Hi-Fi Rush Developer Reveals How Shaun of the Dead Inspired New Xbox Game

Xbox’s newest exclusive, Hi-Fi Rush, was heavily inspired by the filmography of acclaimed director Edgar Wright. Xbox has been heavily criticized for the last few years for not having consistently great exclusives. It really stands out in comparison to PlayStation and Nintendo which are releasing game of the year-level exclusives that are both incredibly fun to play and even sometimes have amazing stories, some of which are now being adapted for the big screen. Xbox has a lot on the horizon that makes it seem like it could really have an awesome generation, but it remains to be seen. However, Xbox did just surprise people with an awesome new musically-driven action game called Hi-Fi Rush.

The game came out of left field and was an immediate hit, but many people were surprised it came from The Evil Within developer Tango Gameworks. It’s very different from the studio’s other games and according to director John Johanas, that was very intentional. Johanas wanted to change the studio’s image after The Evil Within 2 and that led to what would become Hi-Fi Rush. Johanas noted in an interview with Xbox that he was then inspired by the films of Edgar Wright. The obvious comparison is Wright’s Baby Driver which is a heist film driven by music. He noted that the main movie that inspired the team, however, was Shaun of the Dead due to the scene where the characters fight in a bar while Queen plays.

“One of the earliest things we had- and this kind of influenced the direction on our style for how we did things – was the movies that Edgar Wright as a director would make,” said Johanas. “And I know maybe people would compare this to Baby Driver, which is about music — music to tied to the images very coherently — but actually this pre-dated that significantly. There was a scene in the original Shaun of the Dead that had them fighting in a bar to a Queen soundtrack [Warning: adult language] that was choreographed to it. Maybe you saw that, maybe you remember it. I was like, ‘That was so cool, what if we made a game that was exactly like that?’ And so that’s how I kind of pitched it. That’s how the idea came to be, many, many years [ago] when we were still making the original The Evil Within, but [Hi-Fi Rush] finally gave us a chance to pursue that angle.”

Johanas also revealed that he took inspiration from Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs the World for the protagonist, calling him a bit of an anti-hero. However, he’s not an anti-hero because he’s bad, but simply because he’s dumb and doesn’t conform to the typical hero archetypes. The inspirations are more than apparent when you look at Hi-Fi Rush with this in mind.


Did you notice any other parallels to Edgar Wright’s films and Hi-Fi Rush? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @Cade_Onder.