- Hi-Fi Rush Game Director John Johanas stopped by the Xbox Podcast this week for an interview about Tango Gameworks’ surprising new title.
- He revealed that the game was partially inspired by the Edgar Wright films and dived into the exact mechanics.
- Hi-Fi Rush is available now for Xbox Series X|S and PC and is available with an Xbox Game Pass or PC Game Pass membership.
Hi-Fi Rush might have been Developer_Direct’s big surprise to receive an announcement and a single-day launch, but that doesn’t mean its development has been as tumultuous. In fact, game director John Johanes has been dreaming up the idea for this rhythm-action experiment for years, going back to the original Evil Within game. And it turns out that he had a very specific, non-gambling inspiration from the start: the Edgar Wright films.
Speaking to the Xbox Podcast, Johanas explained that while Tango Gameworks may be known for its horror titles, the studio has been looking for a way to do something different for quite some time:
“You probably know our studio for creating horror games The evil within and Ghostwire: Tokyobut that’s something we wanted to do [would] really completely changed the image of our studio and pushed us as developers to what we can do, or even what is possible, in the game universe, because we wanted to do something new, and that was sort of the original idea – that’s basically how I have it pitched.
“This game itself is just something I’ve personally wanted to do for a very long time and luckily the timing was right internally that once it was finished we just considered it a nice palette cleaner The evil within 2to branch off and try something new.”
During Hi-Fi Rush draws on some very recognizable gaming influences – the rhythm genre and classic technical action games play a big part – one of the starting points for all of this was drawn from the world of movies:
“One of the earliest things we had – and this influenced the direction of our style, how we did things – was the films that Edgar Wright was going to direct. And I know maybe people would compare that to Baby Driver [Editor’s note: I did exactly this in our hands-on with the game, whoops], which is about music – music that is very coherently connected to the images – but actually that’s a lot older. There was a scene in the original Shaun of the Dead that featured them Fighting in a bar to a Queen soundtrack [Warning: adult language] that was choreographed to it. Maybe you saw it, maybe you remember it.
“I was like, ‘That was so cool, what if we made a game that was just like that?’ And that’s kind of how I opened it up, that’s how the idea came about, many, many years [ago] when we were still working on the original The evil withinbut [Hi-Fi Rush] finally gave us the chance to pursue this angle.”
This inspiration also goes beyond the rhythmic combat concept. In wannabe rock star chai, Hi-Fi Rush also has a particularly Wrightian main character:
“I knew I wanted this main character who wasn’t a superhero. The big reference point that we used was Scott Pilgrim, specifically the Edgar Wright Scott Pilgrim because I’m talking about Edgar Wright as an influence. But it’s kind of an anti-hero in a way – not that they’re evil, but they’re just almost stupid.”
Hi-Fi Rush wears these influences on his tongue and is all the happier about them. This is a game that celebrates the games, music and movies that helped inspire it and its surprise release on Xbox and PC (with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass members paying as part of their membership can play) all the more exciting. And as far as this author is concerned, if Tango Gameworks wants to return to horror in the future, it always has Last Night In Soho to look to the Edgar Wright fascination and keep it in full swing…
PC game pass
Xbox Game Pass
Feel the beat as wannabe rock star Chai and his ragtag team of allies rebel against an evil robotics-enhancement megacorp with rough-and-tumble rhythm battles! From Tango Gameworks, the studio that brought you The Evil Within® and Ghostwire®: Tokyo (no, really), comes Hi-Fi RUSH, a brand new action game that blends the characters, world and combat in style with the music be synchronized! CHAI VS THE WORLD Dubbed “faulty” after a shady corporate experiment mistakenly fused a music player to his heart, Chai must now fight for his freedom in a slick animated world where everything – platformer puzzles, enemy attacks, and even the colorful gags and Jokes – are synced to the beat. OPEN THE MOSH PIT! Take on armies of corporate drones (read: real robots) in satisfying, rhythm-boosted combat. Plan your moves to unleash flashy beat hits, hard-hitting special abilities, and even combo attacks with your allies! want to show off Keep going and tapping the beat to hone your skills and earn those coveted S rank scores. ROWDY REBELS VS. BADASS BOSSES Lead a group of motley teammates and take the fight to the heart of a, uh, heartless corporation. Go head-to-head with the bosses of each department, from production to marketing to finance, each one more willing to protect the company’s bottom line than the last in over-the-top battle sequences accompanied by their own musical tracks! GET YOUR HEADPHONES Tap your toes to a killer mixtape featuring original music plus songs from Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy, The Joy Formidable and more! Looking to show off your skills to a live streaming audience? Fret not: Hi-Fi RUSH includes a streamer-friendly alternate audio mode that replaces these licensed songs with original tracks created specifically for streaming Hi-Fi RUSH.
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