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Hi-Fi Rush | Snapshot

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Hi-Fi Rush is a rhythm-based action game[1] developed by Tango Gameworks and published by Bethesda Softworks for the Windows and Xbox Series X/S platforms. It was announced and released worldwide on January 25, 2023.

The game follows a self-proclaimed "future rock star" Chai (voiced by Robbie Daymond in English and Hiro Shimono in Japanese), who becomes a "defect" of an experiment that gives him a robotic arm and the ability to sense the rhythm of the world. Using this power, Chai and his friends face off against the corporation responsible for the experiments and its leaders. Hi-Fi Rush includes licensed music from bands such as The Black Keys and Nine Inch Nails.

Developer(s): Tango Gameworks

Publisher(s): Bethesda Softworks

Director(s): John Johanas

Producer(s): Masato Kimura, Shinsaku Ohara

Designer(s): Masaaki Yamada

Programmer(s): Yuji Nakamura

Writer(s): John Johanas

Composer(s): Shuichi Kobori, Reo Uratani, Masatoshi Yanagi

Engine: Unreal Engine 4

Platform(s): Windows, Xbox Series X/S

Release: January 25, 2023

Genre(s): Action, rhythm, hack and slash

Mode(s): Single-player





Special Edition



Hi-Fi Rush is an rhythm-action game where the protagonist Chai, his enemies, and parts of the environment move to the beat. Attacking, dodging, and parrying on rhythm is not required, as actions automatically sync up with the music, but by timing the button presses right the players are rewarded with higher damage output and more combo options.

The game takes place across multiple linear stages, representing various divisions of the antagonist corporation. Each division is based on a particular musical style, and Chai engages in a boss battle at the end of the stage.

In addition to combat, the game also features some platform game elements, as well as a system of upgrades to unlock new moves, abilities, and perks, which can be purchased with in-game currency found by exploring levels.


25 year old Chai, who has a disabled right arm, enters Vandelay Campus (which is situated on an island) as a volunteer for Project Armstrong in hopes of having his right arm replaced with a cybernetic one so he can pursue his dream of being a rockstar. However, Chai is unaware that the project is merely a front to send its subjects to slave labour once the procedure is complete. As Chai proceeds to the operation chamber, Kale Vandelay, head of Vandelay Technologies that runs Project Armstrong, berates his subordinates over the volunteers being of lowly stature. He then picks up Chai's music player and tosses it aside, falling into Chai's chest just as his operation began, resulting it fusing to his new robotic arm and reacting to the beat of the music from the player.

Chai's operation has deemed him as a defect and is pursued by Vandelay's robots, forcing Chai to combat them using his robotic arm to form a makeshift melee weapon shaped like a guitar. As he makes his escape, he helps a robotic cat named 808, being remotely operated by a mysterious woman, who informs him that Chai is in the Production area of Vandelay Industries and the only exit is through the Quality Assurance building. After venturing to the QA Building and defeating the first boss, Chai meets 808's operator, Peppermint, who offers him a way out of the island in exchange for investigating and exposing Vandelay's true intentions, which Chai reluctantly agrees.

Chai embarks on a series of missions and defeats members of Vandelay's management while also gaining allies along the way. It's revealed that those who are infused with Project Armstrong tech are subject to mind control by Vandelay using an AI program called "SPECTRA". Shutting it down requires the pass-keys of all of Vandelay's Management team, including Kale himself. Peppermint is also revealed to be Kale's sister, who left her family when he forcefully took over Vandelay Industries from their mother, Roxanne, and has been opposing her brother ever since.

After obtaining all but the final pass-key, Chai and his allies proceeded to face Kale, only to find Roxanne, alive and well, and traps the group. Kale appears revealing that Roxanne is under control of SPECTRA and that his modus operandi was to enslave the human race to buy more Vandelay products of his choosing. Chai frees his allies from the trap and leads them in the final battle with Kale. Kale is defeated and SPECTRA is shut down.

In the aftermath, Roxanne regains control of the Vandelay Industries with Peppermint and Chai's allies willing to help rebuild the company, while Chai is offered the role of ambassador for Project Armstrong. In the post-credits scene, Chai and the gang gather to look at the sunset while he starts learning how to play guitar - in case his job as ambassador doesn't do so well.

After the end credits, Peppermint informs the rest of the group that she is still detecting SPECTRA signals on the Vandelay campus. Chai explores and discovers several hidden rooms containing encrypted data. Peppermint decrypts the data, leading Chai to an underground facility containing the SPECTRA AI, which takes the form of Kale. The AI Kale reveals that the signals were a trap, and that accessing the facility has re-activated SPECTRA. Suddenly, the AI is shut down when a cleaning robot stumbles into its power cord, unplugging it. Chai declares the problem solved and leaves behind a note warning not to touch the plug.


In the March 2022 Famitsu interview, Shinji Mikami, the founder of Tango Gameworks, has stated that he wants the company to venture outside of the survival horror genre and nurture younger game creators. He also mentioned that the next game by The Evil Within 2 director John Johanas is "the complete opposite of horror."

Johanas described the game as a "dream game" idea he had in his mind since "way, way back." He pitched the title to Bethesda higher ups after completing work on The Evil Within 2 in 2017, and development commenced in parallel with Ghostwire: Tokyo, which was already in production at that point.

Hi-Fi Rush was announced at Xbox and Bethesda Developer_Direct on January 25, 2023. The game's appearance was intended as a surprise, although the title and logo were leaked online a day prior to the event. After showcasing the trailer and some gameplay footage, Tango Gameworks announced that the game will be releasing on the same day for Windows and Xbox Series X/S.


Hi-Fi Rush received "universal acclaim" for it's Windows version, and "generally favorable" reviews for its Xbox Series counterpart, according to review aggregator Metacritic.

Jordan Middler, from Video Games Chronicle, said that Hi-Fi Rush is "oozing with style and confidence", although there are "repetitive level design and some clunky platforming", scoring with a 4 out of a 5 star rating. Jesse Norris, from XboxEra, praised the combat, calling it sublime, but "can become difficult to read as the screen fills up with utter chaos", scoring it with 9.5 out of 10. Diego Argüello, from Polygon, called its animation gorgeous and Jet Set Radio-esque art style vivid and arresting. Giovanni Colantonio, from Digital Trends, called it "Tango Gameworks' most confident, stylish and surprising project to date".


Gameplay Walkthroughs

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Okay I can see why this game's reviews are overwhelmingly good. Good music, you attack to the beat, your character moves to the beat and even the world itself moves to the beat. Plus, screenshots don't really do this game justice, it's gorgeous. The art style really is a huge strength.

I'll be honest, I'm the type that prefers a more serious game, with more mature looking graphics. So this game hasn't quite put its hooks in me like some other players, but I really appreciate the art and how much has gone into making this game.

Today, I beat the first boss. So far this game is extremely easy playing on normal difficulty but the first level is just about all tutorial. The game may pick up a bit in difficulty later on.

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