Xbox shadow drops Hi-Fi Rush, an unexpected rhythm action game from Ghostwire Tokyo devs

Hi-Fi Rush
(Image credit: Tango Gameworks)

While Xbox was quick to note that today's Developer Direct would be light on surprises, there was at least one: Hi-Fi Rush, a brand-new game from Tango Gameworks, the devs behind The Evil Within and Ghostwire: Tokyo. The real kicker is that it will launch on PC and Xbox, including Game Pass, later today.

Hi-Fi Rush looks and feels "like nothing we've made at Tango before," as game director John Johanas puts it. Indeed, even studio head Shinji Mikami said it's the kind of game he "never would have thought of." 

This is a cartoonish third-person rhythm action game where you play as Chai, an aspiring rockstar who's recently been (unwillingly) augmented with tech that lets him tap into the music of the world around him. Similar to games like Crypt of the Necrodancer or Metal: Hellsinger, combat is built around the tempo of music. You can attack, dodge, and parry whenever you want, but you're rewarded for matching your moves to the beat through special attacks and finishers. 

The flow of music seems to extend to platforming, enemy attacks, and puzzle-solving as well, with boss battles putting further spins on the formula. Hi-Fi Rush is incredibly not-Tango-like and looks interesting, and again, you can try it yourself later today. 

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I say this is a 'surprise, but this announcement was partially leaked through billbil-kun on Twitter earlier this week – no doubt to the disappointment of Johanas, who joked about whether the news "hasn't already leaked" – following up on earlier reports that Tango's next game was due for an impending reveal. In an interview last year, Tango Gameworks founder Shinji Mikami said the studio was "working on a completely new title that is the complete opposite of horror," and that it intends to make more small-scale games as well.

The Evil Within and its sequel became cult classics, and while 2022's Ghostwire: Tokyo made a striking first impression with its haunted Tokyo, its standard open-world design didn't inspire much enthusiasm. Our Ghostwire: Tokyo review gave it a 3.5 out of 5, saying that the game "feels like a throwback to a different era of action game design."

For more from today's Xbox Developer Direct, you can follow that link. If you're looking for information on Starfield, however, you will be disappointed - the game is set to get its own "standalone, deep dive" showcase in the future.

If you're looking for details on all the biggest new games for 2023, you can follow that link.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.

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