Proof that developers do listen: Hydrophobia Pure


In an unprecedented move by developer Dark Energy Digital, the Xbox LIVE Arcade downloadable title Hydrophobia will be re-released tomorrow with bucket-fulls of tweaks under the name Hydrophobia Pure.

Now, it’s not uncommon for developers to tweak their products with downloadable updates, but this is the first time in recent history that a completely new title has been applied to what may very well be an entirely new game. And with the list of significant updates reaching into the hundreds (reproduced below), one can only imagine the transformation.

Hydrophobia Pure resulted from the overwhelmingly negative reviews that its predecessor received, and the message that Dark Energy Digital wants to send is that they listened. Some of the more significant updates include a revamped camera system, new lighting effects, more dynamic environments, a tweaked combat system, and a completely re-mapped control layout.

Find out tomorrow if these tweaks are enough to save Hydrophobia Pure from drowning in more poor reviews, available only on Xbox LIVE Arcade.

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Hydrophobia Pure Features:
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
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’
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 Re-Edit

Dialogue has been pruned
Irritating or extraneous lines cut
Cutscenes Re-edit

Cutscenes reviewed and edited
Overly long cutscenes shortened

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
Map Improved

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 Improved

Improved swimming controls, more finely balanced
180 degree swim turn removed
Improved camera behaviour when swimming
Underwater combat system streamlined

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
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

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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Author: Dan Crabtree View all posts by
Dan is Managing Editor for GamerNode and a freelance gaming writer. His dog is pretty great. Check him out on Twitter @DanRCrabtree.

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