What you need to know
- Tango Gameworks is a studio most well-known for horror franchise The Evil Within.
- Hi-Fi RUSH, the studio's latest title, is a colorful rhythm brawler and a massive departure from The Evil Within games.
- The exciting new Xbox exclusive contains plenty of The Evil Within Easter eggs, however.
- Players are encountering two robots that mysteriously resemble Sebastian and Joseph, as well as other Easter eggs.
The latest Xbox exclusive is one no one saw coming, with rhythm brawler Hi-Fi RUSH dominating sales charts and continuing to accrue plenty of social media attention after its surprise release during the debut Xbox Developer_Direct show. Players are quickly discovering that Tango Gameworks made sure to pay plenty of homage to its legendary The Evil Within horror franchise within the colorful boundaries of Hi-Fi RUSH.
Tango Gameworks was founded over a decade ago by Shinji Mikami, one of the creators of the RESIDENT EVIL series. The studio has gone on to develop two entries in the horrifying The Evil Within franchise, as well as spooky action game Ghostwire: Tokyo. It made sense that the studio would continue to dive into the more terrifying side of video games, which is what made Hi-Fi RUSH so surprising. It's bright, colorful, hilarious, and fully embraces the "fun" of video games.
Hi-Fi RUSH isn't entirely devoid of influence from The Evil Within, however, with several Easter eggs referencing the horror franchise for players. Hidden throughout various levels in Hi-Fi RUSH, players can stumble upon two robots — presumably working for the HR department at Vandelay, the megacorporation that dominates Hi-Fi RUSH — that strangely resemble Sebastian and Joseph from The Evil Within. SEB-AAA and JSF-001 always have plenty to say, should the player stop to listen.
The robots' interactions are always dramatic and broody, the perfect injection of The Evil Within's themes into Hi-Fi RUSH's aggressively positive tones, and have never failed to amuse me whenever I find them. There's also an Achievement for finding every instance of SEB-AAA and JSF-001 and listening to every conversation, for the completionists diving into Hi-Fi RUSH.
I also discovered a lone mirror stashed in a backroom in one level of Hi-Fi RUSH. When I approached it, the game's ever-present soundtrack faded and was replaced by the ominous notes of The Evil Within theme. Suddenly, a solitary snail robot was sucked into the mirror, never to be seen again. I assume the snail, which totally bears no resemblance to the Tango Gameworks logo, was just looking to save and upgrade its abilities. There are more snails scattered throughout Hi-Fi RUSH engaged in a variety of snail-y activities, for the eagle-eyed players.
There's no indication if Tango Gameworks is working on a new entry in The Evil Within franchise to follow The Evil Within 2, but the franchise at least isn't dead in the studio's latest hit. Hi-Fi RUSH is unbelievably awesome fun and is entertaining players everywhere. If you need more of a push to pull the trigger and take on Vandelay as a guitar wielding goofball, our full Windows Central review is coming soon.
Hi-Fi RUSH is available now on Xbox Series X|S and Windows PCs, and is shattering the narrative that Xbox Game Pass hurts sales. One of the stealthiest releases of 2023 is already shaping up as one of the best Xbox games of the year, with Hi-Fi RUSH delivering hours of pulsing, rhythm-based fun. And, yes, there are Easter eggs for The Evil Within fans.
Want to experience the surprise Xbox sensation that is Hi-Fi RUSH? The best way to do so is through Xbox Game Pass, which includes Tango Gameworks' latest masterpiece on Xbox Series X|S, Windows PCs, and the cloud.
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Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.