On the Xbox and Bethesda Developer Direct showcase in January 2023, there was one shock that the publishers managed to someway maintain underneath their hats. Hello-Fi Rush is a brand new recreation from Bethesda, developed by Tango Gameworks (The Evil Inside, Ghostwire Tokyo), and it’s utterly in contrast to the spooky and horrific video games the developer has change into synonymous with.
It’s a vivid, vibrant, and expressive character motion recreation within the vein of Satan Might Cry, with a rhythm ingredient. The world strikes to a singular beat, and that beat informs every little thing from character motion, enemy assaults, and your individual actions, to the purpose the place syncing your button presses with the beat will improve the results of your individual assaults and motion talents.
Hello-Fi Rush was concurrently introduced and launched on Xbox and PC. It was additionally made obtainable on the Xbox Sport Move subscription service.
Thus far, it’s been a fantastic shock.
In a 2022 interview with Japanese video games publication Famitsu (as translated by VGC), Tango Gameworks CEO Shinji Mikami (Resident Evil, Resident Evil 4, God Hand) talked about that the corporate didn’t need to change into synonymous with survival horror video games, regardless of his legacy as one of many creators of Resident Evil – one of many earliest examples of the style.
In the identical interview, he teased the existence of what would change into Hello-Fi Rush: ‘John Johanas, who directed the DLC for The Evil Inside and The Evil Inside 2, is engaged on a very new title that’s the exact opposite of horror… It’s a extremely good recreation, so maintain your eyes peeled.’
‘The exact opposite’ is true.
A half-dozen hours with Hello-Fi Rush to this point, and I can’t cease smiling. It makes a really robust impression in its opening hours – the artwork course is vivid and eye-popping, and the characters are lively, endearing and self-aware. The Saturday morning cartoon-style animation, the place characters transfer at a decrease framerate to imitate a hand-animated cel fashion, seems to be implausible. There may be plenty of love, artistry, and a spotlight to element right here.
However the rhythm-infused melee fight is, after all, the primary star of the present – a dynamic and flashy system that’s satisfying to play with, even in its most simple type. Like the various different character motion video games which have come earlier than it, strings of steady gentle or heavy assaults type combos, however ensuring every button you press is on the beat of the soundtrack (each beat for gentle assaults, and each second beat for heavy assaults) will give the assault additional oomph, in addition to include visible and audio suggestions that offers you a small endorphin hit each time.
As the sport progresses, Hello-Fi Rush steadily introduces mechanics like combo finishers, dodges, totally different help characters that carry their very own weapons into the fray, particular talents, a grappling hook, and a parry and counter system. All of this stuff are tied to the identical beat.
It may be satisfyingly complicated, if you’d like it to be. Only a few levels in, preventing a gaggle of enemies in Hello-Fi Rush is a extremely entertaining train in methodically preserving the beat through the use of your controller as a percussion instrument as you repeatedly string motion and assaults collectively – one, two, three, 4, assault, assault, pause, assault, bounce, slam, grapple, dodge, parry, parry, counter, finisher.
For somebody who’s an enormous fan of each rhythm motion and character motion video games, Hello-Fi Rush is an utter pleasure – an ideal synergy of satisfying, skill-based programs. However for many who aren’t as rhythmically inclined, the sport additionally options quite a lot of problem and accessibility choices, akin to clearer beat indicators and even automated fight features that seemingly make it attainable to benefit from the recreation as a vibrant, button-mashing brawler.
Many individuals on social media have remarked that it appears like a online game from the late Nineties and early 2000s that’s someway made its technique to the trendy age, one thing that will have felt proper at dwelling on the Sega Dreamcast or Nintendo GameCube – and so they’re completely proper. The colourful artwork fashion and angle are in-line with video games of the time like Jet Set Radio. A few of the licensed music selections initially raised some eyebrows – like Zwan, the short-lived supergroup from Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan – however they’re additionally from that period, in order that kinda is sensible too, I feel?
Even the fashion of recreation it’s – character motion and rhythm motion – went by means of a golden age throughout this time. The truth is, Shinji Mikami served because the Govt Producer on a few of the finest character motion titles of that period, like Satan Might Cry, Viewtiful Joe, and God Hand – although that’s to not low cost the plain work of director John Johannes, and the remainder of the crew that introduced the sport to life.
Perhaps it’s as a result of it’s the suitable time for 2000s nostalgia. Perhaps video games have been lengthy overdue for a title from a serious writer that feels so carefree and exuberant. Perhaps it was simply good to get a extremely good shock to kick off the yr.
Regardless of the cause, the existence of Hello-Fi Rush is a blessing. It’s a recreation that’s simple to like, troublesome to place down, and simply an utter delight to spend time with. What a good way to begin 2023.
Hello-Fi Rush is obtainable now on Xbox consoles and PC by way of Steam or the Microsoft Retailer. It’s additionally obtainable on the Xbox Sport Move subscription service.
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