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BW Businessworld

Next Mutant Of Game Play

Photo Credit :

It's the year 2027, and the world is divided into those who believe that bodily augmentation — the ability to be stronger, tougher and faster with the right ‘parts' (for a cost, of course) — is the way forward, and those who believe it strips us of the very fabric that makes us human. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution (DXHR), you play Adam Jensen, a security expert in Sarif Industries, a major player in the body augmentation business that is at the cusp of a major breakthrough. Think of the movie Robocop, and you'll begin to understand the bleak picture of our future that the developer Eidos Montreal have painted out for you.

You start the game being left for dead at Sarif's headquarters, only to be rehabilitated with the help of augmentation, turning you into man-machine combo with the sole aim of tracking down whoever was responsible for the attack. As you move between one disturbingly authentic location to another, you piece together clues and complete missions that will further your understanding of the prevailing social tensions and the games key figures. Eidos has done a fine job in creating an almost movie-like level of detail in its choice of colors and sets, and this gives DXHR's environments heap loads of character.

But where DXHR truly excels is the degree of freedom you have to play the game your way. For example, if you need to gain access to a guarded facility, you can either blitzkrieg your way in, or choose the path of stealth, sneaking in unnoticed and knocking them out as you go along. Choose the latter, and you gain valuable experience points – either way, the way you play the game is left up to you. The game does not force you to find that one right way to solve a problem, and so, in many ways, DXHR offers you that ever-elusive holy grail of game development – free will.

After well over 20 hours of game play, I'm still hooked to the game, and despite minor quirks and inconsistencies, is in the end much like its augmented protagonist – a step above its peers.

Rating: 9/10
Price: Rs 2,499 (PS3 & Xbox 360), Rs 999 (PC)

Off The Record
Aren't there times when you wish the Gmail service, wonderful as it is, would be available offline? You know… the flaky-internet or in-flight-times? If you use Google's Chrome browser, wait no more! All you have to do is head over to the Chrome Web Store and install the new Offline Gmail app.

Once you start it up, the app will ask you if you want to store your email offline - depending on how much e-mail you have, Offline Gmail will store three to seven days worth of messages and all your ‘starred' e-mails. Got an older email you want offline? Remember to ‘star' it. Bear in mind, this operation should be done only on your own personal computer – don't allow offline storage on a public computer unless you want others to be snooping around in your emails.

Once you're offline, simply launch Chrome and start up the Offline Gmail app, and you will be able to compose new emails, reply, apply labels and stars and all the other operations you can normally do when you're online. The app simply remembers all these actions and performs them the next time you connect to the Internet. Neat or what?

Price: free
URL: (only for the Chrome browser)

Memories In Store
Long weekends and festive seasons are perfect for hours upon hours of pictures and videos, and a large storage memory card is definitely in order. Sandisk's Extreme Pro line of SD high capacity cards not only offer the extra storage, but with 45MB/s read/write speeds, give you great shot-to-shot performance that your regular SD memory card. You can see the benefit in reduced times for the camera to write to the card in almost any camera, but if you have a UHS-1 capable camera like the Nikon D7000, the card really sings! And if you're interested in wildlife or action sports, this card could be the difference between catching that peak action shot and missing the moment altogether.
Price: Rs 12,499 (32GB, also available in 8 and 16 GB variants)


Eye For Perfection
The MV800 could have been yet another point-and-shoot compact from Samsung, but if you flip to the back, the 16.1 megapixel camera's entire 3-inch capacitive touchscreen flips from flush with the rear up to a 180-degree angle (or any angle in between), making it possible to not only shoot perfectly framed self-portraits, but also to have a direct view of the display when shooting both below and above eye level. It's a pretty cool feature, and since it's useful for more than just self-portraits, it'll come in handy for just about any type of photographer.
Price: $279.99

technocool at kanwar dot net
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