Hydrophobia Xbox 360

User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 68
  2. Negative: 10 out of 68

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  1. Oct 4, 2010
    0
    *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*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 Expand
  2. Oct 4, 2010
    0
    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 wasWhere 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
  3. Sep 29, 2010
    1
    Don't think of this as a game. Think of this as an overly long and expensive tech demo for the water physics engine. Hydrophobia was hyped up as the next great XBLA game and indeed it is not. In fact, I would say that Hydrophobia is one of the worst XBLA games released this year. The voice acting is horrible, the graphics do not impress, and the controls are sloppy. If that isn'tDon't think of this as a game. Think of this as an overly long and expensive tech demo for the water physics engine. Hydrophobia was hyped up as the next great XBLA game and indeed it is not. In fact, I would say that Hydrophobia is one of the worst XBLA games released this year. The voice acting is horrible, the graphics do not impress, and the controls are sloppy. If that isn't enough to turn you off the game features the standard cliffhanger ending to try to lure more dollars from your wallet. I wouldn't expect a sequel. Steer clear at all costs! Expand
  4. Sep 29, 2010
    4
    Hydrophobia has been on my radar since early E3 demos showed some of the gameplay footage. The problem with footage is that it can look great. Spectacularly stunning. But when you get your hands around a controller and actually start playing the game, well that's a different matter entirely. Manipulating the water to defeat your enemies in a variety of ways is definitely a fresh idea, butHydrophobia has been on my radar since early E3 demos showed some of the gameplay footage. The problem with footage is that it can look great. Spectacularly stunning. But when you get your hands around a controller and actually start playing the game, well that's a different matter entirely. Manipulating the water to defeat your enemies in a variety of ways is definitely a fresh idea, but it lacks the polish and finesse to make a final product that is actually worth paying the fifteen dollar admission price. Players take control of Kate Wilson, a systems engineer on a hijacked city-ship known as the Queen of the World. A terrorist group calling themselves the Malthusians have taken over, scrawling their motto "Save the World - Kill Yourself" all over the ship, conveniently including pieces of alien looking code known as ciphers required to unlock certain portions of the ship.

    The entire premise of the game is decent; Kate must stop the hijackers from completely destroying the ship while saving her own neck. She's accompanied by her Irish and highly annoying handler who repeatedly offers encouragement in the form of the same reused lines over and over. Slugging through waist deep water that constantly knocks you off your feet only hear "Right.. you need to get to the next loading bay. And guess what? It's encrypted!" in his smarmy voice makes me think the developers realized how repetitive Hydrophobia really is.

    Footage would have you believe you are escaping a doomed ocean liner with a bad ass character like Lara Croft or Joanna Dark, but what you're really doing is playing the leftover bits of mini-games other developers rejected from their mainstream titles. I'm surprised the hacking mini-game in Hydrophobia wasn't the connect the pipes hack featured in Bioshock. Instead, you match up frequencies using both analog sticks in a given amount of time. The only game with a more frustrating hack sequence is Alpha Protocol. Hacking isn't the only mini-game you'll play, either. Instead of finding clever ways to block off access to the ship until Kate needs to be there, the developers have included the previously mentioned ciphers. Apparently the Malthusians have some sort of invisible spray paint for spraying alien graffiti that only Kate's MAVI device can detect. These tedious mini-games make up more than half of the game and contribute nothing gameplay wise other than serving to frustrate the player.

    The rest of the time you spend playing will be fighting with the water the developers have lauded. The effects are nice, but perhaps they would be better put to use in an inside look at the Titanic sinking. Some sequences in the game require you to swim from point A to point B underwater perfectly and with the jerky camera and terrible controls, you will find yourself repeating these parts more than once. The combat in the game isn't much better. Kate's only weapon is a gun capable of creating mini-sonic booms that can influence the environment. Creating these sonic booms to blow up guards or cause them to drown is fun the first few times, but afterwards hiding to take pot shots until you finally kill a guard who wouldn't budge wears on your nerves. Halfway through the game Kate finally gets another type of sticky ammo that causes explosions, but you find so few of these pieces of ammo at a time that they're never a replacement for the sonic blasts.

    Overall, Hydrophobia is an interesting idea, poorly executed. Had the game chosen to take a more actiony spproach like Perfect Dark, it would have been highly tolerable. Instead, what you are left with is slogging through a sinking ship playing mini-game after mini-game until the end with terrible combat and controls interspersed. If Hydrophobia is to see the episodic release the developers have discussed, then their first offering is full of failure and there are better things to spend your fifteen bucks on. Why Microsoft chose to start their Game Feat with such a terrible, mediocre game, I'll never know.
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Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 58
  2. Negative: 16 out of 58
  1. Apr 27, 2011
    40
    It's exciting to see a downloadable game with this much ambition, but if the kitchen sink approach can't do justice to the faucet and the bowl simultaneously, then omit both.
  2. 68
    Hydrophobia Pure is a decent enough game for a downloadable title, but as mentioned feels more like a tech demo for water physics than a fully thought out game. You can see what the developers were aiming for, but it misses the mark in many places.
  3. Feb 16, 2011
    67
    Considering the cost of the game on XBLA, you can certainly do worse when choosing a title to tide you over for a good survival-action game.