Game-A-Week: Hydrophobia – Prophecy

Title: Hydrophobia – Prophecy (PC)

The Gist: The year is 2051, the global population has gone into overdrive and the worlds no longer able to grow enough food to feed itself. Rising water levels result in even less land to live on and it seems a group of humans have come up with the idea of building a giant floating city. Seems fine right? Well a group of terrorists turn up and start blowing everything up, killing everyone off and feel that it’s their duty to write in invisible ink only viewable through special i-Pad knock offs, “Save the world, Kill yourself”…I always thought it was “Save the cheerleader save the world”.

Pros: Graphics are probably the strongpoint of the game, the water (which you’ll see a lot of…funny that) is some of the best water animation I’ve seen to date. The physics for the game are equally impressive and it’s quite fun to watch the water within a room sway back and forth as you’re trying to wade through it, causing you some resistance as you move. I wasn’t sure about it at first but I really like the portable computer known as the Mobile Automated Visual Interface (MAVI). The MAVI not only gives you hints at where you should be going without breaking the rule of immersion like Ocarina of Time 3D’s Sheikah Stones playing clips of what you need to do, but it has the ability to remotely open doors! This is fun in itself and can even be done when looking through the perspective of a security camera meaning you can own your enemies remotely. I liked using the sonic gun you get your hands on a little into the game and the equally impressive ability to fire at glass which is holding water behind it resulting in the initial crack and then woosh of water to follow.

Cons: The AI isn’t very challenging, whilst you have the ability to use a cover system you find yourself merely charging your sonic gun to max and blasting them as soon as their in site. Whilst the water animation and physics are clearly advanced I found myself reminded of Zelda: Occarina of Time’s water temple boss Morpha in that something didn’t feel quite right. Occasionally the water might rock to one side of the room and it doesn’t look realistic as it falls down. Having said that there are numerous times when the water does feel extremely impressive, opening a door only to be flooded by water is quite a sight. At times you’ll be required to literally keep your balance whilst slowing walking across a beam, I grew tired of waiting and found it easier to simply jump forwards whilst performing this mundane task and to my surprise she kept her balance post-jump meaning slow walking them was a waste of time.

Music Note: The music didn’t stand out too much for me as I played the game and came off like a Resident Evil soundtrack at times.

Hunger Level: I found the game somewhat repetitive at times but the game isn’t incredibly long so I really think I’ll find myself finishing off the game during the next week.

Conclusion: On the most part I didn’t enjoy this game too much, as said it was somewhat repetitive and on the most part felt like a Tomb Raider game set on the Titanic or something. Throughout the game you’re guided by the voice of a friend but the dialogue isn’t that interesting. I was disappointed to find the phrase “I didn’t sign up for this” early on in the game or the fact that the character you play talks to herself so frequently pointing out everything around her.I remember reading a book about game design a while back and how techniques like this are so flawed, that the player doesn’t need to be told what they’re seeing as they can see it for themselves. Playing with the water gets old and when you take that away you’re left with a very genetic and uninteresting third person shooter. I do have to give the creators credit for updating the game and fixing numerous bugs and aspects of the game that players disliked as that’s not something I see a lot from gaming companies. The game’s also fairly cheap at base price for the PC and has been on sale twice in the past 2 months so if anyones wanting to try hold on for the next sale.

“One Hour, One Review, One ‘Game-A-Week’ @ Black Vinculum”

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