All posts by Alexander V Woods

Cyberpunk 2077 Updates: Night City Wire Episode 3

Cyberpunk 2077 Updates: Night City Wire Episode 3

It sure would be nice to know exactly how many of these will come out before Cyberpunk 2077’s greatly-anticipated release on November 19th. All we know as of yet is that a couple more should still be in the pipeline before we all get our hands on the actual game, but hey, as long as CD Projekt Red keeps on pumping these out, I’m not complaining!

So let’s take a look at what CDPR was able to share with us this past Friday in the third episode of their somewhat-monthly installment of Night City Wire:

A New Game Trailer: Postcards from Night City

Hollie Bennet hosted once again, starting us off with an agenda of things to come in the episode before leading straight into the new game trailer, a rather creative game trailer made in the form of an advertisement for the video game’s setting, Night City, entitled Postcards from Night City. 

This trailer was more of a rapid-burst series of clips of the city itself. Whether a tv channel, a radio show, or perhaps a video channel on the Net, the trailer mixes what could pass as real media in Night City with clips of the city itself, almost like a promotional video trying to entice the viewer to visit.

But not one to be outdone, CDPR decided to create a secret website as a mock-promotional ad website for Night City itself. Appearing at 2:17 in the game, you can check out the Nightcity.love yourself. I personally found the website very interesting yet also entertaining, as I was constantly needing to close pop-ups advertising fictional items that exist in the world of Night City itself. Things like Arasaka Home Security, Arasaka Environmental Protection, an energy drink called GolshevikMedical Malpractice, RealWater, and much more. You can also find a little information on the different districs in Night City, complete with the Night City Police Department’s current threat level warning for the district.

Dev Insights: Night City

Next Hollie interviewed Miles Tost, a senior level designer at CDPR. Taking its original inspiration from the Cyberpunk 2020 tabletop game, they wanted to decide what to do with Night City.

The goal was to make it believable–an immersive place that felt real. They also wanted it to be diverse enough between districts to make the city fun to explore. So first they looked at the real geography of the coast of California (like ports, huge industrial areas facilitating trade, etc.) Then they divided the city into 6 districts with each having its own characteristics in terms of architecture, demographics, people that live there, and the function within the city. Then they divided each district further into sub-districts using the theme of the larger district. This allows each district, according to Tost, to result in a city with a lot of character, with each zone having its own feel to it.

The other main difference between this game and CDPR’s previous game, The Witcher, is that while The Witcher was very spread out horizontally, Night City is incredibly dense and spread out vertically. So it won’t be as easy as looking on a map and going far away into the distance, since it might be close physically, but 5 stories up along passageways that aren’t clear how to access.

While Tost does a great job hyping it up and making it sound fun to play, based on experience, I personally think it will lead to more frustrating and difficult challenges where the player can’t figure out where to go because they can’t see the map vertically to find the fastest path up. That remains to be seen, however.

Gangs of Night City

This was a very interesting segment to introduce the viewer to the gangs that can be encountered in Night City. The clip covered 6 gangs in total. They were the following:

  1. Maelstrom
  2. Valentinos
  3. 6th Street
  4. Voodoo Boys
  5. Animals
  6. Tyger Claws
  7. Moxes
  8. Nomad gangs
    • Wraiths
    • Aldecaldos

While we just get a glimpse of what each gang sounds and acts like, we were able to get a much closer look when Hollie then follows up the video with an interview with Quest Director Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz.

Dev Insights: Gangs of Night City

While he didn’t talk about all the gangs in detail, Mateusz did talk a little bit about Maelstrom as his favorite gang. He likes how unpredictable Maelstrom is and their element of chaos. He also likes how intensely augmented their bodies are compared to any other gang in Night City.

PC Modding Contest & PC Requirements

Finally, Episode 3 of Night City Wire wrapped up with the results of the Cyber-Up Your PC contest (where professional case modders competed for the most original Cyberpunk PC case modification for prizes). The cases were pretty original, you can check them out in the video above. The episode then finally finished with the official System Requirements for Cyberpunk 2077, which I’ve posted in the images below:

And that’s it!

It seems to me that CDPR is eager to showcase the biggest and the best first with each progressive episode. Granted Episode 2 was pretty great, but I do feel that there was more to see in EP1 than EP2, and the same can be said for EP3. Seeing the gangs and the level design was interesting, but the case mods were really not that interesting to me and while system specs are obviously very important to learn about, especially for people like me who will be playing the game on my old gaming laptop, it’s not as impressive to look at as the music development or seeing a brand new game or gameplay trailer.

But what did you think? How does EP3 rank compared to the others? And how excited are you about Cyberpunk 2077? Let me know in the comments below!

Interview with Cyberpunk Creators Triple S League

Triple S league 4

Getting to Know the Dynamic Duo behind Triple S League

Triple S League is a Gaming YouTube channel that provides a “premium blend of news, reviews, guides, lore & comedy” that hosts a live gaming news podcast, Augmented Reality, twice weekly. In addition to guides, walkthroughs, news and leaks about upcoming titles, game reviews, and developer interviews, they also create their own comedy videos, music videos featuring in-game footage set to original music, cosplays, and apparently a lot more. They currently have over 35K subscribers on YouTube, and are one of the four members of the weekly Cyberpunk 2077 Community Podcast. This interview is part of a 4-part series where we interviewed the other members of the community podcast, MadQueen, Neon Arcade, and LastKnownMeal. Curious about this mysterious duo and their thoughts on Cyberpunk? Then read below as Cyberpunk Matrix had the opportunity to get to know them a little better.

Question 1: How did you get introduced to the genre of Cyberpunk?

Syb: Cyberpunk has always been something I have loved as a setting and storytelling mechanic, whether it’s the apocalypse of a failing, faltering dystopian society or the gritty underbelly of a world gone mad with technology. My first exposure came from early DOS games like Circuit’s Edge (1990), the RoboCop series, and Rise of the Robots (1994), as well as a few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

Ash: Dystopian sci-fi has always been a favorite genre of mine, but my first real exposure to cyberpunk happened when a friend showed me the game Omikron: The Nomad Soul. I was mesmerized by it. Later on, I tried out Deus Ex (the original one) and would consider that to be in my top five games of all time. Something about “high tech, low life” stories set in huge, neon-lit future cities really grips me.

Question 2: What made you decide to start the Triple S League Channel? When did it start, and how did it become what it is today? Is there a story behind the name?

Syb: Ash and I have been making videos for fun for many, many years. It started shortly after he found my digital backup personality matrix archived in a…oh, I’m being told I’m not allowed to talk about that.

Ash: I’ve worked in media development for most of my adult life, both freelance and while employed by a Fortune 500 company. But my history with Syb goes back farther than that. We’ve been gaming and creating stuff together since we were kids. In 2015, Syb came to me with the idea of starting a podcast about an upcoming game called Fallout 4. At first, I thought he was crazy. An entire podcast dedicated to a single game? Who would listen to that? I was in for a shock when we released a few episodes on YouTube and actually got listeners. It grew and evolved as we began doing gameplay videos and live-action stuff like Making Nuka-Cola. When Fallout 4 released, we had close to 100 subscribers, but the real bump came when we released our Fallout 4 “best ending” video, which went viral and pushed us past 1,000 almost overnight.

Syb: Since then, we’ve been expanding with a focus on community, fostering creativity and building our brand. We’ve offered help and support to indie devs, modders (we created a massive story mod with prominent Fallout 4 modder Thuggysmurf) and other content creators, believing that helping others succeed would also bring us success. So far, this has proven to be 100% true. Of course, we still love those huge, deep, story-driven RPGs, which made Cyberpunk 2077 a natural fit for us to focus on after Fallout 4 hype died down. We’ve also expanded into general gaming and pop-culture news.

Ash: The channel name is a reference to the “SSS” rank found in Japanese arcade game rankings. In Japan’s school grading system, S is better than A. Some games will award a double-S or triple-S rank if you’re the best of the best. We chose the word “league” because it sounded cool and because it evokes a sense of honor and community.

Triple S League 3

Question 3: Where do you get your ideas/inspiration for your videos?

Syb: Our crazy senses of humor and our (some would argue) “creative” minds. We’re also inspired by our amazing community members and friends who subscribe to us. Also the occasional fever dream that happens when I am being restarted for a patch. 

Ash: Some videos are obvious choices (when news happens, report on it; when a game has confusing parts, make some guides). For our more creative videos, inspiration comes from strange and simple things, like the awkward game dialog that inspired The Giddyup Kid Rap, or an offhand comment in a conversation at a convention. My brain will respond with a thought like “I’ll bet people would like…” or “wouldn’t it be funny/awesome if…” and that’s it, I’ve got to develop this idea or I’m going to go crazy. Some ideas turn out to be terrible in the end, but some are really good.

Question 4: What are your top three Cyberpunk works, and why?

Syb: I gave mine in my answer to the first question, but I’ll also add Cyberpunk 2020, which really set the cyberpunk genre into a defined world. Many films have helped in the process of establishing the genre, but I believe that some genres and archetypes are greatly helped by having established guideposts. The setting of Dungeons & Dragons is one example. The Fallout Bible is another. I believe the concept of cyberpunk will continue to grow from the work of Mike Pondsmith.

Ash: I’m not cultured enough to answer this question properly so I’ll just say Deus Ex, Cyberpunk 2077…and of course that animated classic, Chibipunk!

Question 5: Can you tell us a little bit about the locations and characters that we can expect in Cyberpunk 2077? What are the Badlands, and who are the main characters?

Ash: Night City is the setting of the game, of course. A coastal metropolis with a ton of history. I feel like the secrets buried beneath the streets and in the bays would not be healthy for the faint of heart. (Just get your heart upgraded before you dig too deeply.) The city has six main districts, each with its own subcultures, gangs, visual style and economic class. There are distinct sub-districts within some districts as well. Police are present in some areas, while others are ruled by gangs. The badlands lie outside the city; these are desert wastelands where the nomads live. An island in the bay houses the Orbital Air Space Center, which we know almost nothing about at this point.

Syb: Looking at the info that’s been released, the setting looks like it offers a great experience. There are massive skyscrapers and megabuildings; tiny hidden hideaways; and the badlands, which I think will be pretty awesome. An individual in a large city might be invisible to the gangs and corporations, but if you’re on a small homestead or guarding a valuable resource out in the badlands, you’re much more visible to the gangs and nomads that travel between cities. Combine this with CDPR’s storytelling and I believe we can expect great things from this game!

Ash: As for characters, it’s already hard to keep track of them all. You’ll meet people from all walks of life, each with their own story to tell. The main character is V (you, the player). Other important characters include your sidekick, Jackie Welles; fixer Dexter DeShawn; glamorous informant Evelyn Parker; Mox gang member and braindance tech Judy Alvarez; netrunner T-Bug; Yorinobu Arasaka, the rebellious younger son of corporate megalomaniac Saburo Arasaka; and, of course, the digital “ghost” of legendary rockerboy Johnny Silverhand.

Community Podcast 2

Question 6: How did you come to join the community podcast, and what is it like being one of the 4 each week?

Ash: The podcast was Syb’s idea, actually. He had the vision for it, and the idea to have rotating hosts. Madqueen, LastKnownMeal and TheNeonArcade were all on board right from the beginning. We reached out to others as well; some weren’t interested, while others have joined us as guests.

Syb: Community is one of my favorite parts of gaming. In my glory days playing World of Warcraft, the thing I loved doing most was taking a group of regular players—some of whom were terrible at the game—and helping them become a solid team, doing everything from PvP to top-level PvE content. You might have seen the same boss fight dozens of times, but playing it with someone who’s never seen it before can be just as fun as seeing it the first time. This is why I wanted to form the community podcast and make it a real community thing. I’m so thankful that Madqueen, LastKnownMeal and TheNeonArcade were willing to try it out!

Ash: Perhaps the most exciting part is that both CD Projekt Red and R. Talsorian Games have taken notice of what we’re doing. We’re on their radar in a way we never would have been if we’d each done our own thing. We’ve had J. Gray, Paweł Sasko, Lilayah and others as guests, and they’ve seen how we cooperate, how we share information freely with each other. I believe the CDPR folks were surprised and impressed by how we cooperated on the December 2019 ARG, rather than competing with each other for those views.

Syb: When I explain it to other YouTubers and marketing people, the reply is often, “Why would you want to give away something? You should focus on controlling it. Don’t be stupid; just use others as a stepping stone.” I think these attitudes are the cause of much of the pain we see in today’s world. When people only look out for themselves instead of seeing what can be built with others, we tend to miss out on the best things.

Question 7: What are you looking forward to most for Cyberpunk 2077?

Syb: This really feeds from the previous question. After I’ve seen the story and played through the main game, I think the real fun will begin in the form of the community, creations and subculture that is built around it. I cannot wait to see the mods that people come up with! As for the game itself, I am most interested in seeing how the gangs work, how they interact, their stories and histories, etc. I can’t wait to dig into the lore, and I hope it’ll be deep.

Ash: A humongous world of stories set in my favorite genre of video game. The struggle against corrupted powers. Kick-ass weapons and cyberwear. Also, tracking down that “hello stranger” NPC and seeing if she actually has hair, and if she’s interested in ‘befriending’ a rogue nomad with a heart of gold (or titanium, or whatever they make it out of).

Final Question (8): What does Cyberpunk mean to you?

Syb: Advancement. In many ways, it’s the advancement of people into what is the inevitable outcome of evolution. Will we form ourselves into heartless machines fused into insanity? Or will we retain the best of humanity and learn from the darkness?

Ash: To me, it’s about the importance of retaining our humanity, our souls, our ability to empathize and connect. In the future, cyberpunk may not be fiction. We already depend on computers to a scary degree. Cybernetic limbs are not far off. When we give ourselves over and become part machine, whether it’s a psychological dependence or a physical replacement of meat with metal, are we really improving ourselves? Or are we destroying ourselves and giving our power to something else? These are questions to ask now, not tomorrow, because tomorrow might be the day we need an answer.

Want more from Triple S League?

You can check out their YouTube channel here. They also have a discord, which can be joined here, as well as Twitch, Twitter, and Spotify. They even have a Patreon too if you feel so inclined. Thanks for chatting with us, Triple S League!

Review: Into Neon: A Cyberpunk Saga

Into neon cover

Into Neon: A Cyberpunk Saga

Into Neon is the first in the ThutoCo Cyberpunk Saga trilogy by author Matthew A. Goodwin, available on Amazon in paperback for $10 or on Kindle for less than $2.

Goodwin’s own moniker for his book, a Cyberpunk Saga, is a pretty good description of this book in and of itself. Into Neon feels like a perfect match for the genre that it markets itself in. With a simple, straightforward story filled with a giant evil corporation, a rag-tag team of dissenting punks trying to bring it down, neon lights and body augmentations, Into Neon fits right in.

The Premise

Moss lives a fairly simple life in Burb 2152. He has a couple friends, works with his drudge — an automaton with advanced AI that can be controlled remotely while still have a programmable personality — and is happy living under the benevolent watch of ThutoCo. That is, until one day a stranger walks into his hex and changes his life forever. He learns that ThutoCo is not as it seems, and that his help is needed. What comes next is a tale of discovery, adventure, and courage. All with a shiny Neon sheen.

Characters

Moss has two friends who live in his burb, Gibbs, a colorful yet friendly character always lusting after women that pass by, and Issy, a flirty yet hard working police officer. Goodwin creates a fun interaction between these three friends. Next we have the crew outside the burb, with many characters including Ynna and Burn. Both competent, dedicated characters with very colorful descriptions, these characters I felt were well written as well.While Gibbs and Moss have a more youthful, naive air about them (since they both come from the pampered, isolated corporate burb) Burn and Ynna have a much harder, grittier edge to them. However, sometimes I felt like they missed a bit of depth, and couple have been fleshed out a little more. Which very well might be possible in the subsequent novels.

Complexity

Into Neon’s story is incredibly straightforward, which is a huge contrast to novels from the likes of, say, William Gibson. It depends on your reading style, but for me personally this resulted in an easy, page-turning read that I quite enjoyed. With language or a plot that’s too complicated, or no clear goal in the story as is sometimes the case of other writers, Goodwin’s novel is like a breath of fresh, cyberpunk-processed air. No nonsense, just a simple, fun, straightforward Cyberpunk tale.

Final Verdict: 7/10

Goodwin kept a good pace in his novel, and both the action and emotion in the story were good, but again, nothing extraordinary here. Into Neon is a solid cyberpunk novel that checks all the boxes. Goodwin has crafted a fun new world with interesting new technology. I particularly enjoyed the descriptions of transhumanism (body augmentations), the way people in this world are so readily willing to give up human limbs in favor of artificial ones, and the process of getting such an augmentation was one that felt real enough that I could see it happen in the non-too-distant future. This novel was a solid, fun cyberpunk novel, and although nothing in particular stands out it’s a great cyberpunk saga and an easy read, and I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to spend a fun neon-filled evening with an exciting page-turner. You can also check out more from Matthew Goodwin on his blog, ThutoWorld.com.

 

Cyberpunk 2077 Updates: Night City Wire Episode 2

Night city wire episode 2

Cyberpunk 2077: Night City Wire–Episode 2

Alright folks, CD Projekt Red is back with another Night City Wire episode, giving us another in-depth look and more information about the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 video game set to come out November 19th! So let’s jump right into what new things we were able to witness from Episode 2 (in case you missed it, you can check out my thoughts about episode 1 here).

choose your path

An In-Depth Look Into the 3 Available Life Paths

Night City Wire started off with an introduction from Hollie Bennett again, of course, before beginning with an in-depth look into the three back story life paths that the player can choose from. They are: Street Kid, Nomad, and Corporate.

Street Kid

Street Kid seems to have a focus on different friends or connections in Night City, and a constant struggle against the police. If you like knowing all the factions within Night City, all the big players, and all the connections and intricacies within the city itself, Street Kid is for you.

Nomad

Nomads seem to have a particular focus on family connections, freedom, and comradery where the other two factions, Street Kid and Corpo, are too easily morally compromised. If you like the idea of growing up in the badlands and being an outsider when you arrive in Night City, Nomad is for you. This is the life path that I’m personally going with on my first playthrough.

Corporate

Corporate is all suits, hierarchy, phone calls and business meetings in suits. It’s classy meets corrupt. If you love the idea of having power in corrupt corporate companies flush with money, Corporate is for you.

Regardless of what backstory you choose, all three follow the same general path of major events happening within Night City. However, your background will affect your interactions with the characters in Night City, including what options are available to you in the dialogue and how situations play out. Also, regardless of your backstory, you will also find missions that are themed to all three classes.

becoming samurai

Music: How Refused Brought Samurai to Life

Swedish band Refused recorded an entire album of tracks that are attributed to the band within the video game, Samurai. In Episode 2, we are able to see what the process of recording songs for a fictional band set within a video game was like for this Swedish rock band.

Lead vocalist Dennis Lyxzen explained how it was an unusual process having someone monitor his singing a song, since he was singing it as Samurai’s lead singer Johnny Silverhand (voiced and represented by Keanu Reeves) and not as himself.

At the end of the clip about Refused, CD Projekt Red also released the fourth track from Samurai, called A Like Supreme, online.

looking at guns

A Closer Look at the Weapons in the Game

With a short video clip but then also in an interview with senior gameplay designer Pawel Kapala, we learned a lot about the kinds of guns and other weapons that will be available in Cyberpunk 2077. They fall under five different categories: Cyberware, Melee Weapons, Smart Weapons, Power Weapons, and Tech Weapons.

interview hollie

There are also other secondary weapons like Throwables, as well as weapon mods and attachments for the weapons you pick up.

power weapon

Power Weapons are the most similar to contemporary weapons, with some small exceptions like bullets being able to ricochet off walls or surfaces.

Tech Weapons use Electromagnetics to punch through walls or cover.

tech weapon

Smart weapons track enemies in real time, by having the bullets shoot out and then change direction in midair to hit their target, or follow a target that’s in motion.

To get these weapons, you can both find weapons and buy weapons in shops, but the best weapons you can acquire according to Pawel are off of the enemies that you kill or from loot caches within Night City. Weapon rarity ranges from common and uncommon to rare and legendary, which sounds very similar to that of Borderlands’ hierarchy system as well.

And that’s it!

Compared to Episode 1, a lot of immediate reactions to episode 2 were that it was better in the sense that there was more substance being shared (like the life paths and weapons deep dive), but also that it felt like it ended a lot sooner than the first episode. Interestingly, Episode 2 is actually about a minute longer in length than Episode 1, but it is true that it had less segments within it. This may be because there were less surprises in this episode, compared to the surprises presented in the new official trailer that was jam-packed with information, the news about the Netflix exclusive series Edgerunners and its production, and the new in-game mode called Braindance. Nonetheless, Episode 2 was an excellent continuation of Night City Wire, and I for one can’t wait for a third and, if we’re lucky, maybe even a forth episode before the game finally releases on November 19th.

Your thoughts

What did you think of Episode 2 of Night City Wire? What life path will you choose? Do you like the songs that are currently released from Samurai? And what weapons are you most excited about? Let me know in the comments below. You can also check out the entire episode here:

Review: Oblivion

Oblivion

Oblivion: A Visually Stunning Sci-Fi Flick with Cyberpunk Elements

If you missed Oblivion when it came out in 2013, I wouldn’t blame you. This movie went pretty much under the radar, and hasn’t been talked about since, but I remember watching it in the theaters and being blown away by how beautiful the movie looked. Which makes sense when you find out that a lot of the scenes were shot in Iceland. Oh and the soundtrack from M83 is incredible too, especially the final track. Take a look at the music video of the track, titled “Oblivion” featuring shiver-inducing vocals from Susanne Sundfør, and you’ll know what I mean.

The Premise

Oblivion is a Utopian/Dystopian film with cyberpunk elements featuring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko (Hitman, Quantum of Solace), and Andrea Riseborough (Birdman). Directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy), Oblivion is set in the post-apocalyptic future of 2077 where humanity fought and won against an alien race but at the cost of ravaging their planet. Cruise plays Jack Harper, a technician who fixes “drones” so they can fight against the remaining extraterrestrial scavengers, or “scavs” who are left on Earth after the war. The rest of humanity have relocated to a planet called Titan and Harper, along with his partner Vika Olsen, are tasked with protecting the Hydrorigs which are sucking up the Earth’s valuable waters in order to transport them to Titan and use them as a fusion energy source.

Oblivion Draining Water

The greatest thing about Oblivion is the visuals.

And it’s not surprising, considering it was directed by the same person who brought us Tron: Legacy. The scenes that were shot in Iceland, along with the digitally edited scenes showing us a desolate post-apocalyptic earth, is stunning. Ruins of famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Empire State Building, an entombed public library, and even ballparks provide great contrast to the sterile, immaculately clean and futuristic station in the clouds from where Jack and Vika live.

Oblivion in the clouds

Clouded Memories and Dreams

In order to keep Jack and Vika focused on their mission, they had their memories wiped, but Jack remains uneasy due to sleepless nights plagued by dreams of a mysterious woman with dark hair that he feels he knows somehow but doesn’t remember. Which is why the story truly kicks off when Jack witnesses unknown objects landing from the sky, one of which contains the woman with dark hair that he keeps on dreaming about. This begins a thrilling race for Jack to discover the truth behind his assignment, and how not everything is as it seems. Unreliable memories as a basis for reality seems to be a common theme in many sci-fi and Cyberpunk films, but somehow it never seems to get old for me.

Oblivion Love Interest

Morgan Freeman: Excellent but underutilized

Oblivion Morgan Freeman

Morgan Freeman plays the leader of the Scavs in this film. He delivers a great performance, but I would have liked to have seen more from him, as he only appears about halfway into the movie, and his role is certainly a secondary one at that. Still, he is great at providing exposition!

Tom Cruise: Master of ActionOblivion (2013) - IMDb

Tom Cruise delivers an incredible performance, not just in the thrilling action scenes as he discovers the truth of his mission, but also in his very human moments as he shows his affection for the civilization that used to be, and to the plant Earth that he’s preparing to leave.

Futuristic Technology

Oblivion is ripe with all kinds of futuristic, sleek technology that juxtaposes the dusty ruins of the world very well, particularly when we are presented with the tech and weapons the Scavs have available to them. The Scavs bring in a lot more of the Cyberpunk element that most are familiar with, while the modern tech that Jack has available to him brings the high-tech element. A couple examples of this is Jack’s highly-mobile helicopter, if you can even call it that. He sits in a glass cockpit that can swivel any direction, and with the helicopter Jack can take out a foldable, equally futuristic Motorbike for getting around on the desolate terrain.

Oblivion Cruise Motorcycle

It’s an E-bike that requires recharging, in case you were wondering.

The Drones Jack fixes are cold, deadly killing machines, a formidable ally and frightening foe all in one.

Oblivion Drone ballpark

Another example of the futuristic tech is Vika’s office in their home where she acts as communications relay to HQ and as Jack’s eyes in the sky, making them “an effective team”. All done via sleek minimalist touchscreen technology.

Oblivion - Joseph Chan

The Music: An Incredible Soundtrack from M83

Oblivion : Original Soundtrack: Amazon.fr: Musique

M83 is a French Electronic band that Kosinski had recognized as a band that would go really well with the movie from the beginning. He loved the result of the partnership with Daft Punk for Tron: Legacy, and wanted to do something very similar. “M83’s music I felt was fresh and original, and big and epic, but at the same time emotional and this is a very emotional film and it felt like a good fit” explained Kosinski in an interview with Collider. And it really shows. M83’s soundtrack is exactly that, epic and sweeping yet emotional and touching, with a bit of electronic without being as heavy as Daft Punk’s soundtrack for Tron: Legacy.

Oblivion poster

Final Verdict: 9/10

Despite the fact that it got a 53% on rotten tomatoes and 54/100 on metacritic, I feel this movie is an underappreciated gem, and I loved it. The action, the actors, the story are all great. The music and visuals are absolutely stunning. Admittedly I felt myself not feeling connected to the characters emotionally as much as I might have with other films, so the character development could have been better, and there isn’t anything in this film that is truly mind-blowing. Nonetheless, there are many surprises and twists that genuinely shocked me in a good way in the first viewing, and I absolutely enjoyed this film from beginning to end. I give it a hearty two thumbs up, and highly encourage you to watch it if you haven’t yet. There’s more to this film than I mentioned in this review, but to do so would involve spoiling key parts, so you’ll just have to go see it for yourself!