Dark Energy Digital Ltd.
Dark Energy Digital Ltd.
Hydrophobia: Prophecy is a gorgeous game, and it is a marvel to behold. The story is passable, and the dialogue is fun. The gameplay, however, is questionable, and the amount of frustration involved may turn some players away.
Combat is a combination of Gears of War-style duck-and-run, cover-based gun play and environmental damage. You can duck and hide behind walls and objects, and you can even hide behind floating objects in the water. You can also blow things up and drown and electrocute people.
You will have a hard time finding a game with more satisfying combat, but the weapons leave you less than inspired. The weapons are few, but you have infinite ammo on your base weapon, a Halo-style plasma pistol, only it is electricity.
After you get through a good portion of the game, you will develop water-based powers, but these powers are very contextual and not very exciting. They are cool, mind you, just not as fun as the gun play and destructible environment.
Back to the beginning of the game, you are a girl with some military training, and you have to defend a ship from pirate terrorists or something. I will be honest, the story did not capture my attention very often, but I know you are trying to recapture your home from these terrorists, while at the same time, you are trying to survive all the environmental hazards, like flooded corridors and explosive barrels and bullet-happy terrorist goons.
The water physics are phenomenal. The water will raise if you add other sources of water to it, and if you get too close to electrical systems while underwater, you get fried. Also, water can put out fires, but fires can sit on top of water. Finally, the environment offers a sense of freedom rarely seen, even in blockbuster titles, like Gears of War 3.
The only major problem is in level design. The game seems to hide objectives from you, making it up to you to figure out where to go, and it is never very obvious. The game gets frustrating, even for me, at times, because I frequently find myself lost, not knowing what I am supposed to be doing, no way to get a clue. I even consulted YouTube a couple times. I was that desperate.
Overall, Hydrophobia: Prophecy is a must-try survival platformer cover-based shooter, because it has such high production values and is offered at such a low price ($11.99 on Steam). If you want a good platformer, this game is lacking a bit, but it more than makes up for that with its water physics and cover-based combat, and the graphics are gorgeous.
Another thing to look for when browsing PC games is the system requirements. There are really 4 things you need to worry about: RAM or memory, processor, video card, and finally, the hard drive space. Memory can be upgraded fairly easily, and it shouldn't cost much. We recommend having at least 1GB memory, 2GB if possible. Your processor needs to be fairly modern, and a Pentium 4 probably won't cut it. We recommend a 1.8Ghz Core 2 Duo or better. Your video card should support DirectX 9 (or higher) and have a minimum of 256mb memory attached to it. We recommend 512mb or greater. Hard drive space is subjective, but we recommend having a fairly large amount of space. You could settle for as little as 40gb and be able to play most games, but we recommend having 80gb or more space to make sure you have room for multiple games at once. Most PC games don't run straight from their disc. They usually require an install process, and most modern games require around 8gb of free space to install.
PCs are the ultimate game console, because they can be upgraded, and they will never go out of style. PCs can also play most old game systems through emulators, so if you lose your Playstation, you can just play your games on your PC. You can also play classic arcade titles and have infinite coins!
A lot of people complain about having to use a mouse and keyboard to play PC games. This isn't a requirement, fortunately, and we have what we call gamepads or joypads. Yes, we can use game controllers! We can even use Xbox controllers! That said, it's not as plug-and-play as a game console, and some games simply will not work with your joypad. Fortunately, Steam tells you if games support controllers, and if your favorite game doesn't support them, you can map the controllers to keyboard and mouse controls.
Just be careful when buying PC games. Read reviews carefully. If a game gets a 1/5, don't buy it. If your PC is a cheapie, don't expect modern 3d games to work. Read the system requirements very carefully. If you don't know anything about your system, you can find help in the PC Stuff forum.