We have no doubt that some studio would have adapted John Wick into an NES game had the action film franchise begun in the ’80s, but since it didn’t, we’re left with this fanmade take on that appealing concept.
This project, which is simply known as John Wick: The NES Game, isn’t a fully-fledged NES adaptation (at least not yet) but rather a single YouTube video that showcases what such a game might look like. Specifically, it showcases a level that covers the events of the 2014 film’s ending. In classic NES fashion, though, it sees John Wick face-off not against a human final boss but rather a giant, well-armed helicopter.
Anyone familiar with that era of action games (and video game adaptations for that matter), will instantly recognize the stylistic influences of this project. The John Wick NES game closely resembles a combination of the infamous Batman NES game from Sunsoft and the Robocop game from Data East. All of these titles feature rather puzzling color swaps (a trademark of the time), fantastic chiptune renditions of songs from the properties themselves, and urban decay landscapes.
Even if a few of the animations in this project look a bit too smooth to have been possible on the NES, this project is largely faithful to the constraints of its time. That’s especially evident during a sequence when John Wick must repeatedly take awkward cover behind a barrel in order to pick off a sniper. NES games of this era typically utilized obstacles that require the player to slow down and almost exploit their circumstances in order to proceed.
We highly doubt that we’ll get a proper old-school adaptation of John Wick in the style of that surprisingly excellent Mummy de-make, but the good news is that there’s an exciting official John Wick video game adaptation in development known as John Wick Hex. While it’s not a “proper” action game, it is a fascinating strategy take on the John Wick franchise.
In any case, John Wick 3 certainly seems to be living up to expectations and is taking over the box office like no other film in the franchise has.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.