Saints Row

Saints Row: Undercover [PSP – Cancelled]

Saints Row: Undercover (also known as Saints Row: The Fall in its early phase) is a cancelled chapter in the popular over-the-top open world series by Volition, planned to be released for Sony’s PSP. This game was meant to be the first entry of Saints Row for portable consoles and while a 3DS version was also announced many years ago (titled Saints Row: Drive-By), neither of them were ever released.

Development on Undercover was originally started by Mass Media Games (that already worked with Volition on the PS3 version of Saints Row 2) and then transferred to Savage Entertainment (the same team that ported Star Wars: Battlefront II and Medal of Honor: Vanguard to the PSP). Initially Volition wanted to simply port Saints Row 2 to the PSP, but after a while the project became a new, original sequel, with its own story and characters.

Saints Row: The Fall  was to be set between Saints Row 1 and 2, but thanks to the success of SR2 they later decided to create a sequel to the second game, to expand its story and making it more interesting for the fans. In Saints Row PSP the city would have been split as a result of a civil war within the Saints. The Third Street Saints, who the player would have joined, possessed only a little area in the middle. We would have took the role of an undercover cop, charged with investigating the civil war within the Saints, and at the end of the game we could have decided to join them and betray the police.

The plan for Undercover was to create something similar to the GTA games for the PSP, keeping the core gameplay of the series, with crazy gameplay, a fun world to explore, character customization and coop multiplayer. The game would have had 20 main story missions to complete, along with the usual SR side activities to earn respect points.

Savage Entertainment developed a short playable prototype, but unfortunately after multiple reviews Volition decided that Undercover just wasn’t meeting the standards of what they thought a Saints Row game should be. The game was cancelled and the PSP dev kit on which the project was created was hidden away in one of Volition’s storage rooms.

Only many years later Saints Row: Undercover was found again thanks to Josh Stinson (Associate Video Editor at Volition), that stumbled upon that PSP dev kit while looking around their office. After talking about it with colleagues and with the support of Alexander Mejia (Video Producer at Volition) and Mike Watson (Community Manager at Volition), they were able to convince their bosses that such a lost games should have been shared with the fans, as an interesting curiosity and a piece of gaming history to preserve. During Volition’s stream on Twitch on the 22January 2016 they officially shown Saints Row: Undercover to the world and this Thursday (Jan 28) they will do a dedicated stream around 4pm CST.

Please join their stream on Twitch the 28th of January to see more from this lost game and to ask every questions you have directly to Volition! This is really important as if this stream will be successful Volition will release even more info on other cancelled games!

Below you can download Saints Row: Undercover walk through, design doc and fully playable prototype, also shared by the lovely people at Volition. Huge props to them!

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Saints Row: The Cooler [Cancelled – Xbox 360, PS3]

Saints Row: The Cooler is a cancelled fighting game, which was in development for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It was being created by Heavy Iron Studios in Los Angeles and was funded by THQ.

“It was a brawler game. Go to a bar, pick a fight, smash a bottle over someone’s head” – Former Heavy Iron Studios artist

Work began on the title in March 2010 at developer, Heavy Iron. In partnership with THQ, the company sought to create the first Saints Row game controlled entirely by motion; a ploy to capitalise on the rising industry trend at the time.

Two versions of the game were planned initially: an Xbox 360 game using Microsoft’s Kinect peripheral and a PS3 port with Playstation Move support. The Xbox 360 was the lead development platform for The Cooler, as the team’s creative focus was very much on Kinect.

A team of around 40 people were put on the project, while the rest of the studio was occupied with another Kinect-centric project for Disney called ‘E-Ticket’.

We were able to get in touch with several people, a mix of both former and current employees at the developer, who shared some details with us on the game’s lifecycle. According to these sources, the title was a brawler set in the Saint’s Row universe and was, in contrast with the rest of the series, not an open world game.

“It was a ton of fun to work on because we got to use the original Saint’s Row locales as concept art, basically, and give them a redesign and a highly upgraded art treatment (since Saint’s Row was open world and our game was not, we could afford to devote more time and engine resources to artwork)”

Saints Row The Cooler

One of the gritty environments of Saints Row: The Cooler

Kinect lap dancing

Despite it ditching the free roaming traditions of the previous games, The Cooler apparently offered a myriad of activities to experience. Its main premise was of motion-controlled fighting in various parts of the Saints Row universe, but players would have also been able to compete in poker tournaments and other miscellaneous mini-games. 

Saints Row: Money Shot [Cancelled – Xbox 360/PS3]

Saints Row: Money Shot was an action/adventure game scheduled to be released on the Xbox Live Arcade and Playstation Network sometime in late 2011. It was never officially announced by THQ or Volition, but it was leaked to the web in August 2011. From the existing screenshots and video, we can see that it was going to be some kind of on-rails game where you have to control a bullet in slow-motion through various obstacles before finally hitting your target. Here’s its official description from the leaked XBLA entry.

You are Cypher, a deadly assassin in the world of Saints Row, and you hunt the most elusive targets with the most sophisticated weaponry that Ultor has to offer. How sophisticated? You have the ability to control the path of your bullet to such a degree that you can weave through the hallway of an apartment complex, steer through the legs of a hooker, and even snake your way through a moving train! Avoid striking solid objects and unintended bystanders and make sure you hit your mark!

Within a week of its leaking, Kotaku discovered that the Australian Classification Board had rated Saints Row: Money Shot already, hinting that it was possibly close to release at this point.

In an interview with Worthplaying.com, former THQ boss Danny Bilson stated that Saints Row: Money Shot was still not shelved and that it would possibly be released on the PSN instead as a free game.

On the XBLA, the game would have cost 800 Microsoft Points, and it appears that playing through it would earn you unlockable items for Saints Row: The Third. These items would later be released as a DLC pack called the “Money Shot Pack,” which contained the gun and suit seen in the game as well as a new hover bike, but the “Money Shot” game itself was never included and was officially considered cancelled by this point. Here is some leaked footage of the game from a Czech gaming site.

Article by Tony Lokester

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Saints Row [Beta – Xbox 360]

Saints Row is an action-adventure open world video game developed by Volition Inc. and published by THQ. It is the first title in the Saints Row series. The development of the game began at around 2004 or 2005 and was originally named “Bling Bling” which in it’s sequel, it has a certain store with the exact same name. Thanks to a certain person down in the comments who said this, The game was originally for PS2 and PS2 only at the time it was in the making.

So in the video below, you can see many beta differences between the gameplay such as:

  • Saints wearing green
  • Beta Logo
  • Shop Hold-Ups
  • Beta Rim-Jobs

Post by The Monokariba (AKA Monokiba)

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(Will research more on Saints Row’s beta.) 

Saint Row 2 [X360/PS3/PC – Beta]

Saints Row 2 is a sandbox / action game game developed by Volition Inc and published by THQ for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2008. James Tsai,  SR2’s Lead Designer, in and interview with IGN revealed that some content had to be removed from the game before it was published:

JT: In the early stages of development we had some really crass stuff in the game, the kind of things that put you in that weird place where you’re laughing and squirming uncomfortably with guilt at the same time. One prototype had you driving a truck full of smuggled underage foreign prostitutes across the city while rival pimps rammed into you, knocking the girls out and cutting into your human trafficking profits. Another had you using a high pressure fire hose to wash homeless people off the street and into the gutter. Not exactly Nobel Prize material.

There was a lot of stuff we had in that didn’t register very high on the human decency scale, so we dialed some things back. For instance we changed the gender of the first character you encounter, since beating a female doctor to death with an IV stand wasn’t the impression we wanted to leave with the very first player action in the game. Instead, we have you beat a male doctor to death with an IV stand, to ease you into the killing.

From the early screens we can also notice various beta differences:

  • You can not customize characters in youe crib in the final
  • There was a different looking crib
  • Hideout has a different appearance
  • A pic shows  a cutscene that was removed

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