For a long time, superhero video games had a mixed reputation. Developers often just put a character in a 2D platformer or brawler and called it a day. There were some highlights along the way like Spider-Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction, but it wasn’t until 2009’s Batman: Arkham Asylum that we saw heroes properly making the leap to the virtual medium.
Now, footage from a cancelled Daredevil game has surfaced that indicates that the jump in quality could have come a little sooner. Developed by 5000ft Inc, Daredevil: The Man Without Fear was intended for release in 2003 on Playstation 2, PC and Xbox. The game was set in Hell’s Kitchen and would have been an open world adventure featuring appearances from Kingpin, Bullseye, Elektra and Black Widow.
Despite being unfinished, we see some interesting city traversal ideas in the video above (the power cable grinding looks very reminiscent of Infamous), an Arkham Asylum-esque X-ray vision mode and a tease of AI sidekicks fighting alongside the hero. Apparently, the original plans were for a relatively simple third-person action PS2 game, but the high profile 2003 Daredevil movie meant that the title was upgraded to a multi-platform release and given a much more ambitious open world design.
MORE FROM THE WEB
So, why didn’t this hit shelves? Well, there are no concrete answers, though the tension between Sony and Marvel was reportedly a factor. Judging by what I’ve seen, the project may have simply been a bit too much for the development studio (who appear to have primarily made browser-based poker titles prior to this) as well. Two decades later, though, we still haven’t got a proper Daredevil game, but the character has been playable in various LEGO Marvel outings, there was a pretty bad GameBoy Advance platformer and he’s just appeared as a skin in Fortnite.