Hydrophobia for the first time this past March at PAX East and, at the time, I was fairly impressed. My feelings on the downloadable title haven't changed dramatically after trying out the game's combat in the E3 2010 build, but I did notice a handful of rough edges this time around. The new parts of the demo essentially picked up exactly where I left off at PAX -- a handful of gun-toting Neo-Malthusians stood in my way and, lucky me, I had just stumbled upon a pistol.
As it turns out, the pistol isn't equipped with live rounds -- at least initially, though the Dark Energy Digital rep talked to us about a handful of other types -- but rather "Sonic" rounds that require a charge up for full blast. The idea here is to encourage environmental attacks rather than traditional, cover-based, third-person shooting; flaming barrels, glass panes and electrical boxes littered throughout the environment certainly helped to encourage me as well.
In theory this works -- and presumably would work better had I gotten more acclimated to the concept -- but I found myself accidentally igniting exploding barrels and trying to drown foes to no avail far more often that I would've liked.