Saints Row has had a few cancellations from the mobile game, to the DLC that went on to make its way into Saints Row IV. Now there is word of another Saints title that was cancelled. This time, a brawler.
The title was under development from Heavy Iron Studios and funded by the now defunct THQ. It was in development as early as March 2010 as Unseen64 reports. The title of the brawler was going to be simply, Saints Row: The Cooler, the subtitle coming from the nickname of the games protagonist who was a bouncer sent in to ‘cool off’ problem situations. They would essentially have worked their way up as a bouncer from the slums to high class joints and would have been able to customize aspects of the character.
The Cooler was going to be a Kinect and later ported to Playstation Move for a much more interactive experience for the player. It would utilize simple punch, kick, and blocking motions, it would be fairly constrained compared to other entries in the Saints Row franchise. The game would have also offered mini-games such as poker and a few activities listed below by a developer over the title.
“Basically, the Cooler was meant to be a Kinect-based fighting game, similar to The Fight: Lights Out (PS3), but in the Saint’s Row universe with lots of fighting matches in about 8 of the Saint’s Row locales, plus a few new locations we crafted, and a bar ecosystem where the player could order drinks, get lap dances, gamble, etc.” – Heavy Iron Studios developer
Eventually the game was cancelled in September 2010 despite a developer stating that it was 60% finished. It was never revealed to the public, nor shown to media. Strict NDA agreements in place from the companies involved prevented the title ever being mentioned. One member of the development team cited ‘quality concerns’ for it’s cancellation being that the title was targeted for a mid-2011 release. (one of the environments for Saints Row: The Cooler, below)
The assets used to create Saints Row: The Cooler were retained by the developer at Heavy Iron Studios and development staff claim they were utilized to make one of the studios released titles, UFC Personal Trainer. This make sense being that the mechanics are similar to the ones described to be apart of The Cooler. Being released in 2011 and development starting at the approximate time that development on Saints Row: The Cooler ended, it lines up fairly well.
So would you have jumped in the fight with Saints Row: The Cooler or is it a game that deserved to be left on the chopping block. Either way it is interesting that it was able to be kept under wraps this long.