Mass Effect 3's Multiplayer Was Originally a First-Person Shooter

From the "BioWare should just make a first-person shooter and get it out of their system" department comes this article at Kotaku that digs up an interesting nugget from Geoff Keighley's newly released "The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3" documentary. In it, Geoff apparently shares details and video from the development of Mass Effect Team Assault, a first-person shooter set in the Mass Effect universe that mixed together "the play styles of Unreal Tournament and Battlefield 1943" and was due for its own downloadable release separate from Mass Effect 3. However, it was eventually rolled into Mass Effect 3 as the threequel's multiplayer skirmish mode:
"The goal was simple," Keighley reports in The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3, "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."

The game was in development for four months and was presented, in March 2010, as the prototype seen in the images in this story. (Those images are captured from Keighley's app, which features video of the prototype.)

The powers-that-be at BioWare 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 the development of a co-op mode for Mass Effect 3 itself. The main game's engine wouldn't allow gamers to play co-op in the main campaign of Mass Effect 3, but it would allow them to team up in a separate skirmish mode, which is what BioWare delivered in the sequel that finally came out earlier this month. As the BioWare developers shifted to that, Mass Effect Team Assault "was put on the back burner."