Master Assassin, Baba Yaga, The Boogeyman, The Devil. These are names for the eponymous John Wick. How he got these names, John Wick Hex tries to fill in with his badassery in this standalone prequel to the movies starring Keanu Reeves, featuring only his likeness and not his voice here. As a whole, it works well without it being shoehorned somewhere within the numbered series that messes up the chronology. Mike Bithell has developed memorable and engrossing story-driven games with great gameplay before, but his touch feels notably absent here. John Wick Hex is a smart game made fallible by messing with the core of this action series: slowing it down.
There are few experiences in gaming so sublime as entering a flow state while working your way through a challenging landscape, chaining together moves and hitting every single button press at the exact right time to produce a perfectly executed run, the aural and visual feedback of which perpetuates your trance of gaming nirvana. Few games I have played in my life are capable of regularly producing this phenomenon, as doing so requires the right composition of controls, music, level design, and all of the small imperceptible details that hone a game into an masterfully crafted engine for driving you forward.