Raking in hundreds of millions of dollars at ball-shaped box offices and spawning more memes than you can shake a mangle doge at, John Wick is one of the most successful action movie franchises in decades. It was only ever a matter of time then ahead Wick ’ s Hollywood murder sprees got adapted into a shrapnel-studded video plot .
While another Keanu Reeves starring plot may be generating all the headlines, this calendar month besides saw a, emergency room, less convert adaptation of Keanu ’ s likeness hitting the Nintendo Switch. Enter John Wick Hex. Featuring an aesthetic that can alone very be described as Fortnite smeared with melted playdough, Hex offers a downright bizarre lease on John Wick ’ mho kung fu fantasy. It besides doesn ’ t actually star Reeves at all .
S o, what precisely is this weird-looking, Keanu-less John Wick game ? Well, John Wick Hex is the equivalent to getting a hand poked tattoo rather than a slickly-stylized stencil. It ’ s shop at your local anesthetic bookshop rather than slinging more cash into the Bezos abyss .
In other words, it ’ s a scrappy short indie game. ever since the click of bet on, movie studios would late hire a 200-strong developer studio to craft a rush and ( forgettable ) AAA epic. Yet this time about, IP holder Lionshead opted to stick to their DIY routes. much like with Lionhead ’ s indie-studio-helmed Blair Witch plot, for their first playable John Wick excursion, the film sign of the zodiac admirably hired a lone indie developer : british indie darling Mike Bithell .
U nsurprisingly, for a godhead best known for penning a dear story about shuffling spot, Bithell ’ s imagination for a John Wick bet on is anything but ordinary. While most people would probably envision a John Wick game as something akin to 2003 ’ s blockish PS2 third-person gunman Enter The Matrix, Hex alternatively transforms John Wick ’ s captivating slaughter into something far more think – a grid-based scheme title .
For many gamers, I ’ thousand sure the theme of inserting a bullet-spitting badass into a turn-based romp will feel borderline blasphemous. Yet, while a third base person John Wick shooter was the crowd-pleasing option, Hex ’ s grid-based, strategic battle is actually a amazingly good equip .
The game plays as if you ’ re living inside the grimacing assassin ’ sulfur head, weighing up the dangerous scenarios around him in real time. In other words, its stress-inducing scheme rule transforms Wick ’ randomness mindless adult sieve shootouts into something that feels more akin to a bet on of chess, having the player cautiously choreograph a beautiful ballet of bullets and bloodshed.
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With each degree taking between five and ten minutes to beat, Hex wastes no time in throwing you into the military action. At its core, this is an incredibly simplistic game. Yet underneath its janky animations and unsettling-looking character models, there ’ s a gratifyingly trance-like meter to its gameplay coil. When your perfectly-hatched plan sees Wick judo throw a lout over his shoulder, dumpy out of gunfire and lob a revolving door at an attacker ’ second principal, Hex very is a thing of smasher. Why ? Because where the John Wick films portray Reeves as trigger-happy killer whale, in Hex, the eponymous action hero paints him as a headmaster tactician .
rather of fair running in all guns blazing like an invincible badass, Hex demands that you think two steps ahead. much like traditional actual time strategy games like Civilization or Age Of Empires, Hex employs a ‘ daze of war ’, obscuring most of your map ’ mho surroundings until Wick ’ s field of view expands. This means you never truly know what dangers lurk around each corner. sure, you can roll behind cover and have a good find of launching a bullet train through that confederate ’ second skull, but will the two rounds in the bedroom be enough to survive whatever ’ sulfur waiting behind that future door ? Thanks to scarce bullets and healing items, every few steps you ’ ll have to weigh up whether you grab a dead lout ’ s 9mm or hide and re-fill your karate-enabling stress meter .
F or hard-core Wick heads, Hex ’ s prequel set narrative actually offers a surprisingly essential fib. With sharper writing than the films and a predictably solid performance from Troy Baker as the villain, Hex, this interactional outing adds more depth to the largely unidimensional Wick lore .
ultimately, the game works because of its inhale reimagining of the action hero gunfight. Allowing players to conduct the beautifully orchestrate chaos of Wick ’ s fight scenes is a novel estimate, and it ’ s one that sees me returning to Hex time and clock time again .
Albeit, concisely, anyhow. Featuring merely seven exchangeable maps – each containing multiple submissions – this affordably priced title is hardly going to keep you occupied for days at a time. Yet unlike the personal computer interpretation that I so regularly disregard, the Nintendo Switch is cut made for short circuit burst experiences like Hex. Sitting alongside early blame up and play menu like Bad North or Hades, if you can grab this in an eShop sale, there ’ s a lot to love here.
John Wick Hex is now available on the Nintendo Switch.
Priced at a reasonable £15.99, there is surely some budget fun to be had in John Wick ’ s gaming debut. Buoyed by a tense, atmospheric soundtrack and a generous choice of skill upgrades, Hex is precisely compelling enough to rise above its faults .
It may not be perfect, but this is a game brimming with style and master ideas – an synergistic experience that dares to deviate from the average. And if that ’ s not worth celebrating in a world of identikit triple AAA epics, we ’ re not sure what is .
- Unleashing carefully choreographed chaos is hugely satisfying
- The writing is surprisingly good
- The compelling chess-like loop keeps you coming back for more
- Bitesize levels are a perfect fit for Switch
- Janky animations and ghastly character models are an acquired taste
- While fun, Hex is a pretty samey experience
- It’s lack of polish and chess-like gameplay may be a disappointment to some Wick fans