It's took a long time for Hydrophobia to arrive. It was first in development by Dark Enegy Digital over three years ago. What got people interested about the game was that it would have a realistic water phiysics engine, thanks to the HydroEngine. After finally playing Hydrophobia, i can say the water is rather impressive.
The game is set in the year 2051. You play as a female "Kate Wilson" who is a service enginer on Queen of the World, the largest ship ever built. The ship is quickly attacked by a group of terrorists knowen as the Malthusians. This leaves part of the ship flooded and in flames. Kate must find her way to saftey with help from her boss "Scoot" who communicates to her through a radio. Kate has to make her way up through the decks and will come across locked doors throughout. These are encrypted, but can be unlocked using her scanner called the Mavi. You can decipher the codes on the door and also use the code to hack CCTV cameras.
The game is split into three parts, this can take around 5-6 hours to complete. The first part will get you used to the swimming and platforming elements. As you reach part two you will be introduced to the combat. Kate only has one weapon throught the game, a stun pistol. This might not sound like much but it can be used with the environment in creative ways against your enemies you encounter. For example, blowing up barrels, Breaking glass so water comes gushing in and sweeping them off their feet, slicing cables, sending them swinning and creating electrified pools of water. There are lots of different ways to try and you are rewarded with medals and a score on the leaderboard when doing them. You can also create chain reactions for a bigger score. You will get a chance to do more of this in Challenge Room, which you unlock after completing Story Mode. Challenge Room gives you a horde of Malthusians to attack using the great water physic's.
The game does have a few problems, these been the control's and camera. It can take a while to get used to the control's. I was sometimes reminded of the old Tomb Raider games. You can sometimes miss jumps and movement feels a little stiff. I sometimes came fustrated whilst swimming underwater, as i would hit objects and even get stuck on them, like floating boxes. As with the camera, alot of the time it doesn't know which is the best way to turn. At one part i was diving underwater and the camera decided to stay on top and not follow kate. Hydrophobia has great water physics, but I just feel like to much time was spent on that and not enough on everything else. That been said, Hydrophobia has the best water physics in a game to date. It is also an XBLA game, this makes it very unique.
The HydroEngine gives this game something special. The water is the main star of the game, its just a shame that everything else isn't to the same standard. If you can accept the stiff control's and some camera issues, you should have an enjoyable experience.