John Wick is one of the phenomena film of the last few years. The series, created by Derek Kolstad, in fact, in the space of a few years has managed to conquer a huge audience of admirers and has become a veritable cultural phenomenon and business.

The merits of magnetic charm of Keanu Reeves, but also a taste of the creators to the action scenes, the deadly ballets that mix processed and elegant choreography with a level of violence really out parameter.

Between bullets flying everywhere, explosions and the very fast exchange of blows, the ex-assassin John Wick shows as never before in the his universe he is known as the Boogeyman, Baba Yaga in Italian, the bogeyman of the world gangster. And not only that.

This series seems to provide the ideal material for an action-packed shooter or a action game by high levels of testosterone. Even a product as stylish as a Wet (who remembers?) it would be perfect to encapsulate the fury of John Wick. Instead, what they do Good Sheperd Entertainment and Mike Bithell, developer of Thomas Was Alone and Volume? A strategic turn-based with an isometric perspective.

Will be crazy?

Absolutely no, on the contrary, John Wick Hex can -somewhat surprisingly – to be a perfect representation of everything that the eponymous series wants to be. Behind the apparent ignorance of the fighting, in fact, hides a building with maniacal view of the entire scene. The protagonist, in fact, is not the most lethal killer in the world “only” for his ability to effectively use every weapon and fighting body to body, but for the ability to take advantage of all that the environment provides. The fights in John Wick are in fact a rapid sequence of extreme decisions carried out with maximum precision. John has finished the bullets? No problem, launch the weapon against the opponent so as to gain the time needed to hide away and find a new strategy or shorten the distances and perform some deadly punch.

John Wick Hex

  • Developer: Bithell Games
  • Publisher: Good Sheperd Entertainment
  • Version covered: PC
  • Availability: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and Mac

Since we don’t have the reflexes of Baba Yaga, the idea of Bithell Games was to freeze time every time John has to take a decision. In this way, where in the film we see a sequence of actions fluid, in John Wick, Hex, we will have tactical pausing, during which you figure out what to do. The result is surprisingly faithful to the film and you can notice especially at the end of each stage when it will be possible to send in the play with what was just done, and see every decision we make will spread smoothly with the next.

If we wanted to find similar experiences, we could say that John Wick Hex is a Superhot time with XCOM, but very probably Bithell has created a new sub-genre, the action games and turn-based. From the series 2K John Wick Hex has taken the organization of the map, divided into hexagons, as well as the management of the actions. From Superhot the ability to freeze time whenever we have to make a decision.

1The graphic style is particular, but rather successful.

The time is the key concept of John Wick Hex. Every move of the protagonist, as well as that of his opponents, consumes a certain number of seconds. The success or failure of a mission depends, therefore, on the ability of the player to make John the right actions at the right time, trying to anticipate those of your enemies.

To understand how to move it is necessary to observe the time bar on the top of the screen. The actions of John and all opponents in his cone of vision are organized in chronological order so as to give us the chance to figure out who will strike first and how. Each action, in fact, in addition to having different effects consumes an amount predetermined of time. Throw the gun in the face of the enemy is certainly faster than take aim and shoot him, but the damages are minor. The impact, however, leaves stunned for a few seconds. This means that it is a good move to stop an action already initiated by an enemy or to use a weapon without bullets.

Time management, in fact, alongside those of the resources. The weapons have a finite number of ammunition that, once sold out, it makes it unusable. Fortunately, the enemies will drop to the ground, their mouths fire, but gather it will consume precious time. Similar to the moves the body-to-body. Hitting an enemy is a lethal move, but that leave uncovered on the counter. Show it somewhere over there to knock him out may allow you to exit from the trajectory of fire of the other opponents. You will not be able, however, to abuse these moves, given that the consume concentration, a resource that is potentially infinite, but that requires time to be recharged.

2The action bar marks the time in the game. Only dominandola we will be able to get to the end of the level.

Take advantage of the environment it is equally important to that fight. Hide behind a wall to avoid the bullets or crouch behind a sofa and roll away from the chaos could save the important points of life, rimpinguabili only with the rare bandages. Wait hidden, sometimes, is the best option, so expect everything to be in the best position before the act of surprise.

To all this must be added the fog of war that hides the portions of the map not visible to the protagonist. Do not know from where come the problems makes levels unpredictable, because we have to be always ready to face different types of enemies. Among these are the bosses that require a different approach to be put down.

Between one level and the next, as well as short clips composed of static screen shots, but well acted, you will be able to spend the resources earned up to that time for purchase of aid that can be special attack bonus or ammunition, or additional care. Not knowing what we will be facing makes this phase even more interesting, because one must try to predict what attitude to have then. For John Wick in the grass there is also a mode is Urgent, in which you will have only 5 seconds to decide the next move. In the mouth of the wolf.

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3Each action costs time. More advanced ones also cost concentration.

John Wick Hex was a nice surprise. Deep, intriguing, and a much closer than expected to the original license, the latest work of Bithell manages to win thanks to a graphic simple, but inspired, and the gameplay is never dull, that often promises more than expected. Get John on the final part of the levels, in fact, it will not be easy and in fact someone might feel the lack of a difficulty level more accessible to enjoy the experience without too many worries.

The replay value, then, is guaranteed by the random generation of the enemies that makes not only every game, but each new attempt different from the previous ones.

Bravo, then, Bithell, but we had no doubt seen the curriculum. If you are looking for a strategic deep, but in its own way intense and spectacular, go ahead. Baba Yaga is waiting for you.