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John Wick Hex

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
John Wick Hex Game Poster Image
Turn-based game based on movies glorifies bloody violence.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Narrative themes include loyalty and vengeance. Players are rewarded for tactical planning and patience. The action glorifies violence and suggests fighting is a valid and even desirable solution to some problems.

Positive Role Models & Representations

John Wick's determination, razor sharp focus, and loyalty is commendable, but he's worryingly unconcerned about killing any men or women who stand against him in his mission.

Ease of Play

For a turn-based strategy game, it's surprisingly easy to learn how to play, thanks largely to intuitive controls and a good heads-up display. But difficulty ramps up quickly, and there's a good chance many players will need to restart later levels from scratch in order to preserve John's health through to the end.

Violence

John Wick uses guns and his hands to take down hundreds of enemies in turn-based combat viewed from a raised perspective. Cartoonish pink-red blood accompanies bullet strikes, and dead bodies lie strewn on the ground. Players can watch replays of entire levels from cinematic angles.

Sex
Language

Spoken and text dialogue contains strong language, including "f--k."

Consumerism

This game could inspire kids to seek out the movies upon which it is based.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One of the locations is a club where drinking presumably happens when people aren't murdering each other.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that John Wick Hex is a downloadable turn-based strategy game based on the popular John Wick movies for Windows PCs. Players control John, a professional killer who operates by his own code of ethics, which involves being loyal to and protecting his friends. He spends the game using guns and his lethal hands to kill hundreds of bad guys on his way to save his friends from a villain named Hex. Combat's turn-based, encouraging players to think strategically before deciding what to do next. Pinkish red blood splashes with each gun wound, and bodies pile up on the floor. Players can watch replays of entire levels shown from cinematic angles meant to mimic the look and feel of action movies. John sees this violence simply as a means to an end, and never shows remorse or concern for those he kills. Dialogue contains strong profanity, including the F-word. Parents should also be aware that this is a challenging game that could prove frustrating to players who struggle with patience.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySam M. October 22, 2019

Tween-friendly strategy does not make you feel like John Wick

While the mechanics are ambitious and mostly functional, it ultimately feels to slow and clunky to make you feel like Baba Yaga. The janky animations and bad ca... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old October 29, 2019

dat wat my mama said

for the movie its PG-13 i dont know why common sense thinks its worse to play violent games than movies like for a game they might do 15+ and for a movie with t... Continue reading

What's it about?

JOHN WICK HEX doesn't waste much time getting into the thick of combat. After a brief scene that shows Winston and Charon -- John's allies from the films -- being held prisoner by a villain named Hex, players are thrown into the action, which takes us through dozens of gridded scenes spread over around half a dozen locations. Combat's presented from a raised perspective, with movement and actions governed by a timeline at the top of the screen. Players click to move John to a desired space, but his movement is interrupted and the game paused as soon as he has line of sight on an enemy. From that point on, the movements of John and his enemies happen more or less simultaneously, but only after the player chooses what John will do next, which could mean moving, crouching, striking with his hands, or shooting with his gun. Players need to adjust their strategies as new enemies wander into the scene, looking for dropped weapons when they run out of bullets, or waiting patiently crouched behind a pillar for enemies to reveal themselves. Once a level ends, players have the option to watch a replay that shows all of John's actions in real time from cinematic angles, making it feel like a choreographed action scene from a film.

Is it any good?

Turn-based strategy games don't come much more accessible or fast-paced. Thanks to its focus on a single character and a blissfully simple interface, John Wick Hex almost feels like it takes place in real time. A couple of clicks is all it takes to command John to make his next move, and enemies act at the same time as John, so there's never any waiting. And while tactical thinking is a must -- waltzing into a room without any thought to lines of sight, cover, or parrying attacks is a recipe for failure -- the action is dynamic enough that players must also think on their feet and react quickly to new threats. You may have thought you had enough bullets, but a missed shot or a fresh group of enemies bursting through a door could change that, forcing you to, say, throw an empty pistol at someone to stun him while running for a dropped weapon. And ensuring you're in the right stance -- standing or crouched -- in each situation and that you have enough "focus" energy left to carry out your plans is key.

Be prepared, though, for a bit of frustration. If you run out of health (or bandages, which restore health), finishing off a location can become so hard that you may feel forced to start over from scratch with an aim to play more conservatively. An easier difficulty option that, say, refilled health prior to each scene would have gone some distance toward easing this issue. Be aware, too, that certain elements of the experience lack polish. The automated cinematic replays, for example, sometimes choose awkward camera angles that don't provide a good view of the action, and some of the tutorials and instructions can be a bit confusing. Luckily, though, the bulk of John Wick Hex is straightforward enough that this shouldn't prove much of a problem for most. It's got a great rhythm, and it manages to capture the thoughtful fighting technique of its hero surprisingly well. Well worth investigation for older players who enjoy turn-based strategy.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. Is the impact of the violence in John Wick Hex affected by the cinematic style of violence that's shown in combat sequences? Why do some of us perceive violent, morally gray characters like John Wick to be cool?

  • Do you like having a chance to think before acting so you can plan out strategies, or do prefer relying on instinct and reflexes in real-time action scenes? Does taking time to make your plans play out seem wildly different than the faster paced action of the movies?

Game details

  • Platforms: Windows
  • Price: $13.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Good Shepherd Entertainment
  • Release date: October 8, 2019
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: NR for No Descriptions
  • Last updated: October 22, 2019

Themes & Topics

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