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Hi-Fi RUSH Review

Hi-Fi RUSH Review

Not even a full month into 2023 and Tango Gameworks and Bethesda have surprised us all with the completely unexpected Hi-Fi RUSH. It’s refreshing to have a game announced and released on the same day, instead of having to wait for months (or even years) for a shred of information on something that was clearly shown off too early. But is Hi-Fi RUSH fun? Sure, it looks great, but if it’s let down by lacklustre gameplay, then is it even worth playing? Let’s find out!

The game opens and immediately gives players an idea of the high-energy musical thrills to expect, as protagonist Chai is blasting The Black Keys through his headphones. Chai has volunteered to be fitted with some high-end cybernetics in order to fix his damaged arm, so that he can realise his dream of becoming a rock star. The mysterious tech corporation ends up being labelled defective, meaning he must quickly escape from robots trying to hunt him down.

Not only has Chai been fitted with a robotic arm, but his heart has also been replaced with an MP3 player (think Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor) leading to the beginnings of a very musically themed adventure. Whilst Hi-Fi RUSH doesn’t break any new grounds in storytelling, it’s impossible not to love this endearing world of over-the-top characters


It’s almost difficult to put into words how stunning Hi-Fi RUSH looks. The images in this review show off how great the gorgeously stylised environments and character models are, but everything else from the silky smooth animations to just the overall presentation is sublime. It’s a world I would happily live in, if not for the deranged killer robots running rampant!

With this being a rhythm action game, you best believe the music and sound effects are top tier. From the likes of The Prodigy to a surprisingly good remixed rendition of Beethoven's 5th and all the original tracks, don’t be surprised to find yourself subconsciously bopping along to the music. Characters are also well acted, with help given from a great script, and although I found Chai’s whiny teenage voice became slightly grating towards the end of the seven hours it took to complete, it certainly fit his character.

From a technical aspect, Hi-Fi RUSH runs flawlessly, with absolutely no frame drops or lagging. This surprised me due to how much action could be on-screen at any one time, so to not have my PC slow or crash once during my playthrough was a pleasant surprise.


There isn’t much downtime in Hi-Fi RUSH, and within minutes of starting a new game you’ll be learning the basics of the Devil May Cry meets Guitar Hero combat and will quickly be well on your way to beating up baddies to the beat. With an indestructible guitar in hand, Chai will smash and shred his way through a variety of levels using outlandish combos, all whilst trying to keep in time to the tempo.

This being a rhythm action game, it needs to be simple enough to play so that you’re not trying to remember too many button combinations as you attempt to keep in time to the music. Thankfully, Hi-Fi RUSH is simple and intuitive, with the basic combat being light and heavy attacks that if performed at the correct time will deal additional damage to enemies. If you’re not too fond of rhythm games, or don’t know a hi-hat from a capo, then fear not, as the game doesn’t punish you for messing up the timing. You’re also able to bring up a metronome on the heads-up display if you need more of a visual cue, which definitely helps with some of the more frantic tracks!

Finishing moves and special attacks are — just like the rest of Hi-Fi RUSH — beautifully insane visual feasts that put the likes of Kingdom Hearts to shame, with special effects raining down everywhere! Finally, we have partner attacks, with friends Chai meets along the way (including IT guru Peppermint) briefly joining the fight to dish out some sweet robot destruction.


It’s not all combat and keeping to the beat, though, and players will often find themselves with some simple platforming sections to navigate through. None of these felt particularly taxing, but it was a nice break from the hectic gameplay of combat and gave me a chance to really soak in all the gorgeous scenery.

In closing, Hi-Fi RUSH is a rare game that came to us out of nowhere, and is absolutely incredible. For the developer to go from games with a more serious tone such as The Evil Within and give us this bright, artistic masterclass is worth high praise indeed. Everything here has been polished to the highest degree, and its quality truly shines through.

9.00/10 9

Hi-Fi RUSH (Reviewed on Windows)

Excellent. Look out for this one.

Not only is Hi-Fi RUSH an incredible looking title, it absolutely nails the rhythm action genre with superbly stylish gameplay, and a soundtrack you can’t help but groove to.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Mike Crewe

Mike Crewe

Staff Writer

Bought a PS5 and won't stop talking about it

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