Developed By: BitHell Games Published By: Good Shepherd Entertainment Categories: Strategy Release Date: 12.04.20
Like the films, John Wick Hex is a slick, stylish, violent trip. The goal when making Hex was to make a game that felt like the action scenes in the film series, and while it definitely does, I can’t help but think the game is being held back by it’s budget.
John Wick Hex is a strategy game, a surprisingly fast and smooth one at that. Get from point a to point b, shooting through anything that gets in your way on one meaning to the title’s name, a hex based grid. There’s a lot to pay attention to. John Wick has a handgun that hold 15 bullets, while you can reload, you lose everything in the previous magazine if you do so, so more often than not it’s better to pick up dropped guns by people in your path. Especially as the game, again much like the films has John double-tap, meaning you always shoot twice. Of course, say you don’t want to shoot everything, the game lets you just fight hand to hand, and with the number of enemies who don’t have guns, it’s very much encouraged. Punching, pushing, and just knocking enemies on their ass, which when in a huge group of enemies is unbelievably exciting and fun to do, however you might want to watch what exactly you do…
You can heal if hurt with rare bandages, sound standard, but the game also has a focus meter. Doing most physical actions like attacks, ducking down and rolling takes focus. It’s in your best interest to keep your focus a high as possible, as otherwise, you’ll be gimped and your only ways to really protect yourself will be shooting or a simple punch. If you’re in a tight spot, and low on either health or focus, you are most likely not to make it out unless you’re incredibly lucky. If you’re not in a combat situation, then you’re in a good place to reload, heal, re-focus, as all of those take seconds, or turns to perform. Otherwise, you’ll just get constantly interrupted.
Stage after stage, getting to the end and then getting to a boss. While it is all the same thing, the changing up of stage layouts works to spice it up, this is a strategy game after all. After that and between locations, you can pilfer the areas for ammo, bandages, guns, a long as you performed well enough beforehand. You can also upgrade stats to make the next area smoother.
The game has a lot of pinks, and purples in it’s art style. It’s an interesting choice for an actiony game, but it’s so novel I can’t help but really enjoy the look it’s going for. I’m not to sure how to accurately categorize the music, but it’s fitting with both the game’s art style and gameplay, if it’ makes sense. It gets you in the mood to sneak around to shoot or stealthily takedown bodyguards, but it’s not boring and it does kind of have a mood to get you to move swiftly. If any of this makes sense.
The other part of the game’s namesake is a character named Hex, a criminal mastermind. It all starts with two kidnapped men, and ends with John Wick being an absolute badass. The plot itself isn’t bad, but I often found myself just caring more about doing cool things as John than everything that happens between…kinda like how people watch the films for the action scenes more than the plot. It doesn’t help that the cutscenes, while all are well voice acted, are all static images.
John Wick Hex is a challenging, yet not unfair game. When you mess up, it can be frustrating, but it never really seems unfair, especially, since as long as you don’t play on the harder difficulty, you can take all the time you need to think things out. I’d love to see a John Wick game as a third person shooter, ala Stranglehold eventually, but Hex is a standout strategy game and a standout licensed game, when there’s plenty of bad games in both catagories.
Buy Now: $19.99 Digital – $29.99 Physical
*Game Download Code supplied for review purposes