Hi-Fi Rush – Review

Shadow launched during a Bethesda showcase and dropped instantly to Xbox Game Pass comes Hi-Fi Rush, a more light-hearted adventure from the developers of The Evil Within.

When aspiring rock star Chai volunteers for an experimental cyber-surgery from Vandelay Industries his low-budget music player interferes with the upgrade and now he feels the beat of the world around him. Considered a reject of the program he must now fight for survival, Team up with former employees and uncover corporate conspiracies leading all the way to the top.

Hi-Fi Rush is a third-person, rhythm-based, spectacle fighter, where landing hits in time with the beat can increase your damage. The beat can be seen in the environment so you don’t need to keep track of it in your head but there is even a beat track you can turn on if you need the extra cue.

The combat is melee based with a mixture of light and heavy attacks with special moves available for more high-damaging combos. As the game progresses you gain more mobility options and can upgrade your character using the currency that drops from enemies.
Your teammates get in on the action as well and can be called in to help with battles or be used to solve environmental puzzles. There was also a considerable amount of platforming, with some hidden paths and sections that shifted the view to a more traditional 2D plane.

The game looks gorgeous, with each character lovingly designed in this cell-shaded world. Cutscenes and gameplay merge flawlessly making the experience feel like an extended cartoon. The musical score has plenty of licenced music from artists like Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy and Wolfgang Gartner but also for you streamers and let’s players there is the handy “Streamer Mode” which disables these tracks and replaces them with an in-house band which does a surprisingly good job. The voice acting is again top-notch with many familiar actors lending their talent to the game.

The game’s accessibility is also of a high standard. There were multiple difficulties, the aforementioned beat counter for the rhythmically impaired and even an auto combo mode for single button gameplay so this truly is a game anyone can enjoy.

There are very few negatives I can say about the game. Combat always seemed fair and was very forgiving, especially during parry sequences. There was an overreliance on QTE rhythm games sometimes and some bosses were overly long to beat, although generous checkpoints overcame this issue. I do feel however that narrative wise there was an arc missing in the story, a fall from grace as it were as the final showdown featured a ‘hero’s moment’ which seems overly dramatic and out of place.

Coming in at around 15 hours it was on the short side for the main story but there is almost a full game’s worth of extra content post-game. First up is the wall of fame hosting dozens of gameplay challenges which unlock currency and build up an awesome mural as you unlock it. Then there are the secret “Vandelay” rooms which were forever teased during the game and are finally accessible after the main plot. These are advanced challenge rooms that range from time trails and special combat encounters. Extra costumes, a challenge tower, a model viewer and secret bosses the list keeps on going.

Also, keep your eyes and ears peeled for Evil Within cameos and potential teasers

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the title and kept smiling throughout. Feeling like a mix of Devil May Cry and Sunset Overdrive with a splash of Lollipop Chainsaw, this is a rocking adventure that feels fresh in an oversaturated market of high-profile flops that have appeared of late. A great addition to anyone’s library, pick this up and enjoy yourself.

9/10 star rating

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Developer: Tango Gameworks

Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Microsoft Windows, Xbox Cloud Gaming





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