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
    8
    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 toHydrophobia 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.
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  2. Sep 29, 2010
    8
    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
    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.
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  3. Oct 6, 2010
    9
    This is the first time in a computer game where the water is not just a pretty effect, I didn't think it was actually possible, its stunning. I cant imagine how difficult it is to deal with the sheer force of the water that the player is subjected to, this is some impressive tech. Clearly without the water the game has some flaws, but the water is the game and was so drawn in by the waterThis is the first time in a computer game where the water is not just a pretty effect, I didn't think it was actually possible, its stunning. I cant imagine how difficult it is to deal with the sheer force of the water that the player is subjected to, this is some impressive tech. Clearly without the water the game has some flaws, but the water is the game and was so drawn in by the water physics that the other issues didn't spoil my experience. I suggest for the next outing they deal with general feedback to the player and controls. Expand
  4. Oct 3, 2010
    8
    The game is definitely rough around the edges, but for an XBLA game the quality is very high. Also once you get your head around the gameplay it kinda clicks and becomes more and more fun. It's a shame they didn't make it clearer from the start. The best thing about the game is that you can experiment with a different approach each time and get random results and the combat becomes quiteThe game is definitely rough around the edges, but for an XBLA game the quality is very high. Also once you get your head around the gameplay it kinda clicks and becomes more and more fun. It's a shame they didn't make it clearer from the start. The best thing about the game is that you can experiment with a different approach each time and get random results and the combat becomes quite cool in its own way. Definitely original and a good blast for XBLA. Loads of replay value too. Expand
  5. Oct 6, 2010
    9
    For an XBLA title Hydrophobia really does raise the bar. Although the game is fairly short, around 6 hours, it offers an experience akin to a full release game. It's very rare a game can do something that makes you want to show your friends and family - but the first time you see the water in action is one of those moments. The water physics is closest thing to real water ever seen in aFor an XBLA title Hydrophobia really does raise the bar. Although the game is fairly short, around 6 hours, it offers an experience akin to a full release game. It's very rare a game can do something that makes you want to show your friends and family - but the first time you see the water in action is one of those moments. The water physics is closest thing to real water ever seen in a game - and a generational leap over what has been seen before. The water is also graphically well realised and, in general, the visuals are of a very good standard. The gameplay might present more of an issue for some players - it's clear that its not a traditional 3rd person shooter - the protaganist, Kate Wilson, is not presented as a do-it-all hero who is trying to take on the enemy in a full on fire fight. Rather, she is using her knowledge of the environment to defeat the Malthusians, the eco-terrorist enemy that are trying to destroy the ship. The way Kate does this is with environmental attacks - using exploding barrels, shorting electrical substations to turn the water into a electrical death trap and breaching high-pressure gas lines to set fire to the terrorists. The most satisfying is using the force of water to drown your enemies. Opening doors and smashing windows can cause the flow of water to change dramatically and sweep your foes away. If you like games that lead you by the hand from action to action then Hydrophobia might be a little frustrating. It does some times require the player to explore more than many may be used to.

    There are some niggles - controls are sometimes not as good as they could be. The lack of a HUD for health and oxygen levels can also be frustrating. The audio is forgettable too.

    I have given is such a high mark because the water is truly amazing and the game is trying something new. Its very much worth playing the trial which will give you the chance to experience the whole of act1 - which in some ways is a pity, as acts 2 and 3 are much stronger.

    If you are tech junky when it comes to games then it is a must see.
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  6. Dec 14, 2010
    10
    I love this game!! The physics of the water make it so original, making every tiny movement seem that little more unique and it's so beautiful! Also, the use of water as a partial weapon make confrontations with the terrorists a lot more exciting than the generic cover and shoot!! A definite recommended game!
  7. Dec 20, 2010
    9
    Perhaps a bit unpolished in its release state, but for such a small studio and at such a small asking price, I struggled to find complaint. Just finished the game, but can't wait to see what the patch brings
  8. Dec 21, 2010
    10
    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!
  9. Sep 29, 2010
    9
    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 witsThe 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.
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  10. Dec 31, 2010
    10
    I refrained from buying this game when it first came out due to mixed reviews, but then the Devs made this almighty update now named Hydrophobia Pure, so I decided to give it a go, 800 points I paid for a wicked game, an XBLA game that could quite easily survive on the shelves in store. The game play is good, easy to control, didn't get lost once thanks to the objective marker, all in allI refrained from buying this game when it first came out due to mixed reviews, but then the Devs made this almighty update now named Hydrophobia Pure, so I decided to give it a go, 800 points I paid for a wicked game, an XBLA game that could quite easily survive on the shelves in store. The game play is good, easy to control, didn't get lost once thanks to the objective marker, all in all a great game and all the previous comments that put me off before seem to have been fixed. I was immersed in gameplay for hours. For the price its a bargain. And For anyone to go to such effort in a free update then im behind it 100%! If only other Devs would follow suit hey! Expand
  11. Dec 14, 2010
    10
    Still cant believe that water so dynamic is possible on XBLA its an absolute first. It did take a while to get use to the controls, particularly the climbing and getting into cover without the gun I died quite a few times, but overall really enjoyed the combat especially the underwater sections.
  12. Dec 16, 2010
    9
    The water physics are amazing - surely a first on any console! I love the location work, and the environmental kills are superb once you realise what you can do with them. I'd shoot the faux Scottish bloke though!
  13. Dec 21, 2010
    8
    Found the game really frustrating the first time around, the demo was just too awkward to play so didn't buy it first time around, but did play it over at a mates place. However as the water element of the game was so cool I thought I would give it another go for myself. I found the demo quite a bit more fun, and with the price drop also I would have to say that bang for buck was spot on.Found the game really frustrating the first time around, the demo was just too awkward to play so didn't buy it first time around, but did play it over at a mates place. However as the water element of the game was so cool I thought I would give it another go for myself. I found the demo quite a bit more fun, and with the price drop also I would have to say that bang for buck was spot on. I forgot about the last time I played it and imagined this was my first, and for the money it seems a little harsh to criticise too much. Ok perhaps a little bit of criticism needed as the story is still the same which means that its too short and seems to just cut out at the end, just when it starts to get good. But at least I enjoyed playing it right up to the end this time. I am actual looking forwards to the sequels .... lets hope that they can get it right first time round next time Expand
  14. Dec 21, 2010
    9
    Liked this game before, love it now. The water and the action is so original, you can have loads of fun playing around with the different ways of taking down enemies. Loses a point for polish in terms of voice acting and presentation, but for a small arcade game it's the gameplay that counts and that aspect rocks!
  15. Dec 27, 2010
    9
    I already liked the game, it's originality and many features but with this update it gets even better. I do really appreciate a developer spending so much time to improve and fine-tune their game following the suggestions of the users.
    It's a very good and solid game and the price is really low for what you get, definitely not to be missed!
  16. Jan 1, 2011
    10
    I just downloaded Hydrophobia after reading all the Press on the Pure patch. I thought I would give it a go. To this point Hydrophobia had kind of passed me by. I wrote off the original game after reading some of the bad press and didn't download the trial. But hey, devs that go to this much trouble deserve some recognition. I am not in a position to rate the improvements in the patchI just downloaded Hydrophobia after reading all the Press on the Pure patch. I thought I would give it a go. To this point Hydrophobia had kind of passed me by. I wrote off the original game after reading some of the bad press and didn't download the trial. But hey, devs that go to this much trouble deserve some recognition. I am not in a position to rate the improvements in the patch (against the old version). What I can say is I played a polished adventure (more adventure than first person shooter) & I have not enjoyed a game as much as this since Uncharted 2 on PS3. Sure Scoot was irritating (in fact the voice acting is bloody awful) and the ending was a bit sudden. But this was a game that had me on the edge of my seat for - what; around 5 hours - I can't wait for the next installment. The water effects were outstanding. The graphics were superb. I had no problems with controls, cameras or combat. For 800 points this is a steal! Expand
  17. Dec 31, 2010
    10
    The first version was amazing and so is the Pure version. Totally love this game. The script and gameplay is pure genius. Movie worthy i reckon. Sign Jolie up to play as Kate!
  18. Dec 31, 2010
    10
    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.
  19. Oct 3, 2010
    9
    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 littleI'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. Expand
  20. Dec 5, 2011
    10
    MAKE HYRDROPHOBIA 2! THIS GAME IS SUPER! And its a true tomb raider competitor. It gets better by the minute with true suspense. Very good price as well.
  21. Dec 15, 2010
    8
    played Hydrophobia through twice, and i don't normally do that. I just wanted to see the water over and over, kept showing friends the water i thought it was that good. Was a little sceptical about the hype surrounding the water stuff but playing it, i just can't believe i am playing an xbla game, no other game i have played has water like this. There were alot of times where i wanted toplayed Hydrophobia through twice, and i don't normally do that. I just wanted to see the water over and over, kept showing friends the water i thought it was that good. Was a little sceptical about the hype surrounding the water stuff but playing it, i just can't believe i am playing an xbla game, no other game i have played has water like this. There were alot of times where i wanted to bite through my controller, but the checkpoints were pretty good so it wasn't so bad, but sometimes i would die and not really know why, parts of the game are very hectic with water sloshin around and stuff blowing up etc. But this was great when it was working in my favour. Hydrophobia most of all for me showed alot of courage, and i can't wait to see what they achieve with the next episode, its got a lot of potential. I would have liked more puzzley elements and maybe some bigger areas to explore, loved the swimming sections, some bits where i was crapping myself thinking i'm gna drown, and i actually held my own breath...

    Don't know when the next episode is out but i'll def be picking it up to see what else they have done with it.
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  22. Dec 15, 2010
    9
    I loved playing this game, especially replaying different sections to attempt alternative methods and strategies of taking down the enemies. The water physics alone make this worthy of a purchase, but there is great fun to be had with the combat!
  23. Dec 16, 2010
    9
    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,.
  24. Dec 16, 2010
    10
    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.
  25. Dec 19, 2010
    9
    This game was recommended to me by a friend and I wasn't expecting anything special as it is just an XBLA title but I couldn't have been more wrong. Hydrophobia really has set a new standard for XBLA games - the water is a thing of beauty that has to be seen to be seen to be believed. It swells and sloshes around like a malevolent but mercurial entity, helping or hindering your progressThis game was recommended to me by a friend and I wasn't expecting anything special as it is just an XBLA title but I couldn't have been more wrong. Hydrophobia really has set a new standard for XBLA games - the water is a thing of beauty that has to be seen to be seen to be believed. It swells and sloshes around like a malevolent but mercurial entity, helping or hindering your progress at a stroke, producing an unpredictable but entirely enjoyable game-playing experience. Yes it has a few rough edges ( what game doesn't ) but it's well worth the admission price for the water alone. Expand
  26. Jan 2, 2011
    9
    I first played this at Gamescom and really like it, the concept, the mechanics, everything!
    Now with the updated many things have been ironed out for a smoother experience, so we get a great game, an awesome support from developers and a price that's really low for all the game offers!

    I really hope to see a new chapter in the not too distant future!
  27. Jan 11, 2011
    9
    I have followed Hydrophobia since the article in Edge magazine ages ago.
    I didn't play the trial version after reading the Edge review. However after the recent press on what the devs have done with the patch I gave it a try. My first impressions were the trail was amazing. If the original version was anything like this I would have downloaded this one. The game was great - incredible
    I have followed Hydrophobia since the article in Edge magazine ages ago.
    I didn't play the trial version after reading the Edge review. However after the recent press on what the devs have done with the patch I gave it a try. My first impressions were the trail was amazing. If the original version was anything like this I would have downloaded this one. The game was great - incredible value for 800 points. Btw I do think a lot of XBLA games are too expensive & I don't download too many.
    In many reviews the combat system came in for quite a bit of criticism but for me I loved this aspect. It was the water though that most impressed. The ending yeah, bit sudden but not as crap as the ending to Assassins Creed 2. Hydrophobia is great value for money. I can't recommend it enough.
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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.