John Wick Hex is a true treat for me. Not only it’s a fairly new game that we’re happy to share at IndieGala. But at the same time, it’s a game that’s based on probably one of my favorite action franchises. John Wick. Not to mention, John Wick Hex gives me another opportunity to write about Keanu Reeves. Yup, I already did a post not that long ago about him, in which I named 5 of my favorite Keanu movies. Everything from Much Ado About Nothing to Constantine was on the list (which you can revisit here). But I knew that I would have to save John Wick for some other occasion. Well, that occasion is right about now, and I couldn’t be happier. Are you ready? I know I am.
John Wick Hex: Watch Out For The Upcoming 4th Movie
Before I go on with the trilogy (and let’s face it with the game in question), I want to just briefly remind you that a 4th John Wick movie should be released next year. Yeah. The fans of the franchise will have to wait until 2022 for the release, but it’s worth the wait I think. Oh, and John Wick: Chapter 5 is set up for 2023, but let’s back up a minute.
While Chapters 4 and 5 are filmed back to back, the shooting was delayed for quite some time due to the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. Much like plenty of other upcoming movies I might add. But, while we wait for the next 2 chapters of the franchise, let’s take a look at the previous chapters. The first three movies of the John Wick franchise. However, I simply can’t do that without mentioning a word or two about the game itself.
What’s John Wick Hex All About?
John Wick Hex is a neo-noir action strategy video game based on the John Wick franchise. Developed by Bithell Games and published by Good Shepherd Entertainment, John Wick Hex is a game for every John Wick fan. It’s also a fast-paced, action-oriented strategy game. It makes you think and strike like John Wick. A professional hitman of the critically acclaimed film franchise. Not to mention, it has a unique blend of strategic momentum-based combat, tactical combat from the films. And blurs the line between the strategy and action video game genres.
I mean here’s what Lord Wolfhunt mentioned on Steam:
-The gameplay itself I’d say is solid enough. It is fun and tactical and can feel very rewarding when you succeed. There is some goofiness when you play with sightlines and a few other things but it’s fine.
While Drew added:
It-Less of a John Wick power fantasy, more of a tactical board game. Niche but interesting!
Don’t miss out on John Wick Hex. Yes, it’s available for purchasing here at IndieGala and all you have to do is click here.
What Makes John Wick Awesome?
Let’s not beat around the bush. Let’s get to the point immediately. What makes the John Wick franchise so great and awesome? Well for one it has Keanu in the titular role. I’m talking about one of the most respected and well-liked actors in Hollywood. With a career that spans almost 4 decades, and with a wide range of movies, Keanu is an icon in Hollywood. And as he showed us in The Matrix, he can kick ass. But it wasn’t until John Wick, that we found out just how much he can kick ass. But let’s face it, that’s only scratching the surface. The true glory and appeal of the franchise lie well beneath the face of Keanu Reeves.
Simple Yet So Complex
Let me explain. The original 2014 John Wick movie started simple enough. A retired and widowed assassin John Wick will reluctantly get back to killing once the spoiled son of a Russian crime boss will invade his privacy. Let’s put it mildly. John will not sit tightly of course, and plenty of violence, fighting and killing will commence from that point on. It’s essentially a well-crafted revenge story. Hardly an original notion in Hollywood don’t you think? But it doesn’t have to be original in order to work. It’s how that idea is crafted from there that matters.
You see… the mythos of John is expanded from there too. But the funny thing is… Almost everything we find out about John is mostly told by other people. His friends and enemies alike build the image of John that you see in front of you and that’s awesome. Barely any info comes from him directly. Indeed, that’s how you build a decent character, and a damn fine movies I might add.
Furthermore, (and as the times go by in the trilogy), we witness different rules and regulations that everyone must adhere, and the symbolism gets stronger too. From gold coins to tokens and markers. They rarely represent just monetary currency. No, they’re connected with the ideology of the assassin’s world and their rules I mentioned earlier. Indeed, they are different symbols and each of them has a different meaning. Either they represent some sort of debt or some type of entry to a membership. And yes, most of the time, the gold coins are signals of respect. Sure, they open some doors, and buy some goods. But they get you to respect more often than not.
No Glorification Of Mindless Violence
Have you noticed that there’s NO collateral violence in the John Wick universe? And NO glorification of violence? Mindless violence, just for the sake of it? NO. Every man that John kills is bad, criminal, or psycho. There are no accidental kills of civilians like we see in other movies, and yes the killing is with its set of rules too. Heck, the first movie doesn’t show action until 20 minutes into the movie. And that’s because John was provoked, and he’s retaliating. But yeah. There’s a smart use of action, and violence here, which is admirable. For instance, there’s no killing in the Continental, and everyone that breaks that rule will pay a heavy penalty.
And speaking of The Continental… It’s a place for recovery not just for John. Everyone else as well. It’s also a place of sanctuary and the end of violence. Albeit temporary in this business but still. It almost makes you feel like you’re in a game already. There’s no outsider influence there, and only the rules of the game apply there as well. Cool right? I thought so too.
The Action Is Incredible
But of course, it is. The director of the franchise (Chad Stahelski) is a former stunt man who worked with Keanu on The Matrix. And the man knows how to shoot not just the action. But the violence that comes with that action. Regardless, if it’s shooting, killing, fighting, or driving. Or riding a horse for that matter. First of all, there’s a heavy emphasis on practical effects in the John Wick trilogy. Which is awesome, because of the age of heavy use of CGI, the practical effects seem stylish and archaic at the same time. They shouldn’t be, but it’s the sad truth of the reality we’re living in.
But luckily there are fans like us that know how to appreciate practical effects like these. Done with love and attention to detail. Add to this the fantastic choreography and reliance on steady cam and you’ve got yourself an action-packed masterpiece. Indeed. There’s no shaky cam in the trilogy, and every punch, every bullet and every kick is as clear as day. You can see it and it’s always in frame. Not to mention, the action acts as a storyteller here too. Not just the script, the set-pieces or the actors. The action delivers the story like no other movie in the genre, and it’s beautiful to witness. And speaking of the action, you can also see the style and the influence of John Wick in plenty of movies that followed the franchise. Atomic Blonde first comes to mind here of course, but there are dozens more.
John Wick Hex: For The Action Seeker In You
Much like the trilogy, the video game is set up for the action seeker in you. I love the franchise, but I’d love to know if you’re too. Are you a fan of the John Wick franchise? Let us know which John Wick is your favorite, and why. We’d love to know.