Canceled Saint’s Row: Undercover Spin-off Prototype Legally Released To The Public
Just a few mere hours ago, the team over at Volition have willingly released a properly functioning ISO image containing the ill-fated PSP Saint’s Row spin-off dubbed Saint’s Row: Undercover. This current turn of events is off the heels of its rediscovery and exhumation from the depths of Volition’s main headquarters six days prior. Intended to be the franchise’s first foray in the realm of portable gaming, this project was started by Mass Media Games with the desired goal of porting Saint’s Row 2 to the Sony PSP.
At some point this project switched hands from Mass Media over to Savage Entertainment, a developer that had shown quite a bit of aptitude in porting big console releases like Medal of Honor: Vanguard and the Star Wars: Battlefront II to the portable system. Despite the developer’s best efforts, replicating Saint’s Row 2’s scope on stock PSP hardware would prove to be a nigh impossible task to accomplish. That’s when the project changed direction and became a spin-off from the main series.
The title changed into Saint’s Row: The Fall for a time until finally settling on the name Saint’s Row: Undercover. As the name implies, this title puts the player in the shoes of an undercover police officer. The core objective of the game was to investigate a civil war among the Saints. The story around this premise would be told over 20 main missions with a plethora of side activities in which you could accrue some of Saint’s Row’s customary respect points.
Unfortunately, this game would not officially see the light of day. After multiple demonstrations of a small prototype of Undercover, the higher-ups at Volition canceled the project because it did not meet the desired standards of franchise’s previous ventures. This game was largely forgotten by the gaming world until a few days ago when Volition’s Associate Video Editor Josh Stinson discovered a PSP development kit containing the Saint’s Row: Undercover prototype. After talking about it with his colleagues Alexander Mejia (Video Producer) and Mike Watson (Community Manager) and encountering some initial resistance from upper management, the prototype was shown on Volition’s official Twitch.tv stream on January 22, 2016.
The team did not stop there and held another Twitch stream yesterday at 5pm EST. After this live stream, the prototype was legally released to the public as a playable ISO image and is currently being archived for historical preservation at the website Unseen64. This file can theoretically run on a stock PSP, provided that it is able to play unlicensed game applications. It should also work on PSP emulators such as PSPSSP. People have already tried running the game on actual hardware which has yielded low results. The game fails to boot even with an unlocked system. This may have something to do with the firmware that the game requires to boot properly. While this nut has yet to be cracked, you can still legally enjoy this interesting cul de sac of gaming history on an emulator and finally experience this game that almost was.