With the most un-Bethesda game, Hi-Fi Rush won over its publisher

With the most un-Bethesda game, Hi-Fi Rush won over its publisher ...

Hi-Fi Rush was dubbed the "most un-Bethesda game," but it stayed in the hearts of the author as well as Tango Gameworks executive producer Shinji Mikami, with its striking and distinct style that stood out from the others. Released out of the blue to widespread praise as one of the most exciting new rhythm games on PC, Hi-Fi Rush climbed the Steam top sellers list alongside similar success on PC Game Pass.

It's certainly a step away from Starfield, The Elder Scrolls, and Dishonored, as well as the usual horror games we've come to expect from Mikami's studio Tango Gameworks. But, as Hi-Fi Rush's director John Johanas explains, that's exactly why he wanted to create it – and why it attracted the attention of both its creator and publisher.

"I felt like I needed a palate cleanser," Johanas tells IGN, claiming that the game started "right after The Evil Within 2," while pre-production for Ghostwire Tokyo was getting underway. Despite his loveable concept of hits landing to the beat the way you see in trailers, Johanas is concerned, "this will never be approved."

Mikami endorsed the idea, telling Johanas, "It sounds really cool, but why don't we try prototyping it?" That was in late 2017, and now five years later, Johanas sees the fruits of that effort: "Internally [at Bethesda], some people had played it and they talked about it to each other... There's this strange sort of viral happiness to just playing this game."

“Game Pass felt like an excellent opportunity to let something, that maybe the onboarding is a little bit tricky or maybe people can be sceptical about, but lose that scepticism immediately by simply playing it,” Johanas adds. The ease with which the game is accessible makes it simple for players to try it as well.

Johanas explains how the animation system has to interpolate every animation so that it stays on track. Cutscenes were animated to a click track, taking an estimated three times as long as normal cutscenes would take.

The soundtrack for Hi-Fi Rush is probably the most striking part of the album, featuring artists like Nine Inch Nails, The Prodigy, and The Black Keys. "I wanted to pick music that I grew up listening to or that reminded me of a simpler time," Johanas says.

"We just wanted people to be reminded of games as being fun," Johanas says of the "throwback but not retro" art style. "What we produce, we want it to pop and be remembered like those games from earlier generations of hardware," and the results are evident.

If you haven't yet decided to take a look at the Hi-Fi Rush system requirements to see if you're ready. We've got more of the best upcoming games for you as well, including the most recent on the Starfield release date for those of you who prefer more traditional Bethesda fare.