Canceled PS2 Daredevil Game Now Playable 20 Years Later

Canceled PS2 Daredevil Game Now Playable 20 Years Later

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, a 2003 PlayStation 2 superhero game that was in development by 5,000 Ft. Studios for the PlayStation 2 before getting canceled, has resurfaced after 20 years with a new playable build.

Read More: The Life And Death Of A Daredevil Video Game

The game preservation group Hidden Palace managed to release a playable version of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear on October 31 via member Casuallynoted, who apparently obtained the build from an anonymous developer of 5,000 Ft. It’s a late prototype with a fair amount of bugs, including possible crashes after the first chapter and getting stuck behind walls. That said, it still features the bones of what 5,000 Ft. Studios and publisher Encore Inc. were working on in collaboration with Sony during the early aughts.

The brainchild of 5,000 Ft. Studios, a Nevada-based developer whose previous credits only included two Army Men ports from 2001, Daredevil: The Man Without Fear started out as a simple project before ballooning in scope. Originally known as Daredevil: The Video Game before adopting the same name as author Frank Miller’s 1993 comic, Daredevil was prototyped as a series of “vignettes” showcasing pivotal moments in the blind crimefighter’s history.

However, as the Lost Media Wiki explains, Marvel’s imminent Daredevil movie project led 5,000 Ft. to rework the concept into an open-world adventure, now also slated for the Xbox and PC. Tensions arose when Sony had very specific requests for new types of gameplay to add to the game, while Marvel wanted it to hew more closely to the upcoming Daredevil movie.

More trouble struck when the developers tried to adapt the then-popular RenderWare engine to the project’s changing needs. After running into serious issues there, they reduced the project’s scope from open-world adventure back to linear brawler. Problems continued as “internal strife” at the studio caused it to miss its February 2003 release. A new date was set for summer, but staff departures and continuing bickering between Sony and Marvel put the final nails in the Daredevil game’s coffin. 5,000 Ft. Studios itself closed in 2012.

Now, though, thanks to an anonymous developer reportedly connected to 5,000 Ft. Studios, a near-final build of the canceled PlayStation 2 game has been released onto the internet via the game preservation group Hidden Palace.

Hidden Palace

Although it wound up getting canceled due to creative differences between Marvel and Sony, based on the video it looks pretty tight. It recalls early-aughts 3D superhero gems such as The Incredible Hulk and Spider-Man, with a bit of Tomb Raider mixed in, too.

The game apparently tells an original story based on the 1999 Elektra Lives Again comic and starring Daredevil’s arch-enemy The Kingpin. It’s a shame, then, that it was canceled just before completion. As The Hidden Palace notes, only the Game Boy Advance ever ended up getting a Daredevil game. The much less ambitious Daredevil: The Man Without Fear for Game Boy Advance arrived just in time for the Mark Steven Johnson-directed live-action film.

Read More: Why I Love Daredevil

As Hidden Palace reports, the newly released build of Daredevil: The Man Without Fear is playable, but with several bugs and game-breaking glitches since it’s unfinished. It’s nice that this finally snuck out 20 years later, though still a bummer the project never got to live up to its potential. With the success of Insomniac Games’ Marvel’s Spider-Man series, and the Wolverine game on the horizon, maybe Daredevil will get another shot at video game redemption.



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