A look at the Daredevil game the world never saw

Canned due to developer drug-taking and publisher interference.

Daredevil is now a well-known part of the Marvel universe, thanks mostly to the popular Netflix show.

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But, as the latest Unseen64 video explains below, we could have gotten a big open world game starring Daredevil all the way back in 2003, for the PlayStation 2.

Daredevil the game was being developed by Nevada-based 5000ft Inc, which began the project by building it as a third-person action title. The game was at this point meant to showcase "vignettes" from Daredevil's comic book career and let you explore the rooftops of Hell's Kitchen.

The game dramatically expanded in scope when Sony heard about the project and told 5000ft Inc. about its upcoming Daredevil movie - you know, the terrible one with Ben Affleck before everyone began to like him again.

Seeing dollar signs, 5000ft's publisher Encore was keen to add PC and Xbox versions into the mix. Daredevil was scaled up to a far larger, free-roaming experience featuring the whole of Hell's Kitchen.

But with added scope came added concerns. Sony asked for additional features to be included, including beat-'em-up gameplay, while Marvel's own increased interests leant on the studio for more traditional adventure gameplay.

At one point, Sony made 5000ft add Tony Hawk-style skateboard grinding - something Marvel was completely against.

5000ft had other issues at the time, too. It had to build its own game engine as Encore didn't want to pay up for Criterion's Renderware technology which the game was being developed with.

It wasn't all bad news, and for a while Daredevil had promise - its radar system allowed players to see through walls and detect enemy heartbeats, and from that detect fear level - something which would later appear in the Batman Arkham series.

But the Daredevil project eventually failed, in part because of tensions between Sony and Marvel, but also because of tensions within 5000ft itself.

Continued engine problems lead to clashes between the studio's gameplay and technical teams, which lead to the project being scaled back from open-world gameplay to linear levels.

Finally, freelance workers took advantage of lax attitudes at the studio, and several studio staff members would reportedly turn up to work after taking illegal drugs. One worker allegedly turned up to an afternoon meeting "drooling" after a lunchtime top-up.

Unseen64 has the full story, along with gameplay, in the video below:

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About the author

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

Deputy Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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