The world from the John Wick movie series seems to have given its soul for some MMO game. There’s no way I’m the only one who thinks so!
This weekend, I finally solved the backlog that I had been dragging on for years - I watched all the movies from the John Wick action series so far. I watched the first part back in 2014 and the sequels didn’t interest me too much. But here - I only heard praise for the second and third chapters, so I told myself that one day I would watch them. And lately, I'm starting to feel like I owe it to myself because more and more developers are comparing the action in their games to the action from the John Wick movies, whether it's the homegrown 2D game Speed Limit or the upcoming Deathloop.
Basically, the movies are great to me - like action spectacles that don’t tend to be more than that. But I’m not writing this article to give my review of John Wick films. I just want to share the thoughts that kept spinning in my head while watching movies:
Hell, why hasn’t John Wick’s world already been realized as a video game?
I know, I know - there's a game about John Wick, a tactical title John Wick Hex. However, I’m not talking about a game where we would play like John Wick, I don’t think that’s the best idea anyway (although in VR it might one day be ideal). I’m talking about a game that would be set in the world of John Wick.
For those who don’t know or have just forgotten, it’s a world of organized crime in which professional killers operate by a certain set of rules. Almost like Assassin’s Creed, only here on the other hand it’s not a bad opponent but assassins can be a threat to each other. We have mafia organizations that coexist under an umbrella association called The High Table, and all transactions in that system use the currency of gold coins that have no monetary value in the classical sense but are paid for services. There is real money in John Wick’s world, but there is also what real money can’t buy.
Furthermore, the killers follow their code according to which they can make a blood pact in the form of a marker that must be respected - if you help me, I have to give you back the same. The rule is also that each city has a kind of shelter for assassins, and these are hotels where killing other killers is forbidden. In the event of a breach of the rules, the killer is excommunicated from the system and an arrest warrant is issued for him.
So we have a hierarchical system with two currencies, private contracts and neutral territory - it sounds to me like a fusion of Hitman and The Division! I think an interesting PvEvP game with MMO elements could be made here. The memory draws me to the former GTA-clone of the All Points Bulletin, which isn’t exactly a thankful comparison, but I believe developers today are better versed in a project like this than a decade ago.
I don’t have an elaborate idea of how a game in the world of John Wick would work, but I know what I’d love to see. First, the opportunity to join one of the gangs fighting for a seat on the High Table council. Performing Hitman-style PvE tasks (which would be like daily or weekly challenges, ala Elusive Targets missions) would earn a reputation for your gang, and the more influential the gang, the more significant the benefits for the player would be (more cosmetics, stronger weapons) . Of course, the benefits would be divided according to the contribution and level of the players in the gang. In addition to missions, the contribution would be earned by taking over unfulfilled tasks from other gangs or by hunting for runaway killers.
It would be crucial to separate the progress between the player and his character, so that not everything is lost by dying. Early would e.g. whenever in the style of Death Stranding the players would return the lost equipment to each other, but in the style that we can give someone a gold coin to avenge us and kill our assassin - return the equipment to us and keep the XP for yourself.
I say - I don't have the whole idea worked out, but I have the impression that everything that John Wick's world has to offer in games has already been delivered - only through separate components. I’d love to see a mix of Hitman missions you can only play once, Dark Zone and clans from The Division, all based on a weird strand system from Death Stranding or maybe a PvP system from Souls games.
It’s probably an idea that’s marketing-challenging to sell, but I have a solution for that too: hire Keanu Reeves as the face and tutor for the tutorial - you’ve seen how much that has helped Cyberpunk 2077!
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