Hydrophobia is a game in which you play a female hacker/swimmer who will have to get to the bottom of the mystery of what is going on on a very large boat as its sinking, and mercenaries are now patrolling the halls. In this XBOX Live Arcade game you definitely see a game that could have easily been a boxed game, but for the price of the game, you're getting a hell of a steal. To be honest this is basically a graphics engine technical demo of what it can do with water effects, but in the end it turns into a pretty interesting game.
Graphically you can see the rough edges in the character design, and some of the areas of the ship, but who cares about that when you get to deal with probably one of the most realistic senses of water that you've ever seen. There is quite a bit of diversity in some of the areas of the ship so you'll also get to see a good chunk of change, and how water is effected by that.
The sounds of the game are really basic, the one thing that sounds slightly polished is the dialog that you'll get to hear as you traverse the game, who sometimes you're going to have to just shake your head at the kookiness of what is being said.
The controls aren't too tough to figure out and for the majority of the game you won't care about the less than precise aiming that is built into the game.
So you are a hacker who will have to find sequence codes hidden throughout the ship to unlock doors, and control cameras. You'll also get to handle a gun, and for the most part the gun is more of an item that is used to break things over trying to kill people. The sad thing is that you get into this rhythm of how the game is going to go and then all of a sudden they try to make this game less of an adventure game and more of a third person shooter, with the lack of training for a situation like that for 3/4 of the game, you're going to be very frustrated at the end. Believe me when I say that I played one shooter part 30 times and was so disgusted that I almost removed the game from my system in frustration.
The bottom line is that this game is good for an arcade game, it would be a total rip off if they tried to box this game. If you're looking for a cool stealthy code hacking game for a good chunk of the game, I'd check this game out. If you're looking for the complete experience, however, I'd say check elsewhere because even though this game hits most of its marks, there's a couple that will have you pulling your hair out. This game could have gotten a high 8 score, but because of the change in direction at the end it will get a 6.2 out of 10, instead