Hi-Fi Rush PS5 – Everything You Need to Know

Critically acclaimed and much-hyped despite being shadow-dropped by its developer, Hi-Fi Rush has garnered a reputation as one of 2023’s most addictive games, and now the bombastic rhythm-action adventure is finding a new crowd to please via Sony’s current-gen console.

Announced only recently following Microsoft’s unveiling of a multi-platform plan for some of its Xbox exclusives, PS5 players don’t have long to wait before they can see what all the fuss is about. Here’s 15 things to know about Hi-Fi Rush before you pre-order it for your PS5.

What is it?

Unless you spent 2023 under a rock, you’ll know Hi-Fi Rush. It’s comic book art and pulsating action synced to pumping soundtracks positioned it amongst the most memorable games of last year. A toe-tapping action brawler, Hi-Fi Rush spotlights wannabe rocker Chai who possesses a heart-infused music player following an experiment gone awry. Together with his ragtag mates, Chai jumps, kicks, twirls, and moshes to the beat as he topples a malevolent mega-corp.

Part of Microsoft’s multi-platform strategy

If you spent February under a rock (okay, no more under the rock analogies) you’ll be unaware Microsoft announced a multi-platform strategy for games which they’re dubbing their ‘legacy titles’. The games confirmed for rival consoles so far, whilst not Halo or Gears or another befitting the designation ‘legacy’ include Sea of Thieves, and Hi-Fi Rush. Arguably the pick of the bunch (although many of pirate-sim Sea of Thieves’ 35 million players will disagree), is Hi-Fi Rush, and whilst seemingly perfect for Nintendo Switch is PS5 only for now.

Developed by Tango Gameworks

Yes, that Tango Gameworks, known for The Evil Within and Ghostwire: Tokyo. Hi-Fi Rush’s vibrant cel-shaded vistas and sunny metropolises couldn’t be further from the twisted tension of survival horror or paranormal surrealness of neon-daubed streets. It’s such an about-turn in fact that Hi-Fi Rush portrays Tango Gameworks as a studio with supreme confidence in their abilities. The game’s publisher, in case you’re interested, is Bethesda Softworks. Yes, that Bethesda Softworks.

Difficulty modes

You’ll begin your Hi-Fi Rush journey with four difficulty settings available: easy, normal, hard, and very hard. Difficulty settings impact the usual stuff: damage received, enemy health, health pickup availability, that sort of thing. They also influence rhythm timing margin of error, easing the timing requirements for some actions. After completing the game, a fifth, super-hard Rhythm Master setting is unlocked, which aside from reducing aforementioned rhythm timing presents you with a Game Over if your rank falls below a specific grade during combat.

Accessibility settings

Hi-Fi Rush was nominated for Innovation in Accessibility at last year’s The Game Awards, and a glance through the wealth of accessibility settings on offer it’s clear to see why. In essence, whilst the game is a relentless rhythmic experience, Tango Gameworks want to make an experience approachable to anyone regardless of musical skill. Rhythm visualisation, for instance, provides visual representation of the music’s flow via a pulsating environment, UI indicators, and glowing metronome companions.  Colour-blind modes, font size adjustment, auto-action – available for players who struggle with complex button commands – and single key rhythm – mapping all rhythmic button combinations to a single press – round out the game’s accessibility settings.

DualSense support

Back in January, Hi-Fi Rush received a one-year anniversary update. Included in the patch was DualSense support for PC users, and beyond the basic change to on-screen controller icons this update offered support for adaptive triggers and haptic feedback. Hi-Fi Rush’s PS5 version seems like it’ll take full advantage of the DualSense’s unique features too given that the PS Store listing describes it as having ‘vibration function and trigger effects’ support, although this hasn’t been confirmed by either developer or publisher yet.

Two playlists

Hi-Fi Rush

Expected with any music-based video game is a banging soundtrack, and whilst some might argue Hi-Fi Rush’s playlist is dated it undeniably features some cracking tunes. Streamers, of course, cannot broadcast with a playlist of licensed tunes given the chance for copyright strikes so Tango Gameworks have done them the service of recording a separate ‘streamer-friendly’ playlist.

All gameplay updates included

Hi-Fi Rush on PlayStation 5 will include all the gameplay updates and modes added to the game since its debut early last year. This includes the Arcade Challenge! Update!, a free addition arriving last July which provided new game modes, steeper feats to overcome, and all-new challenges to complete for fresh rewards.

BPM Rush!

A twist on boss rush, BPM Rush! sees Chai face-off against waves of enemies, with each new surge of opponents ramping up the music’s beats per minute. This post-release gameplay mode came within Arcade Challenge! Update! and features familiar foes alongside some new creations, with the pumping tempo reaching a breakneck 200 BPM.

Power Up! Tower Up!

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Post-game challenge Rhythm Tower undergoes a dastardly difficulty spike in Power Up! Tower Up!, a mode included in Arcade Challenge! Update! whereby you’ll begin with a de-powered Chai, but after every successful round will slowly be able to reinvigorate his skillset with selectable abilities and upgrades.

Costume Pack DLC

Available to purchase at launch, but not something that can be pre-ordered via any deluxe edition, is the Costume Pack DLC. These bonus outfits are extra expenditure on top of the base game but featured within is a set of additional cosmetics for Chai and his bandmates with each look inspired by one another. For instance, Chai can dress as his floating cat companion 808. Each costume features interchangeable parts and a matching guitar too.

Photo mode

Hi-Fi Rush’s in-depth photo mode provides a bunch of cool ways to tweak the look and feel of every capture. For example, giving you chance to create the ultimate selfie is the ability to adjust Chai’s pose and facial features, and even bring in other members of his crew to produce a fantastic group shot. Editing effects include colour filters, focus depth adjustment, and film grain. In-game screen effects can be toggled on or off too.

Pre-orders are live

hi-fi rush

Yes, pre-orders for Hi-Fi Rush’s PlayStation 5 release are live right now. Alongside the base game version there is a digital deluxe edition too. Pre-order the digital deluxe and you’ll get your hands on some cool bonus items: two extra outfits for Chai, an alternate skin for 808 plus an 808-themed guitar, seven bonus Chai t-shirts, and a gears starter pack containing 20,000 gears. Gears are obtained through combat and exploration in-game anyway, with gears acquired spendable on combat skills and upgrades, but it’ll be nice to have this sizeable head start.

Physical edition incoming

Limited Run Games have been distributing physical collector’s editions and merch for none-mainstream games for some time now, and it’s great to see them on-board for a Hi-Fi Rush physical edition. Both PlayStation and Xbox players will be treated to something special here, with Limited Run Games often including anything from soundtracks, figurines, display cases, art books, accessories, clothing, as well as unique or rare cover art in their releases. Pre-orders for Hi-Fi Rush’s physical edition are not live yet at time of writing this feature, but Bethesda say it won’t be long.

Release date

Not long to wait now, PlayStation players. Hi-Fi Rush’s PS5 version is out on March 19th at midnight UTC, which for those in the US is 8pm EST.