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Hydrophobia overhauled in 'Pure' patch, dropping to $10


Hydrophobia launched this past fall alongside numerous tepid reviews, including our own. In an effort to mend some of the damage done by said reviews, the game's developer is issuing a major title update tomorrow -- dubbed "Hydrophobia Pure" -- with a laundry list of fixes so long, only Lady Gaga's maid could outdo it.

Hydrophobia developer Dark Energy Digital claims to have addressed level design, AI behavior and the cover system, and has promised to remap controls to something more general -- A to jump, LT to aim. There's also "more realistic character water resistance" -- there was virtually no way to predict AI reaction to a flood of water when we last played the game. Hydrophobia's trial version is also getting tweaked and being lengthened "to allow players to sample more of the game for free."

Alongside the dozens of fixes, the game's price is dropping from 1200 MS Points ($15) to 800 ($10) as of tomorrow, so hold out for another 24 hours if you've been fixin' on buying the XBLA title. The developer also noted that the fixes in this update will apply to future games in the Hydrophobia series, as well as the eventual PSN version. Head past the break for a detailed list of the changes in tomorrow's title update and a video of the changes in action.

Gallery: Hydrophobia -- 'Pure' title update | 7 Photos

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

  • Price dropped to just 800 Microsoft points
  • Trial extended to allow players to sample more of the game for free

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