Can you become the Baby Yaga?
John Wick Hex is a fast-paced, action-oriented strategy game that makes you think and strike like John Wick, the professional hitman of the critically acclaimed film franchise. Created in close cooperation with the creative teams behind the films, John Wick Hex is fight-choreographed chess brought to life as a video game, capturing the series’ signature gun fu style while expanding its story universe. Players must make quick decisions and choose every action and attack they make, all the while considering their immediate cost and consequences.
When I first heard that there was going to be a game based on kickass assassin John Wick, I was hopeful but then I heard it was going to be strategy-based and was less excited. I was expecting a third-person shooter to rival the likes of Max Payne, but was I wrong in already dismissing this strategy game? Absolutely…
I hold my hands up, I could not have been more wrong by writing it off and after getting used to the basics of the game, I was sold. Wick is a stone-cold killer, but he’s smart and ruthless in his approach and it makes sense for a tactical game. The game lets you move forward a set number of paces before either ending the turn or taking action, including either subduing enemies by melee, shooting or even throwing your gun at them. There is a “fog of war” element to it as you can move forward, not knowing where enemies may pop up, but that’s part of the fun. It chucks you in and goes “Now what?” and on one mode, only gives you 7 seconds to decide.
The other mode plays out at your own pace, but each move takes up in-game time (as it does in the harder mode) so each in-game second for you will also move enemies around and it’s finding the right time to strike to succeed. Don’t get me wrong, this game won’t be for everyone…I wasn’t expecting to like it as it’s not normally my type of game, but I was hooked after the first level and I really hope we get a sequel of sorts.
The visuals are cel-shaded/comic-book styled, as are the cutscenes and are actually well done. While Keanu Reeves himself doesn’t reprise his role in-game (probably because he’s so busy with John Wick 4, Matrix 4, Bill and Ted 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 to name a few), the game does have an impressive voice-cast with Troy Baker as villain Hex, while Ian McShane and Lance Reddick reprise their roles as Winston and Charon respectively.
The game runs smoothly, and I didn’t notice and hiccups in framerate or bugs. The soundtrack is also impressive and the overall presentation is well done.
While it wasn’t what I had imagined when I thought of a John Wick videogame, John Wick Hex is an impressive strategy shooter that took me by surprise and makes me really hope we get another game like it, hopefully starring Keanu himself this time…