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Hi-Fi Rush Review for PlayStation 5

Xbox Studios is slowly rolling out some of their own exclusives to other platforms. A total of four were announced (for now), and first we got Obsidian’s “Pentiment” and now we are getting the highly regarded game from last year by the very talented team at Tango Gameworks called “Hi-Fi Rush.” These developers are mostly known for their work on “The Evil Within” franchise, which are two very solid survival horror titles. More recently they did the experimental FPS “Ghostwire: Tokyo,” which I had the pleasure of reviewing (check it out HERE). But with “Hi-Fi Rush,” the true versatility within this studio really shines as when they shadow-dropped it and unleashed it to the public, we all got to see what feels like a first rhythm action game of its kind. Often being in the conversation for many for “Game of the Year,” now a year after its initial release, it’s time for me to check it out on PS5.

Hi-Fi Rush Review for PlayStation 5

So, what is “Hi-Fi Rush” even about? Let’s start with the story. In this super colorful and vivid world, you assume the role of Chai, a determined individual with rockstar ambitions, who is unwittingly thrust into the world of Project Armstrong, an audacious endeavor spearheaded by Vandelay Technologies to revolutionize limb replacement technology. However, a twist of fate orchestrated by the enigmatic CEO, Kale Vandelay, alters Chai’s trajectory dramatically. During the procedure, a serendipitous mishap ensues, intertwining Chai’s essence with his beloved music player, forever melding man and machine in an unforeseen fusion. Cast out as an anomaly in the eyes of Vandelay Technologies, Chai embarks on a journey of self-discovery and defiance. Amidst the gleaming corridors of the Vandelay campus, he encounters relentless robotic adversaries dispatched to quell his existence. Yet, amidst the chaos, a chance encounter with Peppermint, a shadowy figure immersed in uncovering the company’s clandestine activities, offers a glimmer of hope and purpose. United by circumstance, Chai and Peppermint forge an unlikely alliance, where together, they navigate the treacherous landscape of Vandelay Technologies, confronting the shadows of Chai’s past and unearthing the hidden truths buried beneath the facade of innovation.

What makes this title so unique isn’t just its quirky story, but how it incorporates rhythm into the action. We are in Chai’s world now, where his robotic arm, equipped with a magnet, transforms junk into weapons, often his trusty guitar. This is a rhythm-infused action game after all, why not have an instrument as a weapon right? Everything pulses to the beat, shaping both the environment and adversaries. While rhythmic accuracy isn’t essential when you attack your enemies, syncing actions to the music amplifies the damage and your score. As you advance through the narrative, you’ll encounter a plethora of new mechanics introduced along the way. These include skills such as parrying and grappling, expanding the depth of gameplay, along with a couple other fun surprises I won’t spoil.

This is one of those games that I’m just happy exists, not many big talented studios take risks on smaller projects like this and I’m over the moon that Microsoft decided to not limit the access to “Hi-Fi Rush” by keeping it for themselves on Xbox. It must also be really nice for Tango Gameworks (a Japanese studio) to finally see their game playable on PlayStation, which is by far the most favored console to play on in their country. The gameplay is kinetic, the level designs are often fairly linear, and it’s often just an overall fun time. The music of course slaps and has often gotten stuck in my head. There is very little to nitpick about this game, and there isn’t much else I want to say, because the less you know going in the better the experience you’ll have with it. This is a must play!


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Related: Nick Navarro Reviews

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Gaming since I was given an original Nintendo as a kid. I love great storytelling and unique ingenuity. When both collide in a single game, I'm a happy gamer. Twitter/IG @NickNavarro87