Despite headlining a movie and starring in several recent live-action shows, Daredevil’s only had one chance to headline a video game of his own. That movie tie-in game for the Game Boy Advance may be forgotten by most, but at one point, the Marvel character was meant to star in a console before it was ultimately cancelled.
Last week, prototype footage of that game—Daredevil: The Man Without Fear—surfaced on the internet courtesy of game preservation site Hidden Palace. As previously reported in 2016 by DidUKnowGaming, Daredevil was intended for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC from developer 5,000 Ft. Studios and publisher Encore Inc (which acquired the game rights to several Marvel characters at the time). The footage below shows Matt Murdock doing what he does best: beating up criminals, doing parkour, and tangling with Kingpin, Bullseye, and his on/off flame Elektra. The Catholic guilt presumably wasn’t finalized as a mechanic yet at the time of this prototype.
5,000 Ft. (then known for the Army Men franchise) planned to make Daredevil into a game comprised of vignettes which would show iconic moments from the hero’s comic book history. After the 2003 movie was announced, the game’s scope shifted to a more open-world format, which caused clashes between Marvel and Sony. While Marvel wanted to create a game that captured Matt Murdock’s essence, Sony was all about gameplay mechanics, and pitched the idea of rail grinding similar to the Tony Hawk games. That…didn’t happen, obviously, and the project was scrapped.
Marvel and Sony eventually made up in time to release a trilogy of rad Spider-Man games in recent years, and the comics publisher has partnered with a variety of developers over the decades. Daredevil himself has continued to be a featured player among many in titles like Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 and Marvel Strike Force. But interestingly, this video hit around the same time that Insomniac has teased something Daredevil-adjacent may be happening in the studio’s recently released Spider-Man 2. (Matt Murdock and his lawyer BFF Foggy Nelson were name dropped in the 2018 Spider-Man game, and in the comics, Daredevil and Spidey are good friends.) When Uncharted creative director Amy Hennig and Skydance New Media were revealed to be working on a Marvel project, there were hopes that this would lead to a Daredevil game, but the studio’s project turned out to be a team-up game starring Captain America and Black Panther.
Clearly, the demand for a solo Daredevil game (or anything featuring him, honestly) is quite high, and it’s likely something Marvel is aware of. The developer who gets the opportunity to finally make that happen remains to be seen.
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