Only hours ago we reported that the controversial (but ultimately pretty enjoyable) Mass Effect 3 multiplayer was first conceived as a stand-alone multiplayer-focused Mass Effect first person shooter.
Now, new details for BioWare's canceled project have surfaced, including the game's title, Mass Effect: Team Assault, as well as in-development screenshots that showcase familiar weaponry, the M-8 Avenger assault rifle, as well as the return of everyone's
favorite least favorite vehicle, the Mako.
Any Mass Effect die-hards that can already feel their guts churning at the prospect of a first person fight against the reapers can relax (at least for the time being), as the screenshots are from a couple years back - with a development build date of March 25th 2010.
As previously reported, the first person shooter was rumored to be a downloadable title that "would mix the play styles of Unreal Tournament and Battlefield 1943" and let players "battle on foot and drive vehicles like the Mako and Hammerhead hovercraft.”
Check out the screenshots from Mass Effect: Team Assault below - clink to enlarge (thanks to Kotaku for the screenshots):
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It's hard to know exactly that players could have expected from the final product - as the screenshots represent a title still in development. That said, it's easy to make the same argument for an FPS Mass Effect title as we did back when gamers were first reacting to rumors of multiplayer in ME3: the mix of gunplay and biotic powers could have proved to be an intriguing online experience (think Halo with biotics) - even if that same basic idea was pretty underwhelming in BioShock 2. However, the notion of "pulling" an enemy out of cover and into the air - so that a teammate can spatter the floating body with gunfire is still exciting - whether as an online FPS (or, as is the case, Mass Effect 3 horde-style multiplayer).
The stand-alone project was ultimately canceled and multiplayer assets were shifted into the Mass Effect 3 campaign but the screenshots definitely offer an interesting sneak peek at a game that would have, no doubt, been controversial among franchise fans. Response to multiplayer alone has, as mentioned, been divisive - and it's easy to imagine that many gamers would have considered a first person Mass Effect experience as blasphemy to the the series' third-person-RPG roots. Of course, some Mass Effect fans might rather have seen an entirely optional multiplayer title created - rather than feel as though their personalized single player story experience was tainted by interacting with other people online.
Readers who are interested in further insight into the Mass Effect series (especially Mass Effect 3) can check out the
cash-grab iPad app The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3 - where a lot of this recent behind-the-scenes info was first unveiled.
Mass Effect 3 is available now for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates.