News

A major overhaul is Prophesized for Hydrophobia

Posted by: Sean Colleli at 4/27/2011 10:08 AM
You have to admire Dark Energy Digital. They just don't give up. When their watery survival action game Hydrophobia took flak from reviewers after its original Xbox Live Arcade release, Dark Energy addressed most criticisms with an updated re-release called Hydrophobia Pure. Our own Sean Cahill was impressed by the improvements. Now Dark Energy is giving their game another overhaul for its PSN and Steam release, titled Hydrophobia Prophecy.

PSN and Steam users are really getting the last laugh here. According to Dark Energy, Prophecy is 40% longer, has a re-worked story, a new ending, and all of the voice acting has been completely re-recorded. If that wasn't enough, Dark Energy has implemented a new feedback system called Darknet, allowing players to voice concerns and ideas as they're playing the game. Now that's dedication to your fans and your product. Check out the extensive list of improvements after the jump.


Hydrophobia Prophecy incoming on Steam and PlayStation Network

Dark Energy Digital is pleased to announce Hydrophobia Prophecy for Steam and PlayStation Network.

This comprehensive reinvention of the title includes upgraded graphics, brand new gameplay mechanics,

exclusive new levels, a reworked back story, a dramatic new ending, recast voice acting and much,

much more. The long list of new features and enhancements is also augmented by changes Dark Energy

have made in response to data gathered from the Hydrophobia Listening Post where players voted and

commented on the features of Hydrophobia Pure.

"We could’ve just ported Hydrophobia Pure over to Steam and PSN after the positive response it

received, but we decided to go much further. The community really blew us away with the incredible

response to Hydrophobia Pure and the outstanding level of feedback on the listening post, so we wanted

to return the favour and ensure we created a bigger and better experience in every possible respect with

Hydrophobia Prophecy for Steam and PSN" – Pete Jones

Following the astonishing response to the listening post, Dark Energy has developed a new in-game

dev feedback system called Darknet which launches in Hydrophobia Prophecy. Darknet allows players

to deliver specific opinions at any point during the game, which are automatically augmented with

contextual data about the game state at that time

“In the modern, interconnected world we think there should be better lines of communication between

players and developer, which is exactly what Darknet delivers. Gamers have shown us how much they

appreciated being involved in the development process and we have responded. We’re really excited to

be bringing Hydrophobia Prophecy and Darknet to PC using Steamworks because the ability to update

the game seamlessly and regularly through Steam is a perfect fit for our commitment to acting upon

feedback from the community. It also means we can update the Darknet system itself to ensure we

continually adapt to serve players who want to participate more effectively.”

Hydrophobia Prophecy will launch on Steam on 9th May and can be pre-purchased for just $10.19 /

£7.64 (including 15% pre-purchase discount) with a PSN version to follow. Visit www.hydrophobia-

game.com for more information.

Featuring all the enhancements of Hydrophobia Pure plus:

Graphics

Enhanced Graphics Engine
• Enhanced environmental lighting throughout the game
• High resolution textures
• Updated video texture work
• Hugely improved particle systems throughout the game
• Depth of field effects implemented
• MLAA anti-aliasing
• Improved lighting and shadowing solutions

HydroEngine Enhancements

HydroEngine Graphical Improvements
• Enhanced character DripMapping technology
• Improved reflection and refraction mapping
• Enhancement underwater visual effects
• Underwater depth of field effect
• Enhanced particle system and improved performance
• New high resolution RippleMap simulation responds to characters and objects

Improved Movement and Animations
• Jump distance more accurate relative to movement speed
• Added stationary jump
• Speed of movement through vents increased and animations improved
• Speed of movement with MAVI increased
• Various animations refined to provide better feedback

Narrative and Backstory

Character and dialogue
• Scoot character remodelled
• Scoot character recast, now played by Oliver Vaquer (GTA: Liberty City Stories, The
Warriors, Law & Order)
• Characterisation improved with remastered voice acting and additional scenes
• Mila characters role has been enhanced with compelling new scenes

Storyline enhanced and completed
• Dramatic new plot points shed light on the back story and the Prophecy of Malthus
• New in game video communications enhance the narrative without disrupting
gameplay
• Compelling new cutscenes and dramatic twists
• New mechanics designed around the deeper narrative
• Hydro Kinetic powers brought into the main story
• Dramatic new ending completes the story arc

Wading and Swimming

Character Interaction with water
• Reworked Kate’s bracing animation and responsiveness
• Eliminated undesirable situations where the character was swept out of player
control
• Increased speed of recovery after being wiped out by water
• Removed invasive reactionary animations after being wiped out by water

Art Direction

Major Environmental Overhaul
Improved environmental lighting
Re-designed locations add variety and drama
Spectacular new environments introduced
Reworked environmental assets

Audio

Music and SFX
New and improved music tracks
Re-mastered audio and improved sound design
New SFX added to various feedback systems

Puzzles

Puzzle Improvements and Additions
Improved lock-on effect for electric cable puzzles
Added mini-puzzles to existing areas
Exclusive new environments introduce new physics based puzzles
Ability to manipulate floating objects to solve bouyancy based puzzles
New narrative based challenges

Combat and Cover Systems

Enhanced Combat System
• Individual bone based enemy lock on feature (depending on difficult setting)
• Improved aim assist functionality
• Dynamic aim reticule adapts to different ammo types and combat behaviour
• Destructable object system reworked for greater feedback and effectiveness
• Ammo distribution refinements
• Greater variety of ammo earlier in the game
• AI enhancements and performance improvements
• Instant ammo collection features eliminates unneccessary button presses
• Rebalanced Sonic Rounds for more effective combat
• Reload times reduced for better combat flow

Cover System Enhancements
Blind fire functionality added
Turn corners while in cover and engage in flanking maneuvours
Cover animation improvements
More responsive and smooth cover transitions

All new Floating Cover system
• Grab bouyant object to use as dynamic cover in water
• Use floating cover on the surface or during underwater combat

New Climbing Combat system
• Ability to shoot and engage in combat while climbing or hanging

Levels and Game Balance

Level Design Improvements
Enhanced and redesigned levels
Exclusive new levels to explore throughout the game
All new mechanics, puzzles and combat added
Dramatic new end sequence using Hydro Kinetic abilities
Decrypting doors sequence shortened
Tutorial added for hack mini game
Improved feedback, waypoint design and tutorials
Better checkpoint design
Improved difficulty setting design
Rationalised waypoint system choice allows players to set their preference for how
much hand holding they want independently of difficulty setting

Darknet

Contextual Dev Feedback System
• Bring up Dev Feedback from the pause menu at any time to comment on your
experience
• Your feedback is uploaded to Dark Energy augmented with contextual information
about the gamestate
• Dark Energy will continue to act upon gathered data from the playing community

GUI and Front End

Menus reworked
• Front end menus re-designed
• In game menus re-designed

Value



Pre-purchase the Steam version for just $10.19 / £7.64 (including 15% pre-
purchase discount
New locations, mechanics and narrative elements extend the lifespan of the main
game massively