Platform(s): PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Dark Energy Digital
Release Date: Sept. 29, 2010

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'Hydrophobia' (ALL) Developers Cryptic About Next Week's Update

by Rainier on Dec. 16, 2010 @ 2:46 a.m. PST

Hydrophobia is a survival adventure about conquering fear in a series of entirely dynamic flooded environments, featuring the unique technology of Blade’s HydroEngine.

Meet Kate Wilson, systems engineer. Kate is a reluctant hero who finds herself caught behind enemy lines when terrorists seize the Queen of the World, a new city-sized super ship.Kate is very much a multidimensional character. By trade she is an engineer - a systems engineer and on the Queen she is part of the security detail. Kate is a deep and intelligent character, but she has a problem.

Kate is hydrophobic, she has been since she was 13 years old. She doesn't like to talk about it, but her friends assume something terrible must have happened to her. However, Kate is a fighter and has joined the Queen of the World to confront her fears. Not knowing how apocryphal that sentiment would turn out to be.

The terrorist attack takes place on the occasion of the first anniversary of the Queen of the World. It has been a great year. The ship is a huge commercial success, most condos are sold and the venture is above target. The ship is in the Indian Ocean and a huge party has been organised in the main football stadium to commemorate the event.

Dark Energy Digital issued the following statement:

Dark Energy Digital, the developers of Hydrophobia, have been listening to the community and to the critics. We have listened to all those who loved our game, and to those who didn’t.

We have a new announcement regarding Hydrophobia coming up on Monday, and the countdown has begun

“Dark Energy is a community of gamers, and we want those that play our game to enjoy the experience. We’d like to thank everybody who has taken the time to produce feedback on our game. We’ve poured over the data from community feedback and analysed every review, comment or blog we could find. Nearly 250 reviews of the game were published, either in physical media or on the net. Some of them made good reading, while others were painful to read. However, to actively listen to the community, we cannot be selective in those we listen to, and there is no point in listening unless we are prepared to act. We have the purest of motivations and we will be announcing our detailed response at 11am GMT on Monday, so we'll be sending a press release your way then.” – Pete Jones, Joint Creative Director

Merry Christmas from everybody on the Hydrophobia team.

Hydrophobia has been built from the ground up to take full advantage of HydroEngine, the extraordinary fluid dynamics engine developed by Blade R&D over the last 3 years. HydroEngine means that the water in Hydrophobia behaves exactly as in life; it flows, it makes surfaces and characters wet, it carries objects and bodies and interacts fully with Hydrophobia's entirely dynamic environments.

The water in Hydrophobia is therefore an intrinsic gameplay mechanic. It can be dangerous; you could get caught in a torrent of churning debris, carried away by a freak wave or trapped in a flooding room. However, it can also be your allie, since you can learn to manipulate the flow by remotely opening doors, or smashing windows to release waves which can take out your enemies, solve puzzles or carry user-designed traps and devices to there explosive destination.

Players must use more than just shadows and acoustics to outwit their enemies; they must manipulate the environment using such techniques as the "trail of breadcrumbs" to lure enemies and set environmental decoys, leading them into a trap. By taking advantage of, and exploiting enemies intelligence and knowledge of their surroundings, and utilising Kate's unique engineering skills and abilities, players will discover compelling new ways of outwitting the enemy.

The Malthusians are not only aware of their surroundings; they also react in different ways. Some Malthusians are fanatical idealists, while others are more like mercenaries, and while mercenaries are better trained and more experienced; idealists will fight to the death. Different motivations will provoke different behaviours, so enemies might not always react the way the player expects.

Variations in group structures also affect responses, and communication between Malthusians means that information one has gained, can quickly spread to others. This can however be used to the players advantage by changing the environment to counter the expectations of the terrorists. Hydrophobia is a game about truly outwitting your enemies, not just hiding in the shadows.

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