Tactical Hexagonal Gunplay
Are you a fan of the neo-noir blockbuster action movie protagonist and meme lord John Wick? If so, you'll definitely be interested in the latest offering from groundbreaking indie developer Bithell Games, the brainchild of Mike Bithell. John Wick Hex is a fast-paced, action-focused strategy game where you must think fast and strike fast, much like John Wick, the professional hitman of Lionsgate Movies' critically acclaimed franchise, which also returns to theaters on May 17 with John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum. John Wick Hex will be an Epic Games Store exclusive at launch for Microsoft Windows and Mac, but also available for consoles.
The game has a striking noir art style, based on the announcement trailer, with what looks like a cell-shaded design. There's a clear cinematic vein to the scenes shown in the trailer, which is to be expected in a game based on an action movie franchise. The glimpses of gameplay seem to hint at tactical combat with plenty of stats and options to choose. John Wick appears from behind a cover to shoot down thugs, but there are options to throw the gun, parry, push, and strike, not just shoot and takedown, which would be expected in a turn-based tactics game.
According to the announcement, there are consequences to the choices for every action and attack, and every move in the game feels like a scene from the movies, with every fight contributing to your progress on the job, requiring precise strategic thinking. You can also unlock new weapons, suit options, and locations as you progress. Tactics will change along with the weapon you're using. Ammo is finite and realistically simulated, so reloading should be timed carefully, and you should make the most of the weapons you scavenge.
Bithell Games' first game was the minimalistic platformer Thomas Was Alone, which was a critically acclaimed title in spite of its extremely low-budget design. As of 2014, Thomas Was Alone had already sold a million copies, according to EW. It was followed by Volume, Quarantine Circular, and Subsurface Circular. John Wick Hex seems to be quite a step up in terms of mainstream appeal and budget. It's also the first game by the studio that's not self-published.
What do you think of John Wick Hex? Do you think this tactical combat mode suits the franchise's action style? Let us know in the comments below!