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Saints Row: Undercover released for free on PSP


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When most video games are canceled during development, they disappear, consigned to back rooms and never spoken of again. That same fate almost befell the unreleased Saints Row: Undercover — a planned PSP version of the open-world gangster game — until earlier this month, when a newer staff member at Saints Row developer Volition dug a development kit containing an early version of the game out of a cupboard. And now, in a surprising move for the studio, you can download and play the unfinished game on your own PSP handheld.

Josh Stinson, the Volition video editor who found the PSP development kit containing the unreleased game, says that he first faced some resistance in trying to show it to the world. "It was canceled," he said on one of the studio's own "Inside Volition" videos. "If something's canceled, it probably means nobody wants to show it to anybody." But over time, he and other staffers wore their colleagues down, convincing them that the buggy, messy, and often broken code would still be interesting for those fans who wanted to see behind the curtain. "Developers here have this view that everything needs to be final, polished, pretty, shiny" says Mike Watson, community manager at the studio. "When the real meat and potatoes is the stuff that isn't, the stuff that's buggy, early sketches, concept art. If framed in the right way, as an unreleased project, that stuff is really interesting."
To play the game, you can download an .ISO file from Unseen 64, that you'll then need to mount on your PSP. Or, as there's no worry about "pirating" an unreleased game offered free by its creators, you can emulate Saints Row: Undercover on your PSP emulator of choice. Playing the game now offers an interesting window into the development process — showing how far studios regularly go in making games only to can them before they're complete —  but don't expect the unfinished game to actually be any good. Watson says that Undercover was canceled with good reason, as after multiple reviews, it wasn't living up to "what a Saints Row game could and should be."  


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This is a pretty cool move by Volition rather than to simply leave the game behind and not show it again since it was cancelled as a lot of developers do. Earlier this week I came across the video embedded on The Verge page linked above 'Inside Volition: Saints Row Undercover' and genuinely found it rather interesting to hear the background and progress made towards this game that was never spoken of and then cancelled to resurface after a staff member found it all these years later, I recommend giving it a watch. There was a stream yesterday on the Volition Twitch Channel also showing off the game which was referenced in the video, but I did not get time to watch it - I certainly didn't expect from that to see the game, or rather the progress they had at the point of cancellation, being released for free for anyone to try it out. I may try it out on a PSP Emulator when I get some time.

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I was about to go make a thread like this but did the smart thing and searched if there was one first. 


I just found out about the release (I saw the clips the other day and was hoping for this to happen but in no way thought it would) and am downloading it now, I have about 10 minutes left and I'll be firing it up then. God damn it, it's quarter to one in the morning, I was about to go to sleep, and they dump a "new" Saints Row game on me. Dicks :P ... Not like I needed sleep anyway. 


I am fucking keen.

The feels when it crashes on your PSP and gets stuck on the load screen on PPSSPP.

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Imagine all the cool broken crap we could have if more developers did this. Hell, with gaming what it is nowadays, it's probably possible to work on this in their spare time, finish what they can, cut what they can't and release it for really cheap, like $3.00 without any marketing. If all they do is break even, then the developers gain a bunch of experience, the studio has one more piece of finished work and fans get a cheap fix. Wins all around.

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