Oni Update

Bungie stops by to show off its first third-person action title, Oni. Here's the latest. Screens included.

When Bungie announced development of its first third-person action title, Oni, we had no idea what to think. Bungie is best known to PC gamers as the company behind the innovative Myth and Myth II titles (Mac users are more likely to know Bungie more for its Marathon titles), but doing a third-person title takes a totally different company, doesn't it?

Bungie stopped by the GameSpot offices on Tuesday to prove that the Oni screenshots on Bungie's site are authentic and that the company has enough going for it to successfully break out of the RTS genre.

The game still has a way to go until its late '99 release, but the environments up the ante in expertise when it comes to level design. Rather than just find level builders, the development team found a crew of working architects to design levels and buildings. And it shows. Buildings tower, and light creeps through spiral staircases with extreme elegance and style - as if Frank Lloyd Wright were in charge of level design.

In a nutshell, gameplay is like Tekken meets Tomb Raider. You have fighting moves with punches and kicks, but you control the main character, Konoko, just like you would in any FPS title. Fast moves in the game are highlighted with a trippy motion-blurring effect and are enhanced by the absence of skins. None of the characters has skin, which seems odd considering most titles call this a feature. Yet, Oni boasts loads of character looks, each with proper physics, hundreds of animations per character, special moves, and more of a likeness to action figures than FPS characters.

We're planning to write more about Oni but decided to release some of the shots Bungie dropped off today. Check back on Wednesday to hear all the goods on the new title from Bungie. In the meantime, have a look at these shots.

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