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The Most Surprising Game of 2023 Just Came to PS5

Party like a rockstar.

Hi-Fi Rush
Tango Gameworks

Every once in a while a game comes along that feels like a revelation, something so wildly innovative that you can’t believe it hasn’t been done before. Hi-Fi Rush is one of those games: a raucous fusion of multiple genres — rhythm, fighting, adventure — brimming with personality. It’s a joyful experience that’s easily one of the best Xbox exclusives ever made, but now with Microsoft’s release of the Hi-Fi Rush on PS5, even more players can join the party. Even if you’re not a fan of music and rhythm games, Hi-Fi Rush is one of the must-play titles of this generation.

Hi-Fi Rush tells the story of Chai, a 25-year-old with a disabled arm who dreams of being a rockstar. Chai volunteers for an experimental program that’ll outfit him with a snazzy cybernetic arm. Unbeknownst to him, the company running the experiment, Vandelay Industries, is outfitting him to be a garbage collector, but the experiment goes wrong. In a ludicrous twist, Chai’s music player ends up getting implanted into his heart, which makes him see the entire world as a pulsating rock concert.

Hi-Fi Rush’s vibrant art style is a perfect match for its eclectic rock-infused soundtrack.

Tango Gameworks

While Hi-Fi Rush’s story isn’t the most involved, it’s emblematic of the free-wheeling spirit of the entire game. It’s a game that wants to be fun and does everything in its power to make sure the player is never bored. The lighthearted narrative is consistently charming, and Chai collects a ragtag group of allies to help him take down the capitalistic corruption of Vandelay. It may not be the most complex story, but it has a surprisingly strong message about being an outcast, and finding your way in the world.

The tightly-paced writing keeps the action moving and lets you dig into Hi-Fi Rush’s phenomenal combat system. It’s a bit hard to describe Hi-Fi Rush’s gameplay, but think of a combo-based action game like Devil May Cry mixed with a rhythm system you’d find in something like Beat Saber.

Despite these similarities, you don’t need to be good at rhythm games whatsoever to play Hi-fi Rush. You can use combo attacks like any action game, but landing Chai’s attacks on the beat boosts their power and usefulness. It’s easy to “enter the zone” with Hi-Fi Rush’s combat, making you feel like an unstoppable force driven by nothing but rock anthems. Everything about Hi-Fi Rush just feels good, its movement and combat are slick and responsive, its cel-shaded art style practically pops off the screen, and the game constantly throws new enemies or elements your way.

Combat grows and changes across the whole game, consistently unlocking new attacks and combos.

Tango Gameworks

Everything in Hi-Fi Rush is tied to the beat. The environment bumps and sways to the music, enemies attack on specific notes, and cutscenes are perfectly in tune. The way Hi-Fi Rush integrates music into every facet is astounding, and something that has to be seen to be believed. The eclectic soundtrack is also a mix of original beats and licensed music from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy, The Black Keys, and more.

Hi-Fi Rush’s core combat is rock solid, but the game also does a great job of keeping things varied and fresh across the experiences. Boss battles are the climax of both the narrative and gameplay, introducing massive set-piece battles with unique elements.

Hi-Fi Rush has a charming cast of characters who all grow in meaningful ways.

Tango Gameworks

Chai’s friends also unlock new traversal and combat abilities, expanding your options as Chai deepens his bond with his friends. The PS5 version also comes with the Arcade Challenge Update, which adds multiple new post-game modes that significantly bump up the difficulty.

It’s hard to think of a way Hi-Fi Rush could be any better. Tango Gameworks delivered its vision to near perfection, and Hi-Fi Rush is one of the most enthralling action games released in years. You’ve never played anything like it, and you might not ever again. That’s the beauty of it.

Hi-Fi Rush is available on Xbox Series X|S, PS5, and PC.

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