Hydrophobia Review

The Story So Far…


Hydrophobia is a new Xbox Live Arcade title from Dark Energy Digital Ltd, based out of Manchester, UK. As the name suggests, the main focus of this game is water. Lots and lots of water. You play Kate Wilson, a Systems Engineer on board the Queen of the World. This ship is a giant floating city where the extremely wealthy live in a world with globally-decreasing space and resources. A radical political group called the Malthusians has sabotaged the ship and Kate is caught in the middle.

Water, water everywhere…



In Hydrophobia, the water is its own entity. It has volume, it flows through areas filling up space, and it can carry objects while it is flowing. I

Another example is you

Reactions in the water occur as expected also. If an object falls into water, such as crate or yourself, waves will are created and you can see them spread out in all directions of the impact. If that wave comes in contact with another object or wall, the water will behave properly and create another smaller wave in the opposite direction. Eventually the disturbance will lessen, and the water surface becomes calm again.


Having water behave realistically is great to see in a game, especially in
Hydrophobia, where water is used for reaching higher locations, draining
corridors to get to areas unreachable before, or putting out fires. If other
game developers adopt the HydroEngine, we can look forward to another layer of
realism in gaming.


Graphically, the game looks great. These are probably some of the most
detailed graphics I have seen in an original Xbox Live Arcade title. The
textures are crisp and lighting and shadows are appropriate. I would like to see
more Xbox Live Arcade titles with this level of graphics. The sound was immersive, and
I know it

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming. Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter. Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 21 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes).
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