John Wick Hex always feels like it’s a demo that is testing the water for something greater.
It’s an action strategy game which is a bold choice for the franchise that could easily just have gone down the path of a fast paced action first person shooter, and in many ways I wish it had.
Tactical games that only control one player seem a bit pointless; it removes the sensation of playing a “chess-like” game moving your players across a board to take advantage of other pieces’ sacrifices.
Instead you control one player the entire time and you just stop a lot.
The weapon choices are limited as well, and I found myself opting to use smaller handguns as the larger shotguns just took too long to fire.
Once you finish a mission you can watch a real-time replay that zooms in on the action and feels like the game you should be playing, even if it also puts the clumsy animation front and centre.
Having said that watching back your flawless execution of multiple attackers without taking a hit is kinda cool and certainly very “John Wick”. The game needs more of those moments.
The saving grace is the story which plays as a prequel to the movies and features Ian McShane as Winston and Lance Reddick as the Hotel Manager..
But where is Keanu Reeves?
His likeness is there in a cool flat stylised comic form but his voice is not.
It could be he is contracted to one video game this quarter being “Cyberpunk 2077” but he could have rung this one in and it would’ve been fine. Part of me thinks that maybe he just didn’t want to be part of it.
Instead you have a Wickless John that leaves you wanting for something a bit more “Gun-Fu” like the films.
John Wick Hex is a bit of fun, but it’s not something you’ll go back to again and again.
Coming to Australian retailers 4th December, on PC, Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo Switch