Given enough time, a comic book character will finally receive a video game of its own. Spider-Man's had more than his fair share of games. The X-Men have been enjoying moderate success with classic fighting games such as Marvel vs. Capcom and the recently released X-Men Dimension. Superman's been responsible for one of the worst scored games of all time, and a few Batman titles haven't been too far behind. Regardless of how well this title may come out to be, it's now time for Marvel Comics' Daredevil to spend some time in the console limelight. Thanks to developer 5000ft and publisher Encore Software, Inc., the man who knows no fear will be gracing the PlayStation 2 in the first quarter of 2003.
In 1964, comic book legends Stan Lee and Bill Everett set out to create a new kind of comic book hero. What they got was Matt Murdock, the Daredevil, the man without fear. As with almost every comic book character, the origin of Daredevil revolved around a freak accident, exposing Murdock to a radioactive isotope. The result blinded him, but enhanced his other senses tenfold. Not only did he have heightened hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling, he eventually developed a radar-sense that allowed him to be completely aware of his surroundings at any given time. Thanks to the training he received from a mysterious benefactor named Stick, Matt began living a normal life as a respected defense attorney, in a way seeing better than people with full eyesight. It wasn't until a mob of gangsters killed his father that he realized his gifts would change his life in such a new way. He had to make sure that injustice would not befall anymore victims by fighting crime with his alter ego, the Daredevil.
As far as the actual game goes, the Daredevil will be loosely based on familiar story arcs from the comic series, but will be a completely original plot. Foggy Nelson, Matt Murdock's best friend and legal partner, is kidnapped by an unknown party. Daredevil fans will be surprised to see that his most infamous archrival, the Kingpin, has actually been murdered in this game. The death of Kingpin, Wilson Fisk, ends up sparking a bloody gang war, one of the worst wars in the history of New York. As the Daredevil searches for his friend Foggy and investigates the murder of the Kingpin, he finds out that Elektra, a former college love of his, is currently in New York and is somehow connected to the crime lord's assassination. So now the Daredevil has several things to worry about: trying to find his lifelong buddy, stopping the countless gang threats to the city, trying to solve the Kingpin murder, and wondering why Elektra has returned. Needless to say, this sets the stage for a complex story line worthy enough to be associated with the comic book itself.
The game appears to be reflecting the comic book pretty closely. For one, the costume is nearly identical, from the horns on the head, to the popular red billy club, to the Daredevil insignia on his chest. Many popular locals straight out of the comic, such as Hell's Kitchen, will be seen. The art style of the graphics will be dark and unique, but will still stay true to the comic book. From the looks of it so far, the quality of the graphics seem to be coming together nicely as well. A good amount of detail is being taken to make sure that the character models are rendered well, and the huge New York environments are depicted realistically.
As for the gameplay, it is still a little early to go into too much detail, but it will be a fully 3D action adventure title. The game will be fast paced and action packed. Think of Sonic the Hedgehog and you might get a general idea of how you move around the levels. Daredevil will run through levels quickly, and will be very agile. There will be a lot of fighting on the ground, as well as jumping from rooftop to rooftop. You can also expect some stealth-like gameplay, where you will have to investigate suspects and gather information. And what would a Daredevil game be without the inclusion of the billy club? Yes, it will come in handy for some grappling hook maneuvers. His heightened senses will also come into play to aid the player in searching and in combat.
There's still a lot that's being done to the game right now, so much that's been said here could change. The game's sounding like a lot of care is being put into it, especially in the story line. It should appeal to most action adventure gamers, whether they are fans of Daredevil or not. Also, this will be the first time we've been able to play as the man without fear, so comic book fans should be all the more excited. This could be a great title that might just pull itself away from the stereotypes of substandard comic book video games.
10/24/2002 Lucas Stephens