Verdict: Sleek, stylish, realistic and ominous, "2084" is an Orwellian world on steroids.
This review is based on the APP 2084 and Feeds 1-6.
It is the year 2084. Among the numerous political, geographical and technological changes that have taken place: China has established a permanent habitat on Mars, the red planet; Brazil and Japan have created the first space foundry on the asteroid Ceres; World War III occurs within Asia, namely between China, Russia, India and South Korea; whales are extinct and a Christian terrorist group launches a virus in several major international cities leading to the death of tens of thousands of people.
In this futuristic world, VIVO (Virtual Interface Vision Overlay) has created the technology to capture a virtual world through sensory implants in the body. VIVO also offers artificial intelligence assistants, dubbed “ARTIES” which act as a user’s virtual brain or processor of sorts. The senior VP of VIVOCORP is arrested for his involvement in a child prostitution ring. Inspector Antonious Serra, who brought the charges against the senior VP of the company survives attempts to undermine his reputation, but ends up being “promoted” to a mid-level security position, where he stumbles upon another series of crimes that hint of something more sinister and surreptitious.
“2084“ is an iPad graphic novel app presented in stereographic 3D. Though it can be read without the glasses, the red/cyan glasses, included in the purchase price of the basic app allow the reader to be immersed in the futuristic world of “2084” with its crisp detail and virtual effects of the graphics, such as the floating metallic drones used to map out a crime scene.
Created by Mark Sroufe/ThunderCloud Studios, llc., the basic app provides the background of the “2084” world, The History of the 21st century and the detailed explanation of how VIVO works. Understanding the intricate system of virtual interface allows the reader to understand the full implication of the Orwellian quotations that introduce the feeds/scenes/episodes of the novel. For example: “If you don’t control your mind, someone else will,” John Allston or “When you control a man’s thinking, you don’t have to worry about his actions,” Carter G. Woodson.
Each of the separately purchased feeds of this continuous novel presents a scene of the novel through a unique blend of sound effects, haunting music and dynamic and stationary graphic images; unraveling the complexities and workings of both the world of “2084” and its characters, from the troubled Veritas Portia Reems Hernandez, a Vivocorp Executive VP of Research and Development who is conspiring with shady figures to protect her assets, to the Public Security Inspector Serra whose career suffered when he brought down a Vivocorp executive involved in a child prostitution ring.
The feeds are short but their impact is striking and suspenseful both visually and plot-wise. The mostly dark, stark images of the futuristic world convey the science fiction themes and noir style of the novel, balanced by some light moments, such as when Serra’s Artie fashions itself after the likeness of his great aunt, Nita and creates an ‘old fashioned’ office for the Inspector.
Sleek, stylish, realistic and ominous, “2084” is an Orwellian world on steroids.
Reviewed by Maya Fleischmann for IndieReader