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Video Game / John Wick Hex

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As its title suggests, John Wick Hex is based on the John Wick film series, but it tells its own side story rather than adapting any one of them in particular. It is drawn in a Cel Shaded style, and is developed by Mike Bithell, who had earlier created Thomas Was Alone, Volume and Subsurface Circular.

The game was announced in a trailer on May 8th, 2019, and is slated to be available on consoles, and on Epic Store for PC. It had also demonstrated a gameplay demo on E3 2019.

The story starts when Hex, an international criminal mastermind, abducts Winston and Charon of the New York Continental as an act of rebellion against the High Table. Unfortunately for him, a contract is put out by the High Table to retrieve them and John is dispatched to ensure that they come back in one piece. The plot follows John as he sets out to dismantle Hex's criminal network across New York and Switzerland on his way to end Hex's reign and rescue Charon and Winston.

The game was released for Microsoft Windows and macOS on October 8, 2019, and was later ported to the Playstation 4 on May 5, 2020, and to the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch on December 4, 2020.

Tropes present in John Wick Hex:

  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: John Wick is of course, better at fighting than everyone else. Therefore:
    • He attacks faster than every enemy using the same attack, for example, he will outshoot an assault rifle user using an assault rifle, and melee any enemy who is also a melee attacker. Since getting shot interrupts an enemy's action, such as aiming, and melee attacks stun, John can beat any enemy one on one under equal circumstances.
    • Bosses are not interrupted by shots just like Wick, but Wick is still faster at attack, and can stun lock a boss with melee combat in a one-on-one fight.
  • Big Bad: The antagonist of the game is named Hex.
  • Bloodless Carnage: In the trailers, when John kills an enemy there's no blood and they fade away after a few seconds. In the game proper, dead bodies linger and blood is temporarily shown, mostly when John shoots them.
  • Boom, Headshot!: When firing his gun, John will sometimes score a headshot when aiming for an enemy.
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: As part of his Might Makes Right mindset, Hex could have demonstrated how powerful he was by killing Winston and Charon at the Continental, which in itself is nothing short of suicide as anyone who does so is promptly killed on the spot, whether by Continental employees own hands or by the High Table since the Continental is neutral ground. He doesn't because he believes they're the key to helping him prove that he's on par, if not stronger, than the High Table.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Pretty much every important object on the screen is highlighted in white, be it bullet trails or bodies of the enemies and their weapons when highlighted through an overhead obstacle. However, the stats of the living enemies are written in black on their pinkish info boxes that pop up when you pause time. Likewise, the full segments of your ammo and health counters are white, whereas the emptied ones are pink.
  • Crouch and Prone: Players can have John crouch in order to aim better or hide behind cover.
  • Every Bullet is a Tracer: When a gun is fired, a white line is left behind.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Hex's thoughts on being a criminal is very different when compared to the likes of Winston and Charon. Almost every criminal involved with the High Table and the Continental has been Affably Evil at best with few key exceptions. Hex, on the other hand, believes that things like "morals" have no place in their line of work.
  • Fearless Fool: It takes a lot of balls to kidnap the most powerful individuals within the Continental, much less flat out tell them that he could have killed them on Continental grounds just to send a message to the High Table about his strength. Hex is certainly not lacking in confidence, even as he recounts how John Wick has been tearing through his operations trying to find them.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Since the game is set before the events of the films, John is going to survive his encounter with Hex and he'll eventually retire from the hitman life until his dog is killed by Viggio's son Iosef.
  • Groin Attack: When going for close-quarters takedowns, John sometimes does this to his opponents. Both on men and women and they're always effective.
  • Heroic Mime: John. While Hex, Charon and Winston are fully voiced (the latter by the original actors), John never says a word. Fittingly.
  • Might Makes Right: Hex's personal belief. As he himself puts it best after John tore through Chinatown, "power defines [their] reality." He believes that those with strength don't respect people who bow their heads and swear fealty, but rather those who equal them.
  • Oh, Crap!: As early as the intro scene. Hex is understandably concerned when Winston and Charon tell him that the High Table hired the Baba Yaga, John Wick himself to go after him.
  • One Bullet Clips: Averted, reloading with bullets still in the gun wastes any ammo in the gun.
  • One-Man Army: John Wick, but did you really expect anything less? He's flying solo throughout the whole game, taking down every last one of Hex's thugs while going after the man himself, leaving behind plenty of dead bodies.
  • Opaque Lenses: Charon's glasses are rendered like this. Which is fitting given his calm and polite attitude while being held captive.
  • Prequel: The game is set before the events of the films, thus expanding on John's time before he quit the life of the hitman.
  • Punny Name: The main Big Bad of the game is literally named Hex.
  • Red Baron: Aside from the name Baba Yaga, John earns a few other colorful nicknames depending on how well the player does during each level.
  • Throwing Your Gun at the Enemy: John can do this in order to stun an enemy long enough for him to either flee for cover, go for another gun with more ammo or get up close and personal.
  • Tick Tock Tune: The announcement trailer is scored to a ticking sound. Moreover, not only are the movements of Wick and his opponents synced to this rhythm, but Mike Bitnell's past credits also show up strictly with the rhythm.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Zigzagged. John can roll in order to move around quickly, whether its to get the drop on an unsuspecting enemy or to get behind cover quickly when shit hits the fan.
  • The Unseen: Originally, Hex was thought to be a myth to keep the men in his employ in line. No one except his closest confidants had ever seen him until he kidnapped Charon and Winston and meets them personally.

Tick tock, Mr. Wick. Tick tock.