Analysts: Hi-Fi RUSH defies all odds with ‘no-advertising’ strategy

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Game analysts have praised the newly released rhythm-based action game Hi-Fi RUSH for defying all odds with its “no-advertising” strategy prior to its surprise launch.

Tango Gameworks did not provide information about the game and its development phases before the release of Hi-Fi RUSH. However, on January 25, the game was suddenly available for download on PC and Xbox.

In this era, game developers and publishers usually run up to a year of promotional campaigns before each game is launched. Video game marketing typically involves previews on major social media, like YouTube and Twitter.

These previews disclose the game’s world, overall theme and premise. Usually, gamers will also learn about each character’s backstory, a common strategy to raise interest in the game through the preview.

However, analysts believe that revealing everything about a game before players even try it reduces the elements of surprise that they will experience when they finally interact with the game.

Developers also tend to launch pre-orders for upcoming games to engage players early. However, this will lead to gamers feeling disappointed when pre-ordering games that do not live up to their expectations.

A surprise launch lets players discover various aspects of the game without being disrupted by the initial teasers. Analysts, however, pointed out that Hi-Fi RUSH’s launching system could not be emulated by just any game out there.

Tango is a AAA game studio, and Bethesda, Hi-Fi RUSH’s publisher, is already notorious for publishing big titles like Fallout and Skyrim. The publisher also has access to Xbox Game Pass for players to try games free of charge.

Hi-Fi RUSH overview

Many gamers have said that the launch time of Hi-Fi RUSH is appropriate due to its theme. The premise of Hi-Fi RUSH is about bringing down a large evil corporation whose leaders exploit workers for financial gains.

The protagonist of Hi-Fi RUSH is Chai, a boy with a music obsession and a penchant for puns. He approaches a corp named Vandelay Technologies that promises him a robotic augmentation. However, an incident caused him to have an iPod inserted into his chest.

Because of that, Chai’s world becomes synchronized with his playlist. For Hi-Fi RUSH, Tango uses a blend of an original score and licensed tracks, such as songs from The Black Keys and The Prodigy.

Because Vandelay considers Chai a defect, it sends an army of evil robots to terminate him. Players will use various combat moves when defeating enemies while following musical rhythms. Chai will meet allies along the way in his effort to expose Vandelay’s misdeeds.

The game comprises 12 levels following Chai’s move from QA to the finance department of Vandelay. If players engage with robot NPCs, they will vent about being overworked and the fear of layoffs.

In an earlier game level, Chai encounters Zanzo, a character in charge of creating SPECTRA — an AI tech that lets Vandelay control people’s thoughts. Based on the game’s storyline, Zanzo quickly depletes the company’s funding and ignores inputs from his subordinates.

Many players consider this storyline fresh because it mirrors the current job market. Within the first few weeks of 2023, many major tech companies laid off their employees. Many of these companies also fight against workers’ unionization, which will give workers more leverage in discussions with their employers.

Players, however, are not only intrigued by Hi-Fi RUSH’s premise. The game offers crystal-clear animations and an attractive art style. They also praise the clever mechanics introduced by Tango, which allows new players to engage with the game seamlessly.