John Wick Hex has a lot going for it but it also misses the mark in a few categories. Immediately one flawless element is the aesthetics. The fantastic music and solid visuals establish a powerful tone. Combined with the shadows that fill in on the fly based on line of sight and the colour palettes of the various unique levels, every set piece was brought to life.
In terms of the strategy and tactics, there are a lot of well thought out elements. The hex grid, represented by dots provides the amount of options in each action that you need when playing a tactics game that only has one controllable character. The timeline as a turn based/real time hybrid is a great idea. Straight forward at first but requires a deeper understanding on the harder levels. The balancing of resources between ammo, focus and time is a captivating trio.
Narratively, John Wick Hex isn't doing anything special, but neither do the the movies so this didn't bother me. Having two actors from the movie was a nice touch and Troy Baker kills it as Hex. It's clear the scope was kept small but the use of smaller voice roles or dialogue from Wick (Keanu or otherwise) could have been nice additions to flesh it out.
I had a good time with this game but there were a few things that kept it from reaching that next level for me.
1. Difficulty curve is way off, second half of the game is way too easy.
2. There were multiple times that it bugged out and I had to restart a level, losing my progress. This is years after release on PC, still these issues remain.
3. There is a lack of layering. After the tutorial, the only new things are weapons and enemy types. No new mechanics beyond I guess elevators, not that that has a major effect on gameplay.
4. The cinematic replay is cool but the janky movement kind of ruins its potential. I wasn't compelled to use it after the first 2 or 3 levels.
5. The cutscenes are also bugged. Spoken dialogue not lining up with the subtitles, making the visual novel cutscenes hard to read and get invested in.
Ultimately I would love to see some of the concepts here refined in either a sequel or a spiritual successor, or even another indie dev inspired by it. Still this was an enjoyable playthrough with a nice runtime. I'll take this any day over any of the movies and is a cool addition to the world of John Wick.

Reviewed on Mar 10, 2023