Cancelled PSP sandbox Saints Row: Undercover is released for free by developer Volition, and made available to any players with a PC and a PSP emulator.
The financial woes of THQ had huge ramifications for a number of popular video game franchises. One such series was Saints Row, the Volition sandbox series, which saw a nearly-completed PSP title dubbed Saints Row: Undercover cancelled by the publisher. Fans of Saints Row thought that the game had been lost forever – but thanks to Volition, gamers have a chance to see what the Sony handheld missed.
As it turns out, Volition has decided to release the .iso file of Saints Row: Undercover online, handing it over to cancelled game gurus Unseen64 shortly after the game’s beta was revealed. This means that any Saints Row aficionados willing to try the game can do so, without having to spend a dime. All that is required is a working PC and a PSP emulator.
Saints Row: Undercover was going to be an attempt to bring Saints Row to handheld devices, building on the success of Grand Theft Auto’s handheld spin-offs, Vice City Stories and Liberty City Stories. Complete with 20 main story missions and co-operative multiplayer, the title certainly didn’t lack in ambition. Unfortunately, the game was cancelled with Volition extremely close to completing work on the title, meaning that it could never join its peers in escaping development hell.
Thankfully, Saints Row: Undercover has not simply fallen into gaming history as another example of highly anticipated vaporware. It may not be the most legitimate way to play the game, but fans of the franchise will no doubt appreciate being given a chance to get their hands on the title, no matter how unorthodox the method. Those interested in trying out the title can do so by visiting the Unseen64 page where the .iso file is located.
Eventually, of course, THQ faced bankruptcy, resulting in a fire sale of its most profitable assets. Whilst the likes of South Park: The Stick of Truth and WWE found a home at 2K Games, others were not quite as lucky. Homefront moved to the similarly-struggling Crytek before finally finding a home at Deep Silver, who managed to set a Homefront: The Revolution release date. Saints Row, meanwhile, joined the Metro franchise in being purchased by Deep Silver parent company Koch Media.
It’s highly unlikely that Saints Row: Undercover would have changed the fate of THQ had the game been released. After all, the title was being released on the PSP, which itself struggled in terms of units sold. Nonetheless, Saints Row fans may wonder what might have been, and whether a commercial success for the game would have led to further handheld titles in the future. In the end, however, gamers will simply have to make do with this free Volition release.