Hi-Fi Rush has a particularly careful section, and you will have overlooked it if you are not a streamer
The most amazing video game of the beginning of 2023 is, without a doubt, Hi-Fi Rush. Tango Gameworks’ rhythm hack & slash landed on Steam and Game Pass unannounced during Microsoft’s Developer Direct, and it’s over conquering the whole world with its mix of music action. Of course, did you know that the latter was a difficult problem for the game to solve?
The likeable and frenetic game that has broken the streak of horror titles from Shinji Mikami’s studio uses the rhythm of its songs as its hallmark. Counting on collaborations with artists such as The Black Keys or The Prodigy, the soundtrack of the game has a luxury cast. And it is this that became a real headache for its creators.
Speaking with John Johanas, the director of the game and of The Evil Within 2, I had the opportunity to ask him about various aspects of his amazing hack & slash. Ever since I saw the game’s song list, I couldn’t help but wonder how it went the process of adapting such a title to the current landscape of content creators, so I didn’t hesitate to ask him when I had the chance.
”Licensing music is extremely complicated. […] For streamer mode, we knew we had to do something different than most video games do. Other games either add another song or even mute the music. […] for us, that it was not going to work because everything is choreographed to a song. So we had to almost reverse engineer and create songs that fit the vibe of the original song and hit the same highs and lows as the original song,” Johanas said.
“If something was tied to a riff, we had to make sure there was something similar in place. That was a huge and challenging task, and I’d like to congratulate not only our sound team for implementing it, but also a group of musicians who named themselves The Glass Pyramids for this project”, continued the director.
Of course, things like this make it clear that, increasingly, game creators have the community of streamers and other content creators in mind when developing their works. If Hi-Fi Rush hadn’t taken this into consideration, it would have lost a huge audience (both active and passive). The care they put into Tango Gameworks in their streamer mode exemplifies that sometimes it is more worthwhile create exceptional solutions instead of just muddled through.