The action shooter Spine is taking a page out of films like John Wick 4

Spine is an upcoming cyberpunk-style third-person shooter in development at Nekki. As is, this sci-fi action title looks poised to make a name for itself by using creative camera angles and intimate fight scenes. 

The intense close-quarters ‘Gun fu’ action game follows a rebel named Redline and her physically-enhanced backbone, called Spine (think Sandevistan from Cyberpunk Edgerunners), as she navigates a dystopian futuristic world ruled by an amoral government that restricts its citizens’ freedoms through violence. Fighting against this evil authority will send shockwaves through the streets as you begin to change fellow residents’ lives for the better. 

At the moment, Spine is scheduled to release on PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC in 2025 and will have around 12-15 hours of content. However, such a long time frame between now and launch means many of these features could be subject to change. 

Before we saw the thrilling new trailer for Spine at the PC Gaming Show, TechRadar Gaming (TRG) got access to some of Spine’s most thrilling levels, and we also had the chance to talk with the developers and discuss what it’s been like creating an aggressive yet beautiful action game.

At the heart of the action 

Character walking towards opponents

(Image credit: Nekki)

Time and time again, the developers over at Nekki stressed that Spine will allow players to feel like they are at the center of a high-stakes action movie. It takes inspiration from several pop culture films and shows, such as Breaking Bad or John Wick 4. For example, the brilliant overhead fight scene from the latest John Wick film clearly inspired one of Spine’s own mission sequences.

We got to see three missions that players will encounter in Spine. While the second two were slightly rough around the edges, with lights and distant buildings still left to craft, the first mission highlighted everything this third-person shooter could be. 

Set in a towering city landscape, the surroundings are scattered with the neon flushes and cybernetic creations you’d respect from a cyberpunk setting. As you walk a tightrope platform from one gigantic glass building to the next, you come across a small bar hidden inside what seems like a crack in the wall. 

Instead of having a quiet drink, as soon as you step into the bar, you’re jumped by several mafia goons who decide it’s a great time to pick a fight. Cramped into a small space, you have to utilize your surroundings to make quick work of these aggressors. Throwing chairs, blinding your assailants with your trusty can of spray paint, and dealing up some thrilling finishing kills are just some of the ways that you can dish out pain in this action setpiece.

However, you don’t just have to worry about the mafia on your travels; there are also government police and yakuza, all of whom will prove to be worthy adversaries. Luckily, thanks to Spine, you’ll be able to upgrade your abilities, learn new skills, and finishing kills – all intended to give a sense of progress.

If you want to learn more about Redline and Spine, be sure to check out this fantastic webtoon comic that currently has four entries, which expands on the lore and setting that players will be able to explore when the game releases.

For more thrilling action-packed games, check out the best-single player games and the best PC games available to play right now.