The Nintendo DS library is one of the most impressive of all modern consoles, but it’s safe to say its library would’ve been massively improved by the release of Corsair, a handheld Mass Effect adventure that was reportedly in development.
According to ex-BioWare producer Mark Darrah, Mass Effect: Corsair was set to be a first person adventure on Nintendo DS where you’d fly around in a ship, exploring a far-away galaxy.
“We were going to put it out in a part of the galaxy that was more piratey and not really fully explored,” Darrah told YouTube channel MinnMax in a new interview.
“It was going to kinda be a combination of Privateer and Star Control … You would be independent. You’d be more like a Han Solo character, not a Spectre — and you’d be flying around, picking up cargoes, exploring. You could explore, and then sell that information back to the Human alliance.”
The idea is very intriguing, and would’ve expanded on the lore and story of Mass Effect in a big way. But despite the team having already started work on flight control systems and the game’s overall story, it was cancelled shortly after production due to the high cost of Nintendo DS cartridges.
According to Darrah, EA predicted the title would only sell 50,000 units — and at a cost of $US10.50 ($14) per cart, it wasn’t worth the steep investment in development.
It’s a real shame we never got to see what a Mass Effect spin-off would’ve looked like on DS.
At the time, the console was a haven for wild experiments and interesting takes of gameplay. Ports for games like Assassin’s Creed, The Sims and Call Of Duty did reasonably well on the console, and effectively managed to expand each franchise’s mythos with exciting new mechanics.
Corsair could’ve done the same for the Mass Effect series, but it seems we’ll never know how a Nintendo DS adaptation would’ve gone. It’s just another case of failed potential.
You can check out the full interview with Darrah here.