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Hydrophobia Goes “Pure” With Unprecedented Title Update

Hydrophobia Screenshot - 819057

Console gamers have become all-too-familiar with the post-release title update, but it's never been quite like this. Hydrophobia developers Dark Energy Digital have gone through the laundry list of complaints that made the game a subpar experience and addressed just about all of it.

I mean, look at this:

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

    Platforming

  • 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

    Collectables

  • 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

  • Prompts re-worked for better clarity
  • Prompt triggering reviewed and improved

    Tutorials

  • 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

    Puzzles

  • 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

    Value

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

    All that and you get a price drop on top of it. If ever a game was deserving of a second look, Hydrophobia has arguably earned it.

    [Source]

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    Joe Donato Video games became an amazing, artful, interactive story-driven medium for me right around when I played Panzer Dragoon Saga on Sega Saturn. Ever since then, I've wanted to be a part of this industry. Somewhere along the line I, possibly foolishly, decided I'd rather write about them than actually make them. So here I am.
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