As Insomniac's Spider-Man swings into action on the PlayStation 4, fans are undoubtedly looking to the future of Marvel Games and whether the wall-crawling hero has set up his own universe similar to Rocksteady's Arkhamverse.
While Spider-Man was littered with Easter eggs for the Avengers Tower and Iron Man, the numerous nods to Matt Murdock are hard to ignore and definitely tease an expanded role for Daredevil further down the line. It might seem like a great idea to give Daredevil his own game within this new MCU of games, but here's why a Daredevil game actually wouldn't work after Spider-Man.
The Villain Problem & A Future Spider-Man Sequel
Featuring a myriad of fan-favorite villains, Spider-Man spends its campaign tackling the likes of Electro, Shocker, Vulture, Rhino, and more. There are plenty of rogues still out there to fill a possible sequel or trilogy of Spider-Man games, but what about Daredevil's bad guys for a possible spin-off? Arguably, Spider-Man has the better villains. Although Bullseye may have close links to Daredevil, others like Mysterio and Eddie Brock are normally tied to Web-Head. It isn't hard to imagine a Daredevil story involving the Hand, but even that could be accused of rehashing Spider-Man's Inner Demons. Other big Daredevil villains like Kingpin and Tombstone are already dispatched during Spider-Man, leaving a question mark over who has the gravitas to hold up a Daredevil game as the big bad. Unfortunately, Spider-Man villains like Green Goblin, Venom, and Kraven the Hunter are just too tempting to give up on when compared to Purple Man, Mr. Fear, and Jester.
Spider-Man was a faithful tour of Marvel's New York as key locations like Doctor Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum and the Wakanda embassy all stuck out from the city's backdrop. One area that was highlighted more than most was Spider-Man's frequent visits to Hell's Kitchen. Although the neighborhood is usually associated with the Scarlet Swashbuckler, it became a regular beat of the more mature Spider-Man. Visiting Daredevil haunts like Matt Murdock's church and Fogwell's Gym, Spider-Man had a whole host of opportunities for a Daredevil cameo or something more than just an Easter egg hinting to the character. Jumping straight from a couple of references in Spider-Man to a Daredevil game would be a broad leap for the franchise. Also, with Spider-Man's New York living up to the hype of being the biggest Spidey game to date, downsizing to focus on Hell's Kitchen after Spider-Man already cleared it out doesn't make sense - unless, of course, a Daredevil game takes place an entirely different world that expands the neighborhood into something akin to the size of Spider-Man's Manhattan.
If history has taught gamers anything, a well-received superhero game can lead to an award-winning series like Rocksteady's Arkham. Turning to the Caped Crusader's story, there was a self-contained arc that spanned three games without the need to bring in another big DC hero to take over the reins. Although there are still rumors of Rocksteady's Superman game, there is no sign of the Man of Steel in the Arkhamverse. Rocksteady managed to craft a trilogy of games before even thinking about diverting to other DC characters like Superman, Aquaman, or Wonder Woman. To leave Spider-Man after the largely positive reviews of the first game would be an odd thing to do. As well as more to come from Miles Morales and a tempting tease of Norman and Harry Osborn taking a villainous turn, Spider-Man's upcoming The City That Never Sleeps DLCs are sure to continue the story and set the ball rolling for a sequel, which is certainly something that Marvel Games should be prioritizing at this stage.
Spider-Man vs Daredevil
The big problem is that, although Spider-Man reminds players just how big New York City, it's a little too small for the two heroes to share the same space. Matt Murdock may be part of the MCU thanks to Charlie Cox's starring role in Daredevil, but it pales in comparison to Tom Holland's Spider-Man. Quite simply, Spider-Man is more popular than Daredevil and the majority of fans would surely rather part with their cash for a Spidey game over a Daredevil adventure in danger of retreading the same ground. Furthermore, it would be like going from Arkham Knight to Arkham Asylum, with regards to overall scope. It just doesn't seem feasible for a triple-A game, especially in the modern age of open world titles. Instead, it would be best if Daredevil became a playable character in a Spider-Man sequel - perhaps even in DLC.
Finally, and putting it a little bluntly, there might not be a big enough audience for a Daredevil game. There could be some cool mechanics of a crimson-colored screen as Murdock uses his senses to track down villains, but apart from that, it could be a bit of a stretch to craft a solo game out of the character. Insomniac Community Director James Stevenson revealed on ResetEra that Spider-Man was the first choice of video game for developers. Offered a catalog of Marvel characters, the team pushed aside the likes of Deadpool, the X-Men, and Daredevil to focus on Peter Parker's alter ego. This alone speaks volumes for the Insomniac team seeing the potential of a Spiderverse.
Back in 2004, Daredevil: The Man Without Fear was planned for release on the PlayStation 2. The various sides struggled to decide on how to handle the game, and with Marvel refusing to sign off on it, the title was pulled well into production. Since then, the character has been resigned to cameos in the likes of Marvel Ultimate Alliance and Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds without anyone really noticing. Marvel Games is already set to branch out further than the world of Peter Parker. With Square Enix opening a brand new studio to focus on its Avengers game and those consistent rumors of a Guardians of the Galaxy title, there is a big worry that a Daredevil game would get lost in the shuffle.
Whatever happens, it is much more likely that the friendly neighborhood hero will launch himself back across the New York skyline before Matt Murdock gets to show gaming fans what he can really do with a cane and some colored glasses.