Fast, Fun, and Pretty
I don't really have that much experience with the original Hydro Thunder. It was always a game that was around at the local Nickel City but was always occupied with players both playing and waiting to play. I found myself playing things that were open and available most of the time. The times I did play it, it seemed like a perfectly fast, fun, and colorful water racing game.
I am happy to say that this new entry in the series is exactly that. It's pretty fast, it's very fun, and the courses are very colorful and detailed. The game just looks great. The 8 courses have fantastic art design and are filled with things happening all around you. From speeding trains, to angry vikings, to sea monsters, to UFOs, to Police boats trying to stop you from driving straight, there are just so many sights to see while you are on the track. No matter what course you are on or where you are in said track, something crazy is happening near you. The games water effects are also very, very pretty. The constant ebb and flow of the waves just looks fantastic. The game runs at a great clip and the engine never really bogs down due to the stress of everything that is happening even in multiplayer.
The boats handle extremely well and the physics of the waves are very well done. This is a game where you are constantly jumping in and out of the water so it is good that the games physics engine can handle all the bouncing and bobbing. There are a few times where you will be thrown out of control into a spin or upside down, although that is almost always the fault of the player hitting something on the track the wrong way or because another player bumped into you at the worst possible moment. The game also has a great ability to control your boats rotation while in the air which lets you attempt to set up the best landing. It's really cool that there is as much precision and strategy out of the water as there is in the water. The constant boost power ups littered around the track really add to the fast and furious nature of the game too.
The game has both single player and multiplayer offerings. The online features up to 8 players and up to 4 player local play is supported. You can even bring split-screen players into the online mode which is something more games should really start doing. There are 8 tracks, tons of single player events, two multiplayer modes, and a nice selection of boats to unlock and choose from. This game is a very nice value for $15 and with some good friends playing with you, you can loose yourself in the multiplayer bliss for hours.Hydro Thunder Hurricane is a fast,fun, and very pretty downloadable racing game and I would love to see what Vector Unit has in store next for both DLC updates to the game as well as whatever games they are planning to make in the future. I am hoping they have a bright and successful future ahead of them.