Hydrophobia Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 58 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

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  • Summary: In the near future, a city-sized super ship, an enclave for rich people and shady businesses, is the setting for an ideological conflict began by terrorist attacks.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 58
  2. Negative: 16 out of 58
  1. You could always power through with some special ammunition, or grind past opponents with charged sonic blasts. But really, you'll only be cheating yourself out of all those marvelously entertaining chain-reaction killing sprees and the resulting scoring bonuses. [Nov 2010, p.72]
  2. Hydrophobia features a compelling world and premise that's reminiscent of the creepy, built-up universes of BioShock and Half-Life. But, unlike those masterpieces, this seemingly unfinished XBLA game features too many narrative holes and missing gameplay elements, making it seem like there was more work to be done.
  3. Dec 25, 2010
    A decent first episode but one that'll need improvements to reel us in for the next act. [Issue#232, p.85]
  4. The package might be a bit overpriced, not giving nearly enough content for what you pay, but this game holds a lot of promise. As a first entry in a series of titles there is a lot to build on, setting a solid framework for the future games to expand on but there's just not enough here to easily recommend.
  5. Hydrophobia is a pretty good technical demo wrapped in an incomplete and unpolished game.
  6. 42
    Hydrophobia's waifish, glossed-over narrative is overshadowed by its shoddy combat and irritatingly obtuse navigation. At least the water is nice.
  7. Like any scientific breakthrough or new invention, Hydrophobia does represent a significant achievement in its own right. We're just going to have to wait until someone does anything worthwhile with it.

See all 58 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 32
  3. Negative: 4 out of 32
  1. Dec 21, 2010
    I thought this game was okay the first time around, if a little frustrating. However after playing the "Pure" update today I have to say the game is now awesome. What a brilliant update, the game plays so much more smoothly and all the brilliant and unique gameplay which was under the surface before is now bursting through. Brilliant arcade game, very unique experience! Expand
  2. Dec 16, 2010
    Really enjoyed playing hydrophobia, I find the bad reviews to be a little unfair to be honest. The water really is the highlight of the game, looks fantastic. The production values are very high for an XBLA title, a lot of gameplay for not a lot of cash. Expand
  3. Dec 31, 2010
    I think the bad reviews are un-just for 800points its good - update has made a masive difference, i wasn't that keen first time round. It was good but not brilliant, the changes made fix those little niggles and make it fun! Awesome game im giving 10 based on the patch. Expand
  4. Dec 16, 2010
    Great game, awesome quality for XLBA. Water physics stunning, a great technical achievement. A few niggles with controls and cameras but nothing that really gets in the way of the experience,. Expand
  5. Sep 29, 2010
    The water is really incredible, flowing through smashed windows and doors - wiping out whatever it comes into contact with. I've really never seen anything like it. I liked the way the gameplay supported the main characters persona, she's not a gun totting action hero, instead she's a normal person stuck in a bad situation. As such, she's pretty crap at combat, forcing you to use your wits to take out the enemies (who are lethal!) Basically this means that instead of running around shooting people, you run around setting off environmental hazards to take them out, using your energy gun to set up traps - like shooting an oil barrel next to a window with lots of water on the other side. The barrel explodes, knocking out the window and setting fire to everthing, the water then carries the fire down towards your opponent and sets them on fire. I thought this worked really nicely. There's a lack of any really taxing water flow puzzles which surprised me, but then it struck me, that the combat itself is kind a like the puzzle if that makes sense - something you need to think about and work out to progress.

    The story was another strong point, there's a lot of depth there, and I liked the characters. It's not without its flaws, it ends pretty abruptly, and there's a few control and sign posting issues, but on the whole I thought this was a really great atmospheric game. Definatly worth a look if you want to try something a bit different.
  6. Sep 29, 2010
    At times I was taken aback by everything that was happening in the game. A ship under attack, the water rushing in then a door opens and a flood comes rushing at me. It really made me fear for Kate's life!

    Whilst I have occasional niggles over the sign-posting and map screen the game plays very well. Of particular interest was using the environment to make my way through the various Malthusian terrorists, and shooting out a glass wall to wash the enemies away never gets boring.
  7. Oct 4, 2010
    Where do I begin? Let me start by saying that in my 25 plus years of gaming experience, I struggle to remember playing a game that has so woefully fallen short of its hype and promise. When announced several years ago, we were assured some kind of gameplay revolution, with the much touted HydroEngine promising to take the genre into new, unexplored, exciting territory. Interest was heightened further when it was revealed that the game would not be a boxed retail release, but rather distributed as downloadable content via Xbox Live Arcade. This, it was heralded, is the future. This will redefine peoples expectations of downloadable gaming. Well it certainly managed that. In ways more terrible than it was possible to imagine. A jewel in XBLA's crown to stand shoulder proudly along side Lara Croft and Shadow Complex. But for all the bluff and bluster, what we ended up with was a creaking, archaic throwback to a previous generation of gaming. Right from the off, it's evident that we're looking at a game that appears to have started its life a long, long time ago. After the uninspired opening nightmare sequence (that has been done better a 100 times before), we are introduced to the protagonists apartment. A bland environment, offering what is presumably meant to be a spectacular view of the city ship. But it isn't. It's as dull as it is lifeless, and it looks dated. So we are then thrust into the story via some very hackneyed dialogue and amateur looking cut scenes, with scant regard to plot, scene, or character development. And disaster happens. In a lift. You canâ Expand

See all 32 User Reviews