BioWare was at one point planning a standalone competitive FPS called Mass Effect: Team Assault, the developer has revealed.
The news, as reported by Kotaku, comes from The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3 iPad app which has just gone live on the App Store.
"The goal was simple," explained presenter Geoff Keighley, "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 project was in development at BioWare Montreal for four months before management decided to change direction.
Apparently they liked the core idea as it offered an additional perspective on the galactic war raging in Mass Effect 3.
However, the concept eventually morphed into the third person co-op multiplayer mode included in this month's trilogy-closer and Team Assault "was put on the back burner".
See below for a few work-in-progress screen shots grabbed directly from the app.