Before Mass Effect 3 there was a competitive multiplayer FPS
There's a good chance that many of you have never heard of Mass Effect Team Assault. That's because it was never completed.
In 2010, BioWare's Montreal studio was tasked with developing a competitive Mass Effect first person shooter, an effort hat eventually transformed into what we now know as the third-person multiplayer mode available in Mass Effect 3.
In The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3, a new behind-the-scenes iPad app created by gaming journalist Geoff Keighley, he states:
"The goal was simple; to create a standalone multiplayer experience in the Mass Effect universe that would mix the play styles of Unreal Tournament and Battlefield 1943 — and likely be released as a downloadable game."
According to Keighley (via), the game was in development for four months and was presented, in March 2010, as a prototype.
BioWare allegedly liked the idea of a multiplayer shooter because it "presented an added view of the wide-ranging war occurring during Mass Effect 3."
The idea morphed into a co-op mode for Mass Effect 3, but the game engine wouldn't allow for co-op campaign play. The eventual outcome was a separate team-based skirmish mode as seen in today's Mass Effect 3 game. As a result, Mass Effect Team Assault "was put on the back burner."
The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3 is currently available for the iPad-only, but will be released for PC in the next couple of days. You can purchase the app, which also includes deleted scenes from Mass Effect 3, exclusive interviews, and a mini-game "Reaper Chase", from the iTunes store for $2.99.