As Mass Effect hype builds around the upcoming Legendary Edition, undiscovered details about the legacy of the series have begun revealing themselves. One of the most notable is how there were plans after the first game to release a Han Solo inspired spin-off game.
According to a recent interview at The Gamer with former BioWare developer Dorian Kieken, the game was “intended to expand the Mass Effect universe and be done in parallel [with] the trilogy”.
“We explored a game concept back in 2008, a bit after the shipping of [the first] ME, where you were playing a Han Solo type of character in a Star Control-inspired game in the Mass Effect universe. The game was intended to expand the Mass Effect universe and be done in parallel [with] the trilogy.”
Unfortunately, this idea was ultimately scrapped after development on Mass Effect 2 went well underway and the team shifted focus. However, Kieken shared a few details on what the project would have been, and how it would have provided a “different point of view” in the Mass Effect universe.
“I like the idea of exploring a ‘grayer’ character, akin to a smuggler/pirate type in the ME universe. It also allows you to see the world from a different point of view than the one of the chosen super- soldier. It's a bit like exploring the Star Wars universe without being a Jedi, or the Warhammer 40k universe without being a Space Marine.”
“I think having ‘grayer’ types of characters, defined as not being aligned with the universe’s good or bad guys, and also not attached to any major factions like pirates, allows you a large breath of exploration that you don't have when you are the savior of the galaxy. Think of the story freedom you have in TV series like the Mandalorian or Firefly thanks to mercenaries or smuggler character archetypes.”
The idea sounded like a perfect fit into the Mass Effect universe, offering a window into other ways of life. For a series as dense as it is, it would have been a great opportunity to explore other facets. Hopefully one day some of these realisations come to light for us to play ourselves.
Would you have played a Han Solo inspired Mass Effect game? Let us know in the comments below.
That would explain the DLC characters in ME2, Zaeed and Kasumi, who are both the 'gray' types of characters, i.e. bounty hunter and thief respectively. Perhaps they would've starred in that game but were added to ME2 as DLC instead of being completely scrapped. I can definitely say that these characters were underdeveloped in ME2 due to their DLC nature. It would've definitely been interesting to see them more fleshed out in a spin-off title.
@LtSarge I’m thinking in the same realm as you. When I read the article i was thinking about how elements of Mass Effecr 2 were closer to being in the “underbelly” of the universe. This idea probably influenced the direction of Mass Effect 2.
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