Hydrophobia Gets Massive Fixes, New Price

Only a few months after its troubled release, Hydrophobia is getting a major fix update, and its developer is reducing its price by a third.

When Hydrophobia was released to XBLA a couple of months ago, it was met with fairly mixed reviews, thanks in large part to its clunky control scheme (and a slew of other issues, too). Dark Energy Digital, the game’s developer, was initially less-than-thrilled with the reviews and found itself mired in a bit of controversy as a result. However, it seems that the developer is now thinking with a clearer head and is releasing a massive patch that will fix a lot of issues, and is even reducing the price point of Hydrophobia.

The game is set to receive its major update, Hydrophobia Pure, tomorrow. As you can see in the patch’s trailer, there’s a lot of stuff that’s being updated. Amidst the laundry list of things being updated, players can look forward to improved graphics, controls, and character AI.

Finally, the game’s price is being dropped from 1200 MS Points to 800 when the update launches. Not only that, but the trial time with the game demo will be extended, and this update’s various fixes will be applied to game’s episodes that are planned in the future. Here’s the complete list of fixes the patch will provide:

Hydrophobia Pure – Updates:

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 behaviour 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 behaviour improved
General level design tweaks
AI numbers and positioning improved
Ammo amount and placement improved
Collectable placement improved
Gameplay balance improved throughout

Source: Joystiq

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