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Hi-Fi Rush, a Rhythm Action Game From Tango Gameworks, Surprise Releases Today on Xbox Series X|S and PC

Image by Tango Gameworks/Microsoft)

The creators behind The Evil Within are mixing it up for a game in a new genre for the studio that’s out now.

Hi-Fi Rush, a rhythm action game set in a colorful, animated world, is now available on Xbox Game Pass for Xbox Series X|S and PC. The game is also available on Steam and the Epic Games Store for $29.99. The game can be individually purchased on Xbox Series X|S platforms as well.

Tango Gameworks revealed the game today during Xbox’s pre-recorded, livestream event called “Developer_Direct,” where the studio also dropped the surprise announcement of its immediate release. The game’s publisher is Bethesda Softworks, whose parent company ZeniMax Media were fully acquired by Microsoft in March 2021 for $7.5 billion. Tango was acquired by ZeniMax in October 2010 and is now under Microsoft’s gaming division.

Hi-Fi Rush features a cartoonish, animated art style throughout the whole game and its world. It feels somewhat similar in style and design to titles like Sega’s Jet Set Radio (2000) or Insomniac Games’ Sunset Overdrive (2014).

The main character is Chai, who after a bizarre corporate experiment where a music player was fused to his heart, can now feel the music and use its power to fight back against the company. That tech corporation called Vandelay is now out to get Chai after labeling him a defect. Chai is also a wannabe rock star, whose main weapon is an electric guitar. He even has a robotic arm thanks to Vandelay’s experiment.

Hi-Fi Rush and its gameplay is all centered around music and rhythm. Everything from the environments to the platforming to the action in combat all flow through the game’s musical beat. In combat players will attack in sync to music to string together different combos. Songs start to play on the more players are successful and achieving higher ranked combos. The combos at the end of these chained attacks are finished with Beat Hits for more damage and higher scores. A Reverb Gauge fills up during combat for using special attacks. Players still have full control of the game and can attack or move around in combat outside the musical rhythm to keep progressing in the story. Chai can also be powered up by using an in-game currency called Gears to increase the character’s stats or buy new attacks and combos.

A robot cat named 808 is Chai’s companion throughout the game, acting as a metronome to help line up with the musical rhythm. Chai has other allies who can assist in combat too, who have their own unique attacks and abilities as well as combos that the player can team up with.

In the story the player will go after each department of the corporation inside the world of Vandelay Technologies and take on its leaders during boss fights. Hi-Fi Rush also features licensed music during these boss fights and other key sequences from several artists like Nine Inch Nails, The Black Keys, The Prodigy, The Joy Formidable, Number Girl, Wolfgang Gartner and Zwan.

Tango Gameworks is primarily known for survival horror games like The Evil Within series and the horror-inspired Ghostwire: Tokyo (2022). The studio was founded in 2010 by Shinji Mikami, the creator of the Resident Evil franchise. Hi-Fi Rush’s director is John Johanas, who directed The Evil Within 2 (2017).

There’s also a Deluxe Edition of the game for $39.99, which includes several additional outfits and skins along with 20,000 Gears, the in-game currency. This Deluxe Edition pack can be purchased separately for $9.99.

Hi-Fi Rush includes an alternative audio mode so players streaming the game don’t get hit with copyright notices for the various music.

Watch the game’s launch trailer:

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