We are fortunate to live in an era of gaming when we can no longer earnestly ask, “Why are there no good superhero games?” Much like filmmakers did, game developers eventually discovered that superheroes could, in fact, make for some compelling subject matter and have been churning out notable superhero releases ever since. The latest, of course, is the excellent Spider-Man game for from Marvel.
Still, you can never have enough good superhero games. That’s especially true of characters who have yet to really star in a compelling title of their own, which is why the latest Did You Know Gaming? video about the fall of an ambitious Daredevil title that was close to seeing release is particularly disheartening.
Have a look:
The basic rundown of this sad story is that developer 5000ft Inc. was contracted to make a Daredevil game after its publisher acquired the rights to some Marvel characters. The original plan was for the small studio to make an equally small game that focused on recreating the major moments of Daredevil’s life. That all changed, however, once news broke that Daredevil was going to be the subject of a major motion picture. Once that happened, Sony and Marvel now had a much greater interest in ensuring the game was as big as possible. In fact, they wanted 5000ft Inc. to make an open-world Daredevil game and gave the studio all the resources they would need to do it. Good news, right?
Well, not exactly. From that point on, it seems that Sony began to exercise its creative control on the project by insisting that elements of other popular games (such as the grinding from Tony Hawk) be implemented into Daredevil. Marvel, on the other hand, was more concerned with preserving the sanctity of the character and was adamantly against such additions.
This would only signal the start of a tumultuous development cycle that included many artistic differences, several changes in direction, an influx of contract staffers that allegedly had quite a drug problem and other less than ideal work conditions. Though the project (now known as Daredevil: The Man Without Fear) was nearing completion, the plug was ultimately pulled at the last minute.
What’s particularly depressing about that is The Man Without Fear actually sounds like an intriguing game. The plot involving the assassination of the Kingpin and the power vacuum that follows sounds great, elements like Daredevil’s unique sight fit right at home with modern games, and the concept art looks fantastic.
Maybe one day we’ll finally get that great Daredevil game, but it’s certainly a downer to think that it may have been in development years ago.
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.