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Hydrophobia 'Pure' Patch Fixes a Laundry List of Issues; Game Discounted to $10

After launching to "mixed or average reviews" and vehemently defending its de

After launching to "mixed or average reviews" and vehemently defending its design decisions, developer Dark Energy Digital revealed a complete overhaul patch for its downloadable title Hydrophobia will launch tomorrow.

The patch, dubbed "Hydrophobia Pure," will do everything from remap the game's controls, address A.I. behavior, "improved" graphics and physics, and add "more realistic character water resistance."

Hydrophobia will also receive a new climbing system, cutscenes have been adjusted for length, and just about anything else you could think about the game has been "enhanced" or "improved." The patch notes can be found after the jump.

Those new to the experience can now dive into Hydrophobia at a discounted price of 800MS Points ($10), down from the game's original $15 price-tag. The game's demo will also be "enhanced" and extended, giving players more time to try the game for themselves.

It's great if a developer takes a few cues from its audience and makes a few changes to enhance the experience, but the laundry list of fixes for Hydrophobia makes me feel like I paid $15 to be a part of the game's QA team. Which, based on the murky mess the game was originally in, I don't suspect they even had.

The updates made to the XBLA version are expected to appear in the game's eventual release on PC and PS3.

  • Improved Graphics
  • Character dynamic self-shadowing
  • Enhanced lighting
  • Improved textures
  • Better water spray effects
  • Improved water reflection and refraction
  • Enhanced electricity effects
  • Environmental geometry tweaks
  • Additional video texture work
  • Physics Enhancements
  • Increased number of dynamic objects
  • More realistic character water resistance
  • Explosive forces re-balanced
    Controls, Cameras, Animation
  • Overhauled Camera System
  • Camera positioned closer to character
  • Improved tracking of the action
  • Enhanced collision detection
  • Better FOV for framing the action
  • Improved Movement and Animations
  • More fluid and precise character control
  • Improved character animations add realism
  • Enhanced animation transitions make the character more weighty
    Platforming and Climbing
  • All New Climbing System
  • Continuous hand-over-hand climbing system added
  • All new, more realistic animations
  • More fluid climbing controls and movement
  • Automatic ledge grab functionality
  • Improved swing mechanic
  • Improved jump-from-balance mechanic
    Control Layout
  • Switch to a more traditional control layout
  • A to jump
  • LT to aim
  • RB to detonate enhanced Gel and Energy Rounds
    Dialogue and Cutscenes
  • Dialogue Re-edit
  • Dialogue has been pruned
  • Irritating or extraneous lines cut
  • Cutscenes Re-edit
  • Cutscenes reviewed and edited
  • Overly long cutscenes shortened
  • Collectables Interface Improved
  • Emails and E-Books no longer interrupt gameplay when collected
  • Collectables re-positioned throughout levels
  • Points awarded for collectables tweaked
    New Waypoint System
  • Waypoints for every objective and sub objective
  • Choose permanent on-screen waypoints or new MAVI only mode
  • Waypoints added for Ciphers and Frequency Keys with colour coding
  • Corpses with Frequency Keys glow orange for easy identification
  • Improved controls and button layout
  • Default view of Kate's position
  • Toggle Kate's position / objective location manually
  • Easier to navigate
  • Prompts re-worked for better clarity
  • Prompt triggering reviewed and improved
  • Video tutorials cut back
  • Improved in game tutorials
  • New tutorial puzzles
    Wading Improved
  • Enhanced physical character feedback from water forces
  • Improved transitions between wade states
    Swimming Enhanced
  • Improved swimming controls, more finely balanced
  • 180 degree swim turn removed
  • Improved camera behavior when swimming
  • Underwater combat system streamlined
    Puzzle Improvements
  • Improved feedback for Cipher and Frequency Keys
  • Ciphers re-positioned for greater accessibility
  • New mission orders related to Ciphers add to the backstory
  • Existing puzzles refined where possible
  • New electric puzzle elements added
    Damage System Improved
  • Kate no longer unfairly damaged/killed by unseen elements
  • Fire/electrical damage reduced
  • Combat damage re-balanced
    Overhauled Damage Feedback
  • Monochrome health feedback system implemented
  • Enhanced directional damage indication
  • Heartbeat force feedback and SFX added
  • Audio ducking system improves health feedback
    All New Oxygen Feedback System
  • Oxygen bar added
  • Heartbeat force feedback and SFX added
  • Phobia effect for oxygen feedback enhanced
  • Phobia audio hallucinations added
  • FOV pulse added for drowning feedback
  • Phobia warping effect removed from non-submerged sections
    Combat and Cover Systems
  • Overhauled Combat System
  • Automatic weapon holster/unholster system
  • Seamless integration of combat / non-combat systems
  • Improved aim reticule
  • Aim remapped to LT
  • Destructible objects highlighted more clearly
  • Destructible objects easier to hit
  • A greater supply of ammo throughout the levels
  • AI improved and enemies rebalanced
  • More enemies and more engaging combat design
    Weapons Improved
  • Sonic Rounds overheat removed
  • Sonic Rounds charge time halved
  • Sonic Rounds do more damage to NPCs and are lethal
  • Multiple Gel and Energy Rounds can be deployed simultaneously
  • Deployed Gel/Energy rounds can be detonated as a group
    All New Cover System
  • Smoother transitions in and out of cover
  • Easier and more intuitive to get in and out of cover
  • Toggle cover whether armed or unarmed
  • All new animations make cover system more realistic
    Checkpoints and Reloading
  • Checkpoint positions reviewed and improved
  • More checkpoints
  • Automated and faster reload after death
    Levels and Game Balance
  • Design Improvements
  • Vent behavior improved
  • General level design tweaks
  • AI numbers and positioning improved
  • Ammo amount and placement improved
  • Collectable placement improved
  • Gameplay balance improved throughout
  • Price dropped to just 800 Microsoft points
  • Trial extended to allow players to sample more of the game for free

Xav de Matos was previously a games journalist creating content at Shacknews.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    December 20, 2010 10:04 AM

    I played the demo and really didn't understand the harsh criticism of this game. Maybe the really annoying stuff happens later? I admit the button mapping was a little strange, but that always seemed like a pretty silly complaint. I hope this gets an audience now. $10 is not a bad price, but I'll have to wait until after the holiday sales.

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