After you watch John Wick 4, play the game that inspired it
3 mins read

After you watch John Wick 4, play the game that inspired it

John Wick 4 is in theaters now and by every metric, it’s a rousing success. Not only has the action film received rave reviews, but it raked in over $73 million in its opening weekend — a record for the series. With that success, it’s all but assured that more John Wick is on the way. Though if you want to dig deeper into the series after watching the latest installment, you should check out the video game that inspired its best moment: The Hong Kong Massacre.

The Hong Kong Massacre | Release Trailer | PS4

The final act of John Wick 4 includes an eye-catching action sequence where the camera cranes above Keanu Reeves, following a shootout from a top-down angle. It’s a bit of an unusual shot for a film, but gamers might be more familiar with it. The perspective mirrors that of indie action games like Hotline Miami.

As it turns, out that video game look isn’t a coincidence. In an interview with SlashFilm, director Chad Stahelski explained the genesis of the shot. “I had seen this video game and I’ll throw a shout-out,” Stahelski told SlashFilm. “I think it was called Hong Kong Massacre — they did this top shot and we had been doing so much with the big muzzle flashes and it just kind of clicked.”

If you haven’t heard of The Hong Kong Massacre, you’re probably not alone. The indie action game quietly launched in 2019 with a tepid response from critics. The shooter is a stylish riff on Hotline Miami that has players gunning through the criminal underworld on a quest for revenge. It all takes place from a familiar top-down camera angle as players flip through the air and fire their guns in slow-motion — all while muzzle flashes light up its dreary buildings.

A character shoots bad guys in The Hong Kong Massacre.Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’ve seen John Wick 4, you’ll see the connection right away. Though the game inspired the film, The Hong Kong Massacre plays out like a Keanu Reeves action flick — it’s basically a John Wick game. The title was criticized for some repetition and rough difficulty spikes, but it’s worth playing if you want to do a full scene study on one of the film’s best sequences.

After you’re done with that, there are plenty of other games like it worth checking out. Hotline Miami is a must-play and last year’s Midnight Fight Express has similar action movie gameplay. And of course, there’s also John Wick Hex: a surprising video game adaptation that turns the series into a turn-based action game. All of those should keep you occupied until John Wick 4 hits streaming services.

The Hong Kong Massacre is available on PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. It usually retails for $20, but you can currently get it far cheaper on Nintendo Switch. An eShop bundle that also includes the sci-fi title Beautiful Desolation is on sale right now for $4. The offer ends on April 12, 2023.

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