I’ll be honest: when John Wick Hex was first unveiled back in May, I had my doubts. Although the trailer displayed a clear vision and original approach, I wondered how the John Wick films – notoriously fast and improvisational in style – could be translated into a slower-paced strategy game without losing… well, their John Wick-ness. How on earth would that fluid, choreographed, almost-balletic fighting style be represented in the game?
All this scepticism meant that when I tried John Wick Hex at E3, I was in for a big surprise. I found myself really engaging with the decision-making process, and gradually speeding up to the point I could dominate a room (in style) without batting an eyelid.
But how did John Wick Hex end up as a strategy game in the first place, and how did the team behind it make it work? As I discovered from speaking to designer Mike Bithell (of Thomas Was Alone and Volume), the decision to select an unexpected genre seemed to be mutual from both publisher and designer.