Hydrophobia screenshot
Hydrophobia screenshot

It used to be trees. Back in my day, that is, which is probably before you were born. You'd load up a game, take a look at the foliage and gawp at how magnificent modern technology had become; 'my God', you'd think, 'they've stitched two flat textures together to make a tree!' And there would be much rejoicing.

But advancements in tree rendering are no more. Now developers can just buy a piece of middleware and just hit a button to bask in even the rampant wildlife of the tropics. No, these days it's all about water. Yes, there's some pretty good water out there already, but it's all static; dull, immovable pools of briny deep designed to house a few sequences where you need to worry about drowning. Not in Hydrophobia, though, where the water bursts and springs out of areas as if each pipe were moonlighting as a high-power hose. The water here is fluid and dynamic, rippling down corridors and sweeping through doors, and is almost always an impressive sight to behold.

Which is a lot more than you can say about the actual game.

I can't quite work out if protagonist Kate Wilson is actually afraid of water (as the title would suggest) but I do know that, after a scant few hours of being forced to play the game, Hydrophobia will be haunting my dreams for years to come.

Set in the future aboard mammoth cruise city Queen of the World, plucky tech wizard Wilson finds herself caught in the middle of an impromptu terrorist attack. The ultimate goal of these ruffians is to solve the world's swelling population by thinning the herd by a few billion, though their only discernable results seem to be in the creation of a few rugged, Tomb Raider-esque environments for you to scamper across.

Wilson's joined by her insufferable sidekick Scoot, who bleats nonsense – purportedly 'banter' – over the telecoms in an excruciatingly poor faux-Scottish accent. There's nothing like a potentially apocalyptic terrorist attack to bring out your very worst clichéd one-liners, is there? One antagonist speaks like Darth Vader, but is only wearing a bit of cloth over his mouth; basically, the general quality of Hydrophobia's voice acting suggests the talent budget stretched to little more than a multipack of Beef & Onion crisps.

New stuff to check out

To add your comment, please login or register

Highest Rated Comment

IndoorHeroes's Avatar

IndoorHeroes

Yeaaah. That's kind of how reviews work.
Posted 23:24 on 06 October 2010

User Comments

El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev@ Hesselius

Easily the best comment I've read on this place.
Posted 14:43 on 07 October 2010
scaz2244's Avatar

scaz2244

played the demo and thought it was awfull, while the water is really impressive i just cant justify a purchase soley on the water effects
Posted 12:29 on 07 October 2010
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612

I played the demo last night and thought it seemed alright.
Posted 09:37 on 07 October 2010
Thel-Win-Man's Avatar

Thel-Win-Man

what a shame, i had high hopes for this game..........oh well, ill just get castle crashers instead :)
Posted 07:19 on 07 October 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod

:lol: @ above!!!

I downloaded a video preview thingy on Live a while ago to see what it was all about. I watched maybe 20 seconds of it before turning it off and regretting it. I haven't been sleeping properly since ;)

No surprise it reviewed the way it did.
Posted 00:23 on 07 October 2010
IndoorHeroes's Avatar

IndoorHeroes

Yeaaah. That's kind of how reviews work.
Posted 23:24 on 06 October 2010
Hesselius's Avatar

Hesselius

This Martin Gaston fella strikes me as the kind of person who'd play a game, and if he disliked it and it was awful then he'd write a scathing review of the game illustrating the fact he thought it was poor.
Posted 21:04 on 06 October 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ Stegosaurus-Guy-II

Case Zero agrees with you there, Stegboy.
Posted 19:27 on 06 October 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

Damn,
this had such promise.
Edge did an amazing preview that got me really excited.
Ridiculous.
Posted 18:01 on 06 October 2010
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar

Stegosaurus-Guy-II

360 exclusives seem to be doing better than ever.
Posted 17:44 on 06 October 2010
jeffyboy40's Avatar

jeffyboy40

Thats the worst reveiw ive ever seen on videogamer,that gaston fellas good,saved me 15 euros
Posted 17:42 on 06 October 2010
Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk@ pblive

Boooooooooooooooo! :p
Posted 17:28 on 06 October 2010
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Nice review, the flow was good and I know the score will make waves with some, but after a while it will all be water under the bridge.
Posted 15:27 on 06 October 2010
Calibre53's Avatar

Calibre53

Dude, you were probably just playing it wrong!

I registered just so I could say that. Carry on.
Posted 15:24 on 06 October 2010
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

All along, I knew this game would be rubbish. It's a tech demo, just like these things always are. Plus, seriously, nobody likes water-levels in games, so why build a game where the whole concept is water-levels? Madness, I tell you.
Posted 15:19 on 06 October 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
3
Out of 10
Hydrophobia
  • Bad
  • Short
  • Boring
  • Ugly
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 29/09/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PS3 , PC
Developer: Blade Ineractive
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Adventure
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 5,315 10
Check Price