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2.0 (Two-point-oh), Less often called " Gear Babies 2.0" is an elaborate remake of the original American fan-animation Gear Babies , its first part released in November 2014, and finished on September 26th, 2016. It was directed by Arcanum Order, produced by Critical Pictures staff and XAINAX, and in association with Temarfilm Industries and PBEntertainment. As of now it is only available in the English language, but possible dubs or subtitles in other languages such as French, German, and Japanese may be accessible in the future. 2.0 has an unrelated side-project, Finding the Garden of Eden.

Production

Similar to the original, it was produced in Sony Vegas Pro 12 , and drawn in Adobe Flash CS6 . Still based roughly on the Gears of War franchise, the film has a longer run time time of 90 minutes and is higher quality. Talk of a second movie was planned immediately after the completion of Gear Babies in 2011. Originally the idea was to have a sequel called Children of War , but was soon changed to be a remake .

Despite the release of a teaser trailer for Children of War in 2010, actual production for 2.0 didn't begin until 2013 due to postponement . The film reached completion in the fall of 2016. 2.0 is roughly subjected to Gears of War canon, while in a timeline based on the book Aspho Fields except with the characters being much younger. While despite the notable age gap, the timeline of events, dialogue, and most characters are considered canonically correct there were some other adjustments made to allow some originality to be made by Critical including major character developments.

Synopsis

Marcus Fenix is a nine year old boy growing up to a wealthy family of scientists to the Coalition of Ordered Governments, the only military of the Planet Sera with a 26 hour day. Already frustrated that his mother is occupied with research on a mysterious subterranean species of so-called "monsters", he is faced with his father Adam leaving for deployment once again. Marcus retreats to his best friends Carlos and Dom's family: The Santiago household.

Meanwhile Prescott, the Chairman of the COG is conducting a project for children to enlist in the army for extra support, and mainly a learning experience. While Adam Fenix is reoccupied with redeployment, his missing wife, and the development of a deadly weapon, Marcus along with his friends enlist to the military to escape the lives they were currently living, to only be faced with hardships and the opposite of what they were looking for: Girls, hope, and a better life.

There are multiple subplots of the film, many involving arcs of individual character backgrounds.

There has been talk of possible alternative endings to 2.0. There are multiple deleted scenes, however.

Promotions

Several promos were done for 2.0, including a set of posters. 2.0 also has an official Facebook page which updates by posting screenshots of upcoming scenes. 

Themes and analysis

2.0 is a dystopian retrofuturistic film set presumably sometime in the future where technology is far more advanced, and on a fictional planet named Sera which has a 26 hour day. The movie mainly has apocalyptic and horror themes as well as comedy. Some critics consider it an anti-war film due to its graphic and emotional content. The film focuses on not only fantasy, but some realistic outcomes by war's effect rather than glamorizing it as some sort of heroism. The film also emphasizes the short and long term effects of dysfunctional families, neglect and abuse, and a society's failure as a whole.

Delay and Release

The movie was originally rumored to be released by September of 2013, but hardly any production was done which lead the release to be delayed. The animated short Rendezvous was originally planned to be shown before the initial airing of the film, but it wasn't finished.

The film was divided into six parts total during production: The film's first part was released November 29th, 2014. Part two of 2.0 was released February 2nd, 2015. Part three was released May 28th, 2015. Part four released on September 23rd, 2015. The fifth part was released on the night of April 28th, 2016. The final part of the film was completed on September 26th, 2016, and was released along with the re-upload of all six parts merged together on September 27th, 2016.

A limited amount of DVD copies will be given away to members of the fanime community based on relevance to the film, and on a first come first serve basis as well. Additional copies will be made by demand and through Patreon backers. The DVD will feature two discs: disc one with the film, and disc two with special features such as behind the scenes and interviews with the cast.

Reception

2.0 so far has received mostly positive acclaim from critics mainly for its artistic appeal, considered to be "desaturated but still beautiful". The fanime community describes it as very well animated and exceptionally pleasing to watch. "There's dramatic pause scenes where you let the viewer soak in the moment, it really takes advantage of the music." - Point Blank Entertainment  "There's interesting face angles; like when the camera is looking slightly down at a character, or when their head is slightly tilted to one side. Those are super interesting to me."

Negative reception was very little for the film's performance where at first it's confusing at times, but for the text-to-voice used for Victor Hoffman, believing "it takes a portion of emotion away from the film considering Hoffman is such an angry character". Other negative reception was mostly for sound quality being "fuzzy" at times, and misunderstanding of canon accuracy for characters that were made younger to fit the narrative.

Concept

Concept art for the characters in 2.0. (From left to right, top to bottom): Marcus Fenix, Dom Santiago, Damon Baird, Augustus Cole, Anthony Carmine, Anya Stroud.

Cast and Characters

Click on the character name for a full biography (organized by last name). These include both franchise canon characters and original characters.

Additional Voices

  • Officer - Anthony Balmung (Willard Zenni) 
  • Assembly Men 1 & 2 - Chris Rosebrough 
  • Advisor Woman - Elly G 
  • Injured Spec-Op - Jon Jafari 

Soundtrack and Score 

2.0 Original Soundtrack: The 2.0 soundtrack consists of many songs of several genres.

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