Tango Gameworks’ Hi-Fi RUSH is off to a great start on Steam after its surprise release

Hi-Fi RUSH is a rhythm-action game that was developed by Tango Gameworks and released by Bethesda Softworks on January 25. The game has enjoyed an excellent start, attaining an Overwhelmingly Positive status on Steam only 24 hours or so after it launched. 

Hi-Fi RUSH is an action game that features rhythm-based combat. It was created by Tango Gameworks, a studio that has previously developed darker titles, such as The Evil Within and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Hi-Fi RUSH represents a radical change of pace for the studio with its vibrant, new style.

Players can time their attacks to the beat of the game’s background music in order to enhance their combos. The rhythm elements are not just limited to attacks either, as all aspects of the gameplay are matched to the beat of the music. The protagonist of the game is a wannabe rock star named Chai. After the diabolical corporation Vandelay Technologies mistakenly fuses a music player to Chai’s heart, he is labeled a “defect” and must battle through each department of the company as he attempts to put an end to their evil schemes.

Although the goal is to attack in time with the rhythm, you are never restrained by the music and can freely perform any action whenever you want. Missing the beat will not hinder your combos, but staying in rhythm will enhance Chai’s actions and allow him to unleash special attacks, such as pulling off powerful Beat Hits at the end of a combo. Any struggles you may encounter in battle can likely be overcome by giving yourself over to the rhythm.

It’s not only battle that is guided by the rhythm, as everything from obstacles in the environment to cutscenes are all synced to the music and pulse with the beat. Chai also has a robot cat companion named 808 who hovers over his shoulder and emits flashes of blue light that help players find the rhythm. There is also an optional setting that places a visual guide at the bottom of the screen, so even those who aren’t well versed in rhythm games will be able to enjoy Hi-Fi RUSH.

Each stage in the game has its own musical spin on the rock genre, and they all end with a showdown against a boss. These climactic battles feature a variety of unique mechanics and are choreographed to licensed music from famous artists, such as Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy, Number Girl, and more.

Hi-Fi RUSH was a surprise release, launching the very day that it was announced. As of the time of writing, the game has over 960 user reviews on Steam, of which 98% are positive, giving it an Overwhelmingly Positive status. Many players have praised the distinctive gameplay that combines rhythm game elements with a combo-based battle system similar to those found in popular character action games. The game was also lauded for the attention to detail that went into matching everything in both the gameplay and cutscenes to the rhythm.

The concurrent player count on Steam has risen steadily, reaching over 3,500 players (SteamDB), but even more are likely enjoying the game since it’s also available on the Microsoft Store and is available via the Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass subscription services.  

It’s not unusual for titles available on Game Pass to reach hundreds of thousands of players, as being on Game Pass helps to expose games to a larger audience, and some believe that it may even lead those who aren’t subscribed to the service to buy these games. As a result, Game Pass is becoming increasingly seen as a powerful marketing tool by both developers and publishers. It could be said that Hi-Fi RUSH has gathered so much attention because it was a surprise release that was simultaneously available on Game Pass, and this may be linked to the great performance of the title on Steam.

Hi-Fi RUSH is available now for PC (Microsoft Store/Steam) and Xbox Series X|S.

Written by. Marco Farinaccia based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-01-27 12:30 JST)