The Mutants are regarded as a plague and herded into internment camps. Scientists harness some of the technology behind the alien pods, creating Deflector Shields and other devices. In the face of expanding mutant populations and widespread breakdown in law and order, the world's governments combine in order to preserve their power and society, eventually becoming a massive corporate entity called Hestia Corp. They create biomechanical armies, immune to contamination, to combat the growing Mutant threat. The "Biomeks" are effective against the Mutants, now united under a single banner, in the short term, but Hestia ultimately deems them a failure and enacts a final solution. They put a select few scientists, military officials and other VIPs in underground arks and seal themselves underground, while simultaneously unleashing every nuclear, biological and chemical weapon they have on the surface in the hopes of totally sterilizing it.
Of course, things didn't go as planned. 800 years later, humanity reemerges from underground exile expecting a parking lot and instead finds a nightmare. The Mutants have survived, as have the Biomeks, who were extremely resentful about being abandoned and nuked. Countless other rogue groups and independent individuals are out there too, as are scattered alien forces and nasty mutated wildlife. Open war breaks out between the three major factions but soon settles into unstable peace broken up by small-scale skirmishes involving super-tough Weaponized cars, trucks, motorcycles, and the occasional tank.
Player characters took the role of a freelance operative from one of these three factions, fighting against the other two and the various hostile elements inhabiting the "Central Wasteland", as it was called. As the player progressed through the game and moved closer towards Ground Zero, more of the Back Story was revealed, along with the truth behind the aliens and their arrival on earth.
Due to "insufficient numbers of subscribers" (Rumor had it that less than a hundred people were playing at the time), the game shut down in 2007. Attempts by various parties to pick up the slack were denied, as were NetDevil's attempts to buy the rights back from NCSoft. Efforts by some players to revive the game with a private server continue.
Auto Assault provides examples of:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Temper NET, a massive security network designed alongside the Biomeks to maintain civil order while the Biomeks combated the Mutant threat militarily. It grew and evolved of its own accord, eventually deciding that the only way to ensure order was to exterminate all organic life. The system assimilates all technology it comes across with Borg-like efficiency.
- All Bikers Are Hell's Angels: The Riders of the Apocalypse gang, albeit with much more advanced bikes.
- Attack Drone: Used liberally by Humans and Biomeks, but also some NPC groups like Temper NET.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: The head of INC.
- Car Fu: Oh, so very much. Aided by the fact that you could equip your car with a "melee" weapon, namely, spiked bumpers or something similar.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Not everyone is receptive to Biomek augmentations. Some of those that weren't had their minds reject the augmentations, turning them into burnt-out husks the Biomeks called "Derelicts", suitable for only the most rudimentary tasks and largely kept out of the way so they didn't hurt anyone.
- Cyborg: The Biomeks, of course.
- Damage-Sponge Boss: Biomek cars didn't have anything fancy like Deflector Shields or a Healing Factor. They just had stupidly large amounts of health. More to the point of the trope, a lot of the bosses were like this.
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: There was literally no penalty for getting your car blown up except the time you spent sitting on a repair pad waiting to get back into the action. Which was often.
- Deflector Shields: Found on all human vehicles, structures and even personal armor, part of what kept them free of contamination. In-game, Human players had an extra, regenerating layer of hit-points on top of their car's base health.
- Dirty Cop: The forces of THE LAW
- Dreadlock Rasta: The Zendigs, a bunch of dreadlock-wearing wasteland hippies who rejected Human authority and had a close-to-earth way of life, involving making colorful dyes and really tasty burgers. They were nonetheless very friendly to Human players.
- The Engineer: The Human Engineer class, obviously, but also the Mutant Shaman and Biomek Constructor. Each tended to drive utility vehicles like vans or semis. They also acted as The Medic, having various abilities that healed other vehicles.
- Grey-and-Gray Morality: Biomeks convert you, Mutants transform you, and Humans enslave you. Which side sounds more merciful?
- Healing Factor: Mutant cars could regenerate their health.
- Hollywood CB: The entire CB'er faction.
- Limit Break: "Hazard Mode", obtained at level 40. After dishing out or taking a sufficient level of damage, Biomek vehicles could transform into a Humongous Mecha, Mutant vehicles could project a contaminated "Phase Ghost", and Human vehicles could Reverse Polarity on their shields and call down an ion blast on their position. Originally only the Biomeks had a Hazard Mode, but response from testers was so postitive that an equivalent ability was given to the other two factions.
- Mega-Corp: Hestia Corp, which as of the game's setting represents what's left of the old order. Also INC, a neutral group that provides transportation and rescue services to all three factions via their ubiquitous yellow VTOL aircraft in exchange for being left alone.
- Military Mashup Machine: Temper NET often sent these after players.
- The Minion Master: The "officer" classes, being the Human Lieutenant, Mutant Archon and Biomek Mastermind. Archons could summon a variety of mutant beasts while Masterminds and Lieutenants used Attack Drones.
- Mutants: Take a wild guess. Besides them, there were numerous nasty mutant creatures and plants out in the wastes.
- Nanomachines: A key component of Biomek technology.
- Obvious Beta: One of the main problems with the game during it's run.
- Organic Technology: Mutant cars are built of contaminated materials and are at least partially alive. They even have a "heart" as a power source.
- People Jars: Biomeks are grown in vats, awash in nanites from birth and then fitted with the requisite cybernetics before being allowed out of the Biomek capital city.
- Psychic Powers: Humans developed these as a side-effect of the genetic engineering employed to help prevent mutation. Hestia Corp. bigwigs tout them as "proof of the superiority of the human genome".
- The Remnant: Many groups, such as The Corps, a bunch of hard-nosed, Ax-Crazy military types.
- Ruins of the Modern Age: All over the place. Thanks to Wreaking Havok, it could all be flattened in minutes to seconds, and then re-spawned in time for the next auto-combatant to come tearing through.
- Rule of Fun: Each of the starting zones included a large "accelerator tube" that served no real purpose other than launching cars into the air.
- Scavenger World: What life was like for anyone who wasn't part of the big three factions, especially the ubiquitous Scavs, who served both as common enemies and NPCs.
- Shout-Out: One boss is a certain "Mad Mozak", who drives a souped up police cruiser.
- The Biomek's heavy combat/tank class? The Terminator, of course!
- Stuff Blowing Up: Often.
- Squishy Wizard: The "officer" classes, Each drove sleek, sports car-like vehicles and used a variety of support powers, such as pets and status buffs.
- Tron Lines: Found on all Human constructions. They serve as visual shorthand for Deflector Shields at work.
- Vehicular Combat
- Weaponized Car