his MX android. While trying to evacuate the scene with his partner, an explosive device goes off, amputating Kennex’s leg and killing his partner.

Two years later, Kennex is left with a prosthetic leg, damaged memories, psychological problems, and a girlfriend who abandoned him (possibly joining Insyndicate). While seeing an unlicensed “recollectionist” (a doctor who helps people recover lost memories), Kennex is called back to duty when Insyndicate robs an armored transport carrying synthetic, programmable DNA. Unhappy with his MX android partner wanting to report his behavior, and still stinging from the last one abandoning him, Kennex decides to gently “dismiss” his partner:

Almost Human (GTFO)

GTFO!

With no more MX androids available, Kennex is assigned an older android: DRN-0167 (Ealy) who prefers to be called “Dorian”. DRN androids were programmed to have human emotions, but many became “unstable” and were decommissioned and replaced with the highly-logical MX series. Dorian had been “offline” for three years before being reawakened to be Kennex’s partner. Despite their differences, they will need to work together to bring down Insyndicate and stop a mole in the police ranks.

Almost Human (Pilot screencap)

Any similarities between Almost Human and Blade Runner is somewhat intended.

The Lighter Side of Cyberpunk? If the above screenshot looks too similar to Blade Runner, that was intended. Creator J.H. Wyman claimed that he “deliberately wanted to create a ‘hopeful’ interpretation of the future” as opposed to the darker visions of cyberpunk we’re accustomed to. Surprisingly, this doesn’t seem to detract from the overall cyberpunk-ness of the series, especially since it’s really about Kennex and Dorian, and their growing “ro-bromance” (The leading term for this budding human-android relationship). Such buddy-ships are often keys to a good cop film or series, and Almost Human takes it to a new level with the emerging android technology. Like any relationship, there are bound to be good times, there are bound to be bad times,…

“I apologize for scanning your balls.”

… and there are bound to be times that will totally rustle your jimmes.

History Never Repeats… We Hope. Sounds like Almost Human has what it takes to be a hit series. Unfortunately, the ratings says no and now it looks like the program’s only chance of being renewed is for a bunch of other Fox shows to crap out (Hey, it worked for Family Guy). The problem isn’t due to the show itself; It’s actually quite good… at least it’s better than CBS’s less-than-watchable Intelligence. But the show does have three major strikes against it:

First strike: Fox itself. The network’s track record with cyberpunk shows has been quite underwhelming. Remember early efforts like Harsh Realm and VR.5? VR.5 did last long enough to see a season… or series… finale; Harsh Realm wasn’t so lucky. More recent shows Dark Angel and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles saw a second season, though some say Connor lasted one season too long. It seems that sci-fi shows I like last only two seasons before they pull the plug. I’m expecting Almost Human to follow suit.

Strike two: The human-android-cop-buddy concept isn’t exactly original. It’s been tried before… several times, with none lasting beyond season one. Search IMDB for the shows Mann and Machine, Future Cop, Holmes and Yo-Yo, and Total Recall 2070. The syndicated Total Recall 2070 fared the best, lasting 22 episodes before having its plug pulled, but ultimately none lasted beyond season one. I put the blame on the screwball Holmes and Yo-Yo (#33 in TV Guide’s 50 Worst TV Shows of All Time) for poisoning the interest of the human-android-buddy-cops concept. There is humor in Almost Human, but it’s more of a dry, almost British sort laced with dark sarcasm (example: see GIF above).

Then again, the concept of robots/androids living and working among humans remains a touchy subject to most outside of Japan. Even now, that concept still generates friction amongst the meaty who still have visions of Skynet and robot takeovers burned into their BIOSs. Even with today’s advances, Almost Human may still give some cause for alarm with “robots intent on removing humanity and taking over the world, starting by taking over human jobs.”

Regardless of why the prior shows failed, Almost Human hopefully learned from their mistakes.

Strike three: Have you seen what’s on US TV schedules lately? Shoehorned between the reality (lack of) talent shows, the American airwaves are virtually choking on “procedural dramas.” Not that the format is new or unpopular, but it seems that such shows have been on the air since the original Law and Order debuted in 1990, and shows no sign of abating anytime soon. This glut is one reason why I haven’t been watching TV lately. The last thing we need… or I need… is yet another CSI-NCIS-SVU-SUV-DDT-TNT-ACDC-KMFDM-NRBQ-R2D2-C3P0-TMZ-DMZ-DVD-VCR-DVR-USB-ISA-SCSI-SATA-IDE-KKK-XXX-RSVP-LOL-ROFLMAO-ZOMG-WTF-BBQ clogging the networks. Then again, they don’t have futuristic technologies and sarcastic androids, so that may be an advantage.

Conclusion: No word yet on on the fate of Almost Human which may or may not be good news. Hopefully FOX will renew, but it looks more likely that it will be picked up on cable. Hope you have been watching, or at least recording to watch. This is one show that needs to be watched, especially by cyberpunk fans. Only once in a great while does a show come along that has such cyberpunk goodness. Do watch this show, by any means necessary. Then pester FOX until they renew it. And if FOX doesn’t renew…

Almost Human (GTFO)

GTFO!

… Then pester the cable networks to pick it up.

RoboCop (2014)

February 22, 2014

Movie Review By: Mr. Roboto

Year: 2014

Directed by: José Padilha

Written by: Joshua Zetumer (screenplay), Edward Neumeier & Michael Miner (1987 screenplay)

IMDB Reference

Degree of Cyberpunk Visuals: Moderate

Correlation to Cyberpunk Themes: Moderate

Key Cast Members:

  • Alex Murphy / RoboCop: Joel Kinnaman
  • Jack Lewis: Michael K. Williams
  • Dr. Dennett Norton: Gary Oldman
  • Raymond Sellars (OmniCorp CEO): Michael Keaton
  • Pat Novak : Samuel L. Jackson
  • Clara Murphy: Abbie Cornish
  • David Murphy : John Paul Ruttan
Rating: 6 out of 10

RoboCop (2014)

You’ve been wondering what the new RoboCop is like. Brace yourselves…

Overview: The original RoboCop has become one of the “must see” cyberpunk films, one that needs to be in everyone’s cyberpunk movie collection. Now, José Padilha has made an updated version of Paul Verhoeven’s masterpiece, leaving many to ask that inevitable question:

Why would you do that?

Well, much has changed in the world since Peter Weller first donned the RoboCop suit to rid old Detroit of crime. The original was not only a classic story of a man’s death and rebirth as avenging angel, but there was a statement of American consumerism of the 80s as shown in the built-in “commericals”. The new version deals more with America’s reliance on drones to fight wars, the possibility of autonomous drones being used, and of the radical ultra-conservative elements that have cropped up since the end of the Regan presidency.

The Story: The movie opens with a right-wing TV program called “The Novak Element”, starring Pat Novak (Jackson)

Novack (Jackson)

Does he look like a bitch?

He has corespondents in Tehran, now under US robot control, who report on a “random” (read: FORCED) scan of the people for threats. A couple of insurgents with vest-bombs kill themselves and destroy some of the bots. One of the insurgent’s son appears with a knife in his hand and is blown away by a mech-like ED-209. The feed is cut and Novak espouses how the robots can be used to make America “safer”, but the Dreyfus Act makes such robots illegal. OmniCorp, a division of Omni Consumer Products, made the robots.

OmniCorp wants the Dreyfus Act terminated so they can sell the robots for American law enforcement use, increasing their profits and achieve world dominance, even though public opinion is against the idea of autonomous drones. Their solution: Create a law enforcement cyborg, a man inside the machine, to sway public opinion, beginning by using a permanently disabled cop.

Detective Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) and partner Sgt. Lewis (Williams) have been tracking crime lord Antoine Vallon, but Vallon is tipped off and Lewis is seriously injured requiring hospitalization. While visiting his partner, Murphy’s car has a bomb planted on it by one of Vallon’s men. It explodes at his home, nearly killing him. He awakens three months later, in his new cyborg body and software thanks to consent of his wife, Clara (Cornish). Murphy doesn’t want to be RoboCop, but is convinced by Dr. Norton (Oldman) to “be strong for his wife and son” and begins training with Rick Mattox (Jackie Earle Haley) who seriously doubts Murphy will stand up to highly stressful and/or emotional situations where drones would not be so hindered.

Notable differences. As you can tell, there are some major differences between the two RoboCops. First off, Lewis undergoes the Rule 63 (aka “gender swap”) treatment, and is now a Sargent… and black. OCP, the megacorp that privatized the Detroit police, is now a parent company with OmniCorp as the robotics subsidiary. The “news” is now a right-wing propaganda machine run by the brilliant performance of Samuel L. Jackson (again, does he look like a bitch?). The violence has been toned down considerably… well less bloody anyway. The ED-209s are now mecha-sized, there are more of them, and they are often accompanied by human-sized ED-208s (I think that was the model number used).

Of course, much has changed in the twenty-seven since since the franchise first booted up, so the differences will come as a shock to those who have been watching since those heady early days of cyberpunk. But the biggest shock(s) vets may encounter will definitely be from Robo himself.

RoboCop (2014) - Noticing his new skin.

“What the hell did you do to me? “

Paint it black. Perhaps the most jarring changes were made to Murphy/Robo himself, primarily in his armor. Oh, it starts as the classic silver-and-black scheme, but CEO Sellars (Keaton) wanted him to look more “tactical,” so black is the new… armor. It’s been said to make him look more insect like,

RoboCop (2014) - New paint scheme and bike
but it’s actually more of a streamlined borg appearance.

But the biggest change to Murphy is also where the film tends to fall apart most: The original Murphy died and came back as a robo-revenant to avenge himself. This time around, Murphy doesn’t die. That alone kind of puts a damper on the philosophical discussions of whether a human mind can be put into a robot body and still be like before. Here, his mind (well, his whole head… and lungs… and heart… and windpipe) lives on in the new shell.

That doesn’t mean he can’t still be treated like a machine; When he fails a simulation, Dr. Norton tries to “reprogram” Murphy to make him think that all his actions are under his conscious control, even though he’s still running a program. Later, when the upload of the police database causes Murphy to overload emotionally, Dr. Norton reduces his dopamine levels to where he becomes an emotionless robot, even ignoring his own wife and son.

It’s not just OmniCorp that mistreats the new Murphy; It seems everyone involved with getting the Dreyfus act revoked is now using him as their poster boy, their messiah… their “tool” to mechanize America. Even as Murphy “comes to his senses” and goes rogue to solve his own attempted murder the ultra-conservatives and OmniCorp try to spin the events as showing how corruptible humans are and how machines would not be. They even plan to “martyr” Murphy out of fear because his wife went to the press because OmniCorp would not let her see him and might reveal what they did to him. Poor Murph can’t get a break.

But like I said before, much has changed since the 80s. “Hair metal, glam metal,” or whatever-they-want-to-call-it-these-days metal has long had its party ruined by some coffee-gulping Seattle punks which lead to… whatever they call that shit on the radio now (can’t be music). Conspicuous consumerism has been eroded to conspicuous consumer pessimism while megacorps suck up the wealth like some hybrid octopus/shop-vac. And obviously, that one day… which lead to the NSA’s global panopticon and current planet-sized prison. Naturally, if a reboot needed to be made it would have to show the world in current terms as opposed to past expectations, but you’d think they would keep some of the philosophical aspect of Murphy’s transformation. Well, they do, but not in terms of death and rebirth. Rather, Murphy’s transformation and subsequent treatment is more about the dehumanization of a man, and possibly the whole of humanity, in the name of “security”, “peace”, and PROFITS.

RoboCop (2014) - Training

It looks like someone’s been watching Equilibrium.

Conclusion: Paul Verhoeven’s RoboCop was certainly the jewel of 80s cyberpunk, and its theme of death and resurection will make this an all-time classic. But you can’t blame José Padilha for wanting to update it to reflect current world events; The times they are a-changin’ (Bob Dylan) and even RoboCop can use an upgrade every so often. The movie works on its own with its theme of corporate dehumanization, so newbies have something to look forward to. As for us veterans… you have been warned.

ONE MORE THING: Samuel L. Jackson… DOES HE LOOK LIKE A BITCH?