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Feature Article

Why Altered Carbon Is Game Of Thrones For Cyberpunk

Carbonated.

Altered Carbon is out now on Netflix and we're quite big fans of it. Between the cyberpunk sci-fi world, the who-dun-it detective story, and the cast of memorable characters, we think it's one of the best shows on the streaming service.

Although sci-fi continues to be perennially popular, cyberpunk as a genre is still somewhat niche. In 2018, however, it is on the cusp of grabbing the attention of a much broader market, and we think Altered Carbon could have a big part of that.

In the video, above Lucy and Tamoor discuss the show in detail, tackling the show's themes, its plot, characters, production, and everything else in between. It's a spoiler-filled deep dive, so we recommend watching the series first and then coming back to hear their thoughts.

Alternatively, you can watch our spoiler-free Altered Carbon review for a broader look at why we like it. We also have a written Altered Carbon review for you to check out. The show is also densely packed with information, so we've also put together a video breaking down of all the Altered Carbon jargon you need to know.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Tamz

Tamoor Hussain

I am your OG and I will be respected as such
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Avatar image for lzand0z
lzand0z

Altered Carbon is by far the best show on netflix, if not for the one reason that it shows TRUE evil.

it's completely in your face and doesnt give a S about political correctness.

i also love that there is a show that FINALLY brings the evils of the sex slave trade to the forefront.

the director and show producers deserve some serious props.

Avatar image for jyml8582
jyml8582

Altered Carbon is a good show, it's better than most of what we saw on TV today and definitely worth the time. A lot of money went into making the show and they're not shy to show it off. But I just feel people are giving it way too much credit. I mean, it's good, but not That good. "Game of Thrones" for Cyberpunk? Seriously?

I binged all 10 episodes over the weekend and couldn't help but feel the show tries too hard, and a bit cliché. First off, the set up is way too complicated to follow and enjoy, I find myself constantly going back and forth to check the facts for cause and effect. Then it tries too hard to be politically correct, I mean you can find every ethnicity and language you can think of in this one show, but most of them are not essential to the story. I still don't understand how all of them could communicate in different languages from time to time and still understands each other perfectly. Then it's the characters, the only important characters are the one played by Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy, Kristin Lehman, and Chris Conner, that's it. If you remove everyone else besides these 4 it doesn't even impact the story. I actually feel the whole point for Ortega is to fill the minority quota, her character is utterly useless and completely irrelevant. And last but not least is the story setting. There are way too many terminologies and technicalities they invented for this show, so much so the show runners themselves couldn't even keep up without contradicting their own setting. They never explained when and why Takeshi abandoned his original sleeve for the other Asian one we saw in the first episode, and why, in the first episode, did he wake up to look in the mirror and reacted like he was re-sleeved for the first time when he was not.

I don't think these are loop holes that will be explained in the next season, these are obviously caused by oversight and I don't blame them because it was just beyond complicated. Altered Carbon is a good show with a cool set up, but it tries too hard to please everybody, to be perfect, and in the end it is anything but. If you can appreciate a good sci-fi show without going into too much details then you'd absolutely love AC. But in my opinion, Westworld is a better sci-fi storyteller by far.

Avatar image for bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

Altered Carbon is way more gritty & dark than GOT. I've watched the season & I think there's definitely a niche audience that will love this but I don't think it's going to have the broad appeal that game of Thrones acquired.

Personally I loved it. I'm going to have to get my hands on the novels, I want more.

Avatar image for gotrekfabian
gotrekfabian

I don't know what's wrong with some of these commenters, I thought that it was a great show. Great story, well adapted script and good direction. Kovacs is a great character, some of the best scenes were of him getting into combat while donning a pink rucksack with a unicorn and rainbow on it. I was 'ooh-ing' the sick fatalities at the same time as chuckling at his inappropriate apparel and I can't remember the last time I did that.

Avatar image for Xylymphydyte
Xylymphydyte

I miss when everything wasn't just the Dark Souls of X, the Game of Thrones of Y and the Harry Potter of Z. Have you writers ever played, seen or read anything else?

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Avatar image for lionheartssj1
lionheartssj1

@Xylymphydyte: Comparisons are alright, but can be used very lazily, and they have been. I can't speak directly to their comparison here, since I can't watch the whole thing yet, but I know what you mean.

Avatar image for Xylymphydyte
Xylymphydyte

@lionheartssj1: Sure comparison is a powerful tool for description and review but I swear to god no one in any form of media has played or seen anything in the past 15 years except those three I named. I'm scratching read, I don't think that's a thing they do much of.

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fraga500

no it's not.

Avatar image for ecurl143
ecurl143

Not sure if I was watching the same show as some of you but I watched all 10 episodes yesterday in a binge-fest and thought it was superb.

For a TV show, this puts some major film franchises to shame. The production levels are pretty sweet and Netflix basically threw everything at this knowing it would pay them back big time.

If you're sci-fi fan who likes cyberpunk, you owe it to yourself to watch this.

I expect Cyberpunk 2077 to be delayed because of this show. After the CD Projekt Red development team see this, they might want to re-visit some of their ideas.

Watch this space.

Avatar image for fraga500
fraga500

@ecurl143: i was going to agree until i read "I expect Cyberpunk 2077 to be delayed because of this show."

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@ecurl143: Nice to see a positive comment, loads of cynical bastards below hating on this show. I thought it was good and an enjoyable piece of sci fi.

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ballaShotCaller

Cyberpunk 2078 confirmed.

Avatar image for freeformrulz
freeformrulz

whats next? its the dark souls of tv fk off mate

Avatar image for Jaykray
Jaykray

No, AC is not Game of Thrones for cyberpunk. It's not even cyberpunk for cyberpunk. The writing is facetious and immature (unlike Blade Runner and its sequel, which AC is obviously cribbing from) and the acting is either mediocre at best, or melodramatic. It doesn't have the nuance of Blade Runner, nor the the depth of writing and acting of GoT. Like many cable television shows these days, AC is both silly and overrated. Good cyberpunk is difficult to pull off properly, and Altered Carbon clearly demonstrates that.

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ShadowWeaver

The show is convoluted imho. Tired of everything in CGI as well. The pacing is slow and the writing is lackluster at best.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800
gamingdevil800

@hellzicke: So many spam bots sneaking into the comments lately.

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ukiyostudio

This is one of the worst shows ever. Right up there with Sense 8 for just awful middle school level writing.

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NativePixel

The show falls short on writing and pacing it's just okay.

Avatar image for restatbonfire
RestatBonfire

Comparing everything to game of thrones is weak sauce

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streamline

@restatbonfire: Then give them specific recommendations so that they can better meet your needs the next time.

Avatar image for Jaykray
Jaykray

@streamline: A journalist shouldn't need the recommendations of fans, as it's their job to have a bit of knowledge on the subject matter they're writing on.

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streamline

@Jaykray: Not telling the readers to write at article. Only suggesting that they give feedback instead of just complaining. If the writers does a bad job in comparing specifics, then it is their job to get it right, but if it is they think we want to see comparisons to GoT, but we prefer something else, we should voice our opinions so that they know what to consider next time. And if they don’t change becaus they don’t agree, we show them by taking our business to other websites.

Not the exact same situation, but if you go to a restaurant and you don’t like the fact that they put onions on everything, would you just complain and say that the chef should know better or say something, even if it is to ask for no onions? If they keep bringing you onions, then you find a better restaurant, right?

Avatar image for clonitza
clonitza

@streamline: There's no reason when someone compares everything with GoT

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streamline

@clonitza: If you’re not of the solution....

By the way, this isn’t a video about how it compares to GoT, in case you were thinking that. They refer to it in 2-3 lines and it wasn’t a comparison, but a reference to GoT.