Mixed or average reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic 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. Jan 10, 2011
    It was an odd decision to spend so much time fixing an already released game, but for those who saw a good game just below the surface of the water, you will be happy to know that this is the game Hydrophobia should have been from day one.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 32
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 32
  3. Negative: 4 out of 32
  1. Oct 3, 2010
    I've been playing this game all weekend and it just gets better and better with each play now I've got used to the controls which were a bit awkward at first. I've never seen water in a game that moves like this it really is quite an amazing bit of technology going on there and its on xbla!!!!! There have been times I've actually been holding my breath for Kate. Scoots accent is a little annoying but he does come out with quite a few funny oneliners every now and then. Well done to the Devs for making a new original exciting game I cant wait for the next installment. Full Review »
  2. Oct 4, 2010
    Hydrophobia is a new $15 third person shooter / parkour game built on a revolutionary new water physics engine. The dynamic water physics implemented in Hydrophobia is unlike anything I have seen in any other game involving interaction with water. From the way that the buoyancy changes with water level, to the realistic flow as a large volume of water is transferred from one space to another, to the impact it has on the character and other flotsam and jetsam caught up in it to the puzzles that must be solved in order to complete the game, Hydrophobia is a fresh new entry where games so often seem to blur into one another.

    In Hydrophobia, you play the protagonist, Kate Wilson, who is the chief security officer on a city-sized cruise ship christened "Queen of the World". The setting is in an overpopulated world in which this ship is an escape for those fortunate or rich enough to acquire accommodations on the huge vessel. However the ship has been taken over by a terrorist sect who believes the only way toward saving the world is through depopulation - "Save the world, kill yourself" is a common phrase seen in graffiti that the group has written on walls throughout the mega-cruiser. A massive waterborne craft wit compromised is the perfect environment to display the capabilities of such a dynamic new engine. As far as the gameplay is concerned, it is decent. There are some camera issues, especially in those challenges where you need to find an exit before the room completely floods. There is a greater sense of urgency to the parkour because you will drown if you don't find that air pocket on the way to your next destination. Fortunately, Kate has some high tech device that provide a 3D map showing paths to objectives, air pockets, and which hatches are open and which ones are locked. I found the map a bit difficult to manipulate in order to obtain the optimal view.

    The combat system requires you to think; your only weapon is a pistol that you must charge up before it shoots compressed air which takes about 5 or 6 shots to kill someone. You need to find other means to take out your opponent, such as an exploding barrel among the flotsam, a leaking gas receiver, a live electrical cable to knock into the water, or a glass door to blow open letting a flood of water in to drown your adversary. There are challenges and awards / achievements for taking down foes using various and combined methods. There are more potent rounds available for the pistol but they are rare and usually linked to a very specific puzzle or means of escape.

    The voice acting is passable. The invisible and omnipotent helpmeet with who you are always in communication has a somewhat fake Scottish brogue. The protagonist is supposed to be American, but often British dialect of the voice actor sneaks in. The setting and story are good and well executed. I haven't finished Hydrophobia yet. I needed something to play until Fable III comes out later this month and this has proved to be a very enjoyable diversion and, at $15 US, this game is a great value. I am looking forward to the future of this franchise.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 4, 2010
    *Game opens, presented with Ps2 grade visuals. The Bedroom setting, was uninteresting, nothing could be interacted with, objects to pick up were unclear. *Interesting populated areas where trains come and go and characters were walking around are simply hinted at in FMV sequences, and the FMV looked more fun than the games interaction. Showing Kate running up walls to access hatches and luxurious crowd scenes, none of which could be sustained 'in-game'. *Despite setting the scene albeit vaguely, and showing us a Wireframe model of the size of the Queen Of The Pond (whatever). The disastrous FMV and amateur story telling shows us a Bomb on a lift that detonates.. and the next thing the entire Boat is blown up. What could have been a major action set piece or even a little bit MORE FMV that could perhaps push to be exciting was lost. Instead, we have.. bomb on a lift. *The FMV direction what very much dominates the game is very poor, poor voice acting, poor animation, poor character models. The â Full Review »