I’ll put it on the market – as stunned as I used to be that Tango Gameworks had secretly made and launched a brand new recreation, I used to be extra stunned that it in a short time had me preventing an enormous, cel-shaded robotic to the beat of 9 Inch Nails’ ‘1,000,000’. As a result of Hello-Fi Rush is one thing virtually distinctive: a rhythm-action recreation in essentially the most literal sense — a traditional motion recreation pushed by rhythm.
Whereas the preliminary shock could be that it’s out there to play on Xbox Sequence X|S and Home windows PC proper now (and free to these with an Xbox Sport Move or PC Sport Move subscription), the follow-up feeling shall be shock that this can be a Tango Gameworks manufacturing. For a studio finest recognized for its horror leanings – having created The Evil Inside sequence and final 12 months’s Ghostwire: Tokyo – this can be a a lot hotter, funnier, weirder new recreation than we may ever have anticipated.
For those who’re nonetheless making an attempt to get your bearings, let me offer you a rundown based mostly on simply the primary hour of the sport (so no spoilers right here!):
Excellent Sound Endlessly
Consider this as a game-length idea album, telling the story of Chai – a wannabe rockstar who simply needed a candy robotic arm from the Vandelay company – who will get caught up in a tech firm conspiracy when his music participant is by chance embedded in his chest, and begins syncing the broader world as much as his personal private playlist. He’s rapidly deemed a faulty mannequin, and scheduled for violent decommission – and also you’ll be guiding him by means of his escape.
Hello-Fi Rush is one thing just like the ‘Child Driver’ of video video games. It’s not only a recreation set to music, however a recreation pushed by it in each respect. Combos should be hit in time to the music for the very best scores, enemies telegraph their assaults extra with sound than animation, and platforming challenges depend on you with the ability to learn the music as a lot because the setting. Hell, Chai’s idle animations see him finger-snapping alongside to no matter you occur to be listening to on the time.
All of that is pushed by a guitar-heavy soundtrack worthy of essentially the most well-curated dive bar jukebox. The majority of ranges are underpinned by music created by Tango Gameworks itself, shifting as you progress, and fantastically rising in tandem with your personal fight prowess. The extra damaging and in-rhythm your combos are, the extra stems you’ll add to the observe itself. When you hit an S-level combo, the soundtrack shall be in full power, driving you to maintain preventing with finesse simply to listen to extra of the track.
However hit a significant story second or a boss battle, and issues kick into high-gear with the addition of licensed music. The opening of the sport options an intro set to The Black Key’s ‘Lonely Boy’, and ends with a boss battle set to the aforementioned 9 Inch Nails minimize. The sensation of driving some traditional tracks by sheer power of your motion recreation prowess is one thing to behold – and doing it by means of fight is a contemporary new method to recreate the enjoyment of the plastic instrument period of rhythm video games. I can’t wait to search out out what else the playlist has in retailer.
The Look of Love
As all nice bands know, nonetheless, your sound is just a part of the attraction, and Hello-Fi Rush has the seems to be to match its tracklist. This has the vibe of some misplaced ’90s Saturday morning cartoon, with an eye-searing neon shade palette, thick strains, and over-the-top animations. Cutscenes are a deal with, pushed by some beautiful facial animation tech that brings Chai to life, and immediately marks its solid of villainous bureaucrats as love-to-hate nemeses we’ll be butting heads (and metallic guitar-clubs) with over the course of the entire recreation. It backs up that look with a narrative tone as heat as its visuals – this can be a comedy firstly, and it’s delivering visible gags from minute one.
All of that’s augmented by some beautiful comedian book-like touches that recall to mind ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ – onomatopoeic phrases pop up round you, main moments (delivering the ultimate blow to a boss, for example) are given a splash page-like redraw, and you’ll even see Ben Day dots making up among the textures within the backgrounds of scenes.
Vandelay Applied sciences, the tech campus-turned-prison that makes up the sport’s world, is a jagged, futuristic skyline set below excellent blue skies, and its twisting corridors are constructed to cover hidden collectibles, humorous lore drops and mountains of loot – all of which can turn out to be useful when you attain your hideout hub base. That is the place the sport’s extra conventional motion chops (not an enormous shock, given Tango’s connection to legendary motion designer Shinji Mikami) start to indicate themselves, providing the power to tweak your preventing type to your wants, and up these combo scores.
It’s that ultimate level that has me actually excited to play extra. Throughout the first hour, I already knew that Hello-Fi Rush’s distinctive premise would work for me, and that its seems to be had charmed me. However that promise that there’s a lot extra below the floor – the churning mechanical works of motion recreation mechanics we’re extra used to from the likes of Vanquish or Satan Could Cry – is what I’ll wish to dig into as I undoubtedly set this explicit playable playlist on repeat.
Hello-Fi Rush is out there now for Xbox Sequence X|S and Home windows PC. The sport is free to obtain with an Xbox Sport Move or PC Sport Move subscription.