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) Title Update And Price Drop Coming Tomorrow - Screens

by Rainier on Dec. 20, 2010 @ 5:46 p.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 announced a comprehensive title update for Hydrophobia with a simultaneous price drop to 800 Microsoft Points, both coming Dec. 21, 2011. The title update is built from detailed analysis of critical and customer feedback and is a root and branch rework of all the major systems in the game.

“Thanks to the bespoke procedural technology and data driven architecture of the InfiniteWorlds engine, we’ve been able to cram a huge amount into a tiny patch – to be honest we didn’t think it was possible to make as many changes as we have. The camera and control changes alone makes it play so differently; it’s a whole new experience. We have listened to what the community liked and disliked about the game; we know we didn’t get everything right first time around but we have taken this time to refine the experience.” – Pete Jones, Joint Creative Director.

The full list of updates includes new button mapping, massively improved controls, combat, cover and camera systems, much clearer damage feedback and objectives, enhanced climbing, better graphics, and much more. The Trial has also been extended to allow players to sample more of the all new Hydrophobia.

“We are really pleased and impressed with Dark Energy’s response to feedback from the Xbox Live Arcade community in this title update. This just goes to show that gaming never stands still on Xbox Live, and for me this makes Hydrophobia one awesome Xbox Live Arcade title”. – Mark Coates - Microsoft.

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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