While the Mass Effect games did get significantly more shooter-oriented from sequel to sequel, they never made any moves to abandon their traditional 3rd person viewpoint. That wasn’t always the case, however, as evidenced by the canned project Mass Effect Team Assault which was intended to be just that, a Mass Effect shooter. The game was in development back in 2010, and was originally intended to be a standalone addition to the Mass Effect canon, probably as a downloadable game. It was later intended for inclusion as the multiplayer component of Mass Effect 3, where it ultimately was replaced by the Galaxy at War mode.
The game’s existence was revealed in The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3, a behind-the-scenes iPad app about the development process of the series’ conclusion. Mass Effect Team Assault underwent 4 months of development, culminating in a prototype version in March of 2010. The original plan was for the game to have gameplay something like Unreal Tournament and Battlefield 1943. Eventually, it was realized that the game could provide varied viewpoints in the widespread combat that takes place during Mass Effect 3, and was considered as a multiplayer component before the 1st person concept was dropped in favor of the game’s actual multiplayer content, Galaxy at War.
Personally, I’m kind of glad this idea never came to fruition. While Mass Effect’s action components have gotten better over the course of the series, they’ve never been strong enough to carry the game, and adding a completely new mechanic to Mass Effect 3′s multiplayer would have sapped even more resources from the single player campaign. As a downloadable game, Mass Effect Team Assault may have made for one hell of a novelty, but I doubt it would have been revelatory. Nonetheless, I’m glad to see that the Mass Effect franchise decided to stick to its guns, even if they weren’t actually guns, so to speak.
- Multiplayer inclusion probably had something to do with Mass Effect 3′s stupid endings
- Mass Effect 3 was launched into space
- The Mass Effect 3 trailer was awesome