Quick Look: Hi-Fi Rush

by Ben Kirby
1 comment

Ok, it’s 2023, Bethesda has just done its first presentation of its upcoming games. Doing the usual teasers, trailers and release dates. Somewhere along the way, they dropped a little bombshell, announcing Hi-Fi Rush.

Not only did they announce it, but they also released it! Available all over, with immediate effect. Better still, Hi-Fi Rush is a Bethesda game, and Bethesda is a Microsoft studio……So Hi-Fi Rush is available on Game Pass!

As luck would have it, it’s available on PC and Cloud which means I was able to dive in on the Steam Deck (guide on setting the Steam Deck up for Gamepass coming soon!) and see what it was all about by streaming Hi-Fi Rush on XCloud.

So I got a good sense of what the game was about. Was Hi-Fi Rush the optimal experience being streamed over the internet? Probably not. So as soon as I could, I got it downloaded on the PC, too. Save synced, I was good to go.

A few hours in, I feel like I have a good sense of what’s going on and what people can expect.

Here’s my Hi-Fi Rush quick look!

Hi-Fi Rush - Defect

Hi-Fi Rush?

Yep, what does the name mean? Well….it’s kinda explained by the opening cutscene and the preceding action. But not exactly.

In a dystopian future, a mega-corporation is looking to enhance one of its workers. Seemingly as a goodwill gesture. We all know that isn’t the case, though, right? A bit of accidental throwing of a not-iPod and boom! Suddenly your protagonist “Chai” has a new robotic arm and a not-iPod now in his chest.

Chai wakes up, the world is pumping in time with your MP3 player heart and things get funky!

Here’s where the unique selling point of Hi-Fi Rush comes into play…..you run and walk to the beat, and you swing your weapon to the beat. The closer to the beat you hit your attack buttons, the better your combos and damage. Imagine guitar hero but you’re fighting and platforming in a world that has similar stylings to Sunset Overdrive.

Platforming feels good and you get enhanced abilities as you go. Combat is good, but can be frustrating if you can’t focus on the music and the beat.

Dialogue is short and snappy, exposition is done through conversations over the means of a robot cat called 808 and Hi-Fi Rush is an overall, slick experience.

Hi-Fi Rush - Lounge

Aesthetically speaking

Hi-Fi Rush looks incredible. Stylishly cartoony/cell-shaded with almost-anime style cutscenes. The colours are bright and vibrant and watching elements of the world move to the beat to always give you that visual indication of your timings, is actually both special and impressive.

Watching the world pulsate with the music in the background really helps it feel alive and adds a vibrance to the game that you don’t see very often. Again, the closest comparison for the style I can think of in recent memory is probably Sunset Overdrive.

Hi-Fi Rush drips with style and a glossy finish that only a labour of love receives. I suspect that toiling over Hi-Fi Rush in secret, with no external expectations from the world made the development more of a pleasure than other games may be. Being left to tinker with a hidden-away project without any external distractions. And it shows because this game is built with finesse.

Hi-Fi Rush - Chai

Worth a shot?


I’ve seen Hi-Fi Rush selling for £26.99 on Steam. It’s absolutely worth that! Better still, it’s worth the cost of your Gamepass subscription.

The Developer Tango Gameworks is better known for The Evil Within Series and more recently Ghostwire: Tokyo. So Hi-Fi Rush is a completely unexpected departure in tone and style. But my goodness is the sharp-left turn that they’ve taken worth a look at.

If you like action platformers that look incredible and feel alive. This is for you.

If you don’t….well maybe not? The combat being associated with timing can be frustrating, but it’s pretty forgiving, and the couple of main bosses that I’ve done so far have been totally doable even if I can’t sync with the beat.

This is a gem and I hope Hi-Fi Rush has some longevity this year.

Let’s see how it looks in 6 months’ time. But for now, Hi-Fi Rush is….as the kids say…..”a bop” or perhaps “it slaps”?

For more quick-look reviews like this, click right HERE.

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