Surprisingly presented during the Xbox & Bethesda Developer Direct event, and released a few hours later on Xbox Game Pass, Hi-Fi Rush is the latest gem developed by Tango Gameworks (yes, just those of the two Evil Within and Ghostwire: Tokyo). This time, however, no gloomy atmospheres, on the contrary: we are in the presence of a game lively and ironicfeaturing a soundtrack rock and adrenaline. In this review we will try to understand what are the strengths of Hi-Fi Rush, of which, thanks to Microsoft, we had the opportunity to try the Deluxe Edition on Xbox Series S.
Check out the Amazon Music listing, it’s FREE for 30 days free
From the start of the game we found ourselves in a cartoony world with almost flawless graphics, while the eccentric protagonist, Chairuns along a futuristic corridor to the tune of Lonely Boy by The Black Keys. Yes, because it is music, especially rock music, that is the key to everything. Chai is an aspiring rock star, who reflects shortly before acting and for this reason he will lead us into situations bordering on hilarity. Found himself as a volunteer for a multinational project Vandelaywith the hope of having a malfunctioning arm replaced with a robot one, Chai – for reasons that we won’t even explain to you – finds himself having his mp3 player (or iPod, for the more techy) implemented in his chest.
Our protagonist is thus branded as a “production defect”, which means that Vandelay will do everything to eliminate it. However, thanks to his new robot arm (which becomes a guitar / stick for fighting), the beating musical heart of his mp3 and some allies (including an irresistible robot cat called 808), Chai will be able to find the strength to fight Vandelay, confronting her top executives one by one.
Between rhythm game and adventure – Hi-Fi Rush review
Perfectly balancing beat-to-music combat and borderline absurdist story, Hi-Fi Rush presents itself as a rhythmic adventure brawler, available for PC and Xbox Series X|S. By untangling ourselves between the various levels we will be able to face the numerous enemy robots, all very well characterized, who will try to put a spoke in our wheels. Everything in the world of Hi-Fi Rush moves to the beat of the background music: from manhole covers to the enemies themselves. We will therefore have to dodge, parry, counterattack and complete Quick Time Events (QTE) in time to the music to be able to survive the hostile forces of Vandelay.
Although the game world is absolutely linear (various arrows will always point us in the right direction), the settings hide small and never dispersive explorable sections that contain bonus items and elements. These can be used to purchase the various power ups (such as new combos and special moves) that will be very useful in more complicated battles. The levels are absolutely well cared for, with unique environments characterized by obstacles to overcome between jumps, double jumps and ziplines. In case of death, Chai will restart from the last checkpoint of the current level.
The irony of the dialogues is one of the strengths of Hi-Fi Rush
Each level has its own final boss, which usually consists of one of six members of Vandelay’s board of directors. Don’t worry though: Chai, during his adventure, will be helped by various characters who, thanks to their specific skills, will allow him to defeat the most difficult enemies and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Fight bosses while playing the Prodigy
As anticipated at the beginning of this review, Hi-Fi Rush is a game that pays homage to the wide rock universe. If during the various levels we will constantly have the beautiful original soundtrack in the background, created specifically for the game, when it comes to facing the bosses we will do it to the rhythm of published songs. In fact, each boss has his own licensed song. The tracklist includes two songs by Nine Inch Nailsthe powerful Invaders Must Die of the Prodigythe aforementioned Lonely Boy by The Black KeyWhirring dei Joy Formidable and many others.
The game also features a streamer modewhich disables licensed songs to avoid any copyright infringements in case you decide to play it live on the various platforms.
Also for the bosses, as well as for the other enemies, it will be necessary to attack in time to create very powerful combos capable of inflicting damage. In general, attacks are of two types: light and heavy. their combinations, to be performed always on the beat of the rhythmare almost unlimited.
After passing the individual levels, usually at the end of the boss fight, the game will provide us with a evaluation summary sheet. This will show us how good we were at fighting to the beat of the music. Then we will return to the shelter, where we will be able to buy upgrades, have conversations with our friends, change clothes (the Deluxe Edition has given us some nice cosmetic elements) and even train before catapulting into the next level.
It is worth highlighting some very subtle references that the game offers, and that music lovers will certainly not miss. The robot cat, for example, is called 808, like the historian Roland TR-808, the drum machine revolutionized music, fostering the emergence of genres such as hip-hop, techno and house. Or in the dialogues, such as when Peppermint (one of the characters) tells us: “Maybe you can ask my friends for a little help”. The reference is obviously to With a Little Help From My Friends dei Beatles. A tribute that unfortunately is lost in the Italian dubbing.
Summing up the review: how is Hi-Fi Rush?
In just over 16 hours of play on Normal difficulty (there are three selectable difficulty levels) Hi-Fi Rush can never get tired, thanks to irresistible cutscenes, well-kept environments, exciting fights and hilarious dialogues. The variety of enemies and the countless possibilities to combine attacks make fights never repetitive and always funny to play. The same goes for QTEs and the many hurdles to overcome. Furthermore, even when we decide to launch attacks against objects, the game will emit sounds (a “hey” or a guitar) always in time with the music, which generates enormous satisfaction, even if we find ourselves attacking metal barrels.
Check out the Amazon Music listing, it’s FREE for 30 days free
By the very nature of the game, Hi-Fi Rush does not have a multiplayer modethus limiting the action to the single player offline story only. To embellish everything, however, there is theincredible graphics and sound sectoras well as objectives to complete (which will unveil a majestic mural in the shelter) and the ability to combine various abilities unlockable through the in-game shop.
In short, Hi-Fi Rush is a small pearl, a rhythm game with an exciting adventure, in which one never has to ask too many questions. A title to try, especially if you love a certain type of music. Now excuse us, but it’s Honestly game of the Swanwhich means that Chai needs us.
- Music selection
- Free on Xbox Game Pass
- Graphic and sound department
- Captivating story
- Fun fights and variety of enemies
- There is always something to do
- Careful characterization of characters and settings
- Available with an excellent dubbing in Italian
- Gorgeous cutscenes
- Designed for new-gen (Xbox Series X|S)
- Streamer mode
- There is no manual saving and the automatic one is not always very frequent