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Editors’ Picks 8/10: A Sunken Sci-Fi City Universe Reboot

This week in Editors’ Picks: James recommends an underwater, abandoned city, Rollin doesn’t dig Pacey Witter as much as his two sci-fi partners, and newcomer Ian chooses to be excited about the upcoming Marvel reboots instead of shaking his fist at the heavens for as long as his arm can support the act.

James’ pick: The city of Rapture

After BioShock first released in 2007, I played the demo on my PS3. My initial impressions were that the game is a pretty regular FPS thinly disguised as something more complex, but the city in which the game takes place, Rapture, is really neat. Considering my thoughts on the actual gameplay I’d have to play through, I didn’t give the game a chance. Fast forward to the 2012 Steam Summer Sale, and both BioShock 1 and 2 were on sale as a package for only $9.95, so I gave them a shot.

Back in 2007 when I played the demo, I knew the city of Rapture was well-done, but now that I’ve managed to play through the entire game, I feel the city of Rapture is easily one of the best environments in the history of video games, possibly second or third only to the town of Silent Hill and the sprawling wildernesses and enormous cities of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. However, the initial assumptions I made about BioShock after I played the demo, unfortunately, still held true. The game is a pretty basic first-person shooter that tries to trick players into thinking it’s not with the addition of simple perks that provide the player character with benefits. Along with the gameplay, the story is fairly basic until it comes to an M. Night Shyamalan style twist all at once, then has an even more basic story of “kill the bad guy” for the rest of the game.

However, whether or not you dig basic first-person shooters, or think the addition of perks makes the game super deep, or had your mind blown by what I felt was a fairly predictable twist, the environment in which the game takes place is incredible, and easily got me through any negatives. The city of Rapture is absolutely amazing, providing the rarified Silent Hill style atmospherical creepiness. On top of that, the city is enormous, and you’ll rarely have to backtrack to an area you’ve already visited over the game’s fifteen to twenty hours of gameplay, ensuring that you’ll keep getting awesome environment after awesome environment. So, if you don’t actually like playing BioShock, you should at least trudge through in order to experience the city of Rapture. It helps that the game, whether or not it’s your kind of bag, isn’t exactly bad by any means.

Rollin’s pick: Fringe

I love Fringe. There, I’ve said it. Anna Torv, John Noble, and Joshua Jackson have quickly come to rest in my heart as the best science fiction television trio. I also applaud Fringe’s ability to stay on the air as long as it has despite both being on Fox and getting shifted to the Friday Night Death Slot. Either of these things usually means the immediate death of good television.

It also helps that Noble was brilliant from the start, and Torv continued to get better as the seasons piled up. Jackson, probably the least exciting of the three, is the necessary glue that keeps the show together. The secondary characters, like Kirk Acevedo’s Charlie Francis, range in quality but can surprise at times. With the final season coming up, things are about to be kicked into overdrive, and now would be a great time to catch up. I can’t wait.

Ian’s pick: Marvel

Marvel’s latest revamp is waiting in the wings, and I’ve made the call that there are two ways I can take this:

1) I can commence whining to high Heaven and to anyone who will listen that it’s a lousy way of letting editorial teams off the hook for writing themselves into pointless and silly plots that aren’t worth reading. I can rage that every time a universe relaunches or reboots, it cheapens the characters it’s supposed to put a fresh face on, 86ing years of continuity for the sake of a mulligan that spits in the face of fans who have any interest in becoming invested in these characters. Yes, I am looking at you, DC. You know damn well what you did.

2) I can get mad psyched at the prospect of Brian Posehn writing Deadpool.

I am going to choose the latter, because frankly, it’s happening, and if it’s happening, I should try to light a candle rather than curse the darkness. That is the kind of guy I am trying to be lately, and I think it is a good decision. Plus, Steve Morris over at The Beat has some other stuff worth looking forward too as well, including Fear Agent scribe Rick Remender taking over Captain America and Mike Allred taking over artistic duties on Fantastic Four spinoff FF, which could be awesome.

By the way, I am the new guy. It’s nice to be here. Thank you for having me.

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