Posted April 2, 2012 by Julie W in Games

Hydrophobia Review



Developer: Dark Energy Digital

Publisher: Dark Energy Digital

Genre: Third Person Shooter, Adventure


I picked this game up when it was on sale for 400 points. Somehow, I felt like that still was too much for this game. Not only is Hydrophobia very short, but the game play was dull and the storyline felt almost nonexistent. There are 3 Acts to this game, and none of them will really take you that long to get through.

By the middle of the 2nd Act, I didn’t feel much drive to continue on. There were things about Hydrophobia that were appealing, and perhaps using some of the same mechanics in a different game plot with a better shooter experience, it would have been a better game.

You play as Kate Wilson, a systems engineer. Kate is trying to make her way off the ship Queen of the World and escape from the terrorists who have attacked it called the Malthusians. I always thought the story would get much better, but it never really did.  It seemed to have a good base plot idea, but it never truly developed into anything memorable.  The poor voice acting didn’t help it either.

You go from room to room, sometimes needing to find a code for encryption, hacking terminals, shooting terrorists, swimming, or jumping across levels of pipes.  You also use what is called a Mavi, which is an object that allows you to see things on the wall you wouldn’t see with the naked eye, and unlock doors that need to be encrypted or are too far away. I really liked finding different codes and encryption on the wall using the Mavi and using them on locked doors.  The hacking system was definitely a positive point in the game.  To hack, a series of frequency waves move across the screen that you must match using a second set of frequencies.  To do this you must lengthening or heightening the second set by using the analog controls before the time runs out.

It was fun to come up with different ways to progress through the levels at first, but soon became tiresome. The main thing I despised about the game was the shooting. The aiming and execution of my gun just didn’t feel as fluid as it could have been. It got to the point where I was dreading enemies, because I just didn’t want to shoot anymore.

The engine created for this game called HydroEngine was made to simulate flowing water, and to interact with it in a realistic manner.  The water system seemed to work well and I never had problems getting to where I wanted to be while swimming. When a rush of water burst through a doorway, Kate actually gets thrown backwards.  Depending on the flow of water, it actually makes swimming harder at times, but this just adds to the realism that the HydroEngine creates.

I found one bug where my character was frozen facing forward, and unable to aim, shoot, or rotate the camera. I don’t really know what triggered it but it caused the game to be impossible to advance forward. Quitting out and reloading my game fixed the problem, and I was able to proceed as usual.

Final Thoughts : I was hoping for more from this game, but glad I only paid 400 points versus 800 that it usually goes for. I can’t say it was the worst game I ever played.  However, it isn’t exactly a game I will run around recommending with its clunky mechanics, repetitive game play, and thin story line. I would say pass up onthis title unless you are really that interested in seeing what they did with their HydroEngine.


Overall: 68%

Pros: Fun problem and puzzle solving,  Interactive environment

Cons: Repetitive game play, Clunky shooting mechanics, Weak storyline


Julie W

Julie W
Editor in Chief / Site Owner - Playing games since the Sega Master System and Atari, Julie has a love for games of all kinds; although her main focus in gaming is RPGs, RTS, and simulation. If she's not writing or playing a video game, Julie is baking nerdy cakes, playing piano, or illustrating.