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. It only takes a few simple choices to command John to make his next move, and enemies act at the same time as him, 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's 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. The PS4 version of the replays are somewhat better than the PC version, but you'll still have some shots blocked by walls or columns when you're playing the action back. 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.