Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH -

SMART­PHONE CAM­ERAS FIVE megapix­els is no longer enough for a phone cam­era. Nokia led the trend with its 40- megapixel Lu­mia 1020 phone, Sony fol­lowed with the 20.7- megapixel Xperia Z1, and HTC con­fused us all with an Ul­traPixel cam­era that cap­tures more light with just four megapix­els. WEAR­ABLE tech­nol­ogy fi nally ar­rived this year, from Kick­starter’s big­gest crowd- funded project, the Peb­ble smart­watch, to Google’s much- hyped smart spec­ta­cles Google Glass. No­table ad­di­tions in­clude smart­watches from Sony and Sam­sung in the Smart­Watch 2 and Galaxy Gear re­spec­tively. WANT to print plas­tic items? It be­came pos­si­ble this year with en­try- level 3D prin­ters priced be­tween $ 1000 and $ 4000.

IN this lat­est out­ing as the caped cru­sader, you fi nd your­self on Christ­mas Eve with a huge bounty on your head and ev­ery low- life crim­i­nal af­ter you for the re­ward.

Arch neme­sis Black Mask is be­hind this threat, and the deadly rift be­tween the two char­ac­ters acts as the cat­a­lyst for the game’s story, which leads you down a ver­i­ta­ble maze of plot twists.

As the ti­tle sug­gests, you play a younger Bat­man, set be­fore the pre­vi­ous two games in the se­ries.

It is a dark time in Gotham’s his­tory – crim­i­nal infl uences are rife on the streets and most of the city’s po­lice are cor­rupt, mak­ing your job all the harder.

The se­ries that es­tab­lished a free- fl ow­ing com­bat sys­tem re­turns once again and pro­vides varied and en­ter­tain­ing ways to dis­patch en­e­mies.

This time, though, each en­counter is graded, in­form­ing you at the end of the bat­tle if you’ve won in the most ef­fec­tive way. As an in­cen­tive, new items be­come un­locked based on how well you do.

There are dozens of ways to take down thugs, and be­ing re­warded for us­ing the most ef­fec­tive method is a strength of the game­play.

Another new game me­chanic is the case fi le. As Bat­man ex­plores Gotham City freely, you’ll come across undis­cov­ered crime scenes.

Us­ing your spe­cial de­tec­tive vi­sion, you’ll be able to re­con­struct the crimes to lo­cate ev­i­dence and re­build a pic­ture of what took place.

Th­ese new mis­sions are well paced and help break up the com­bat and ex­plo­ration el­e­ments.

Gotham City it­self is a large play­ground wait­ing to be ex­plored, and for­tu­nately you have the batwing ve­hi­cle to get around swiftly, along with a whole swag of nifty bat gad­gets at your dis­posal to help keep things in­ter­est­ing.

Fans of the fi rst two games shouldn’t ex­pect a huge slice of in­no­va­tion in this pre­quel of the fran­chise. The vis­ual sur­round­ings are all too fa­mil­iar, the com­bat is mostly un­changed, and that’s per­fectly OK con­sid­er­ing the pre­vi­ous games were rock solid.

Do ex­pect added pol­ish, a cap­ti­vat­ing new story and some new ac­tiv­i­ties.

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