Bungie's Cult Classic Oni Almost Had A Sequel

Oni was an action title released in 2001. It was the only game made by the short lived Bungie West studio. In spite of mixed reception, it turns out they were working on a sequel. Thanks to an intrepid archivist, we finally can see what it was like.

Andrew Borman has a knack for getting his hands on unfinished games and publishing their stories on his YouTube page, PtoPOnline. Recently, he shared a video on an ill-fated Diddy Kong Racing sequel. He also sat down alongside many other archivists to help me understand the difficulties of saving video game history. Oni 2: Death and Taxes is the latest lost gem he's added to his collection

He outlines the project's history in a new video. The project was developed by Angel Studios but they only made so much progress. Developers speaking to Borman cited a lack of clear direction for slow progress. The project was ultimately shut down after Angel Studios became Rockstar San Diego and focus shifted to Red Dead Revolver.

The demo itself is in remarkably rough shape. There's only a partially completely level and a few basic test environments, but Borman pieces together the game's history rather comprehensively. Little bits of history like this are lost all the time as projects get abandoned. Oni is a lesser known action game nowadays, but there's still human stories to tell and lessons to learn from this failed project. It's even better to see them come to light.

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Comments

    Maybe the sequel would have been closer to what Bungie originally envisioned and showed off for the game, before it got sold off and dumbed down to fit onto PS2.

      Even in its dumbed down state, Oni was pretty fantastic.

    I still remember how good that game was in setting the mood for a fight.

    I liked it more than Primal. The melee and shooting wasn't seamless but some studios are still struggling with melding the two into a consolidated combat system.

    Fantastic game. Loved the mechanics, loved the themes, and the characters. I went on a concept-art-collecting binge for Oni when it came out. Played through the game itself multiple times, on every difficulty. What a blast.

    I hope one day we get to see what magical awesomeness Psygnosis had in the pipeline before their plug was pulled.

    I zoned out at the mention of a sequel to Diddy Kong racing. Fuck that was a great game, I wish that sort of pseudo-open world racing type game spawned more imitators.

    I was thinking about how much I enjoyed this game only last week.

    It was a real rough diamond.

    Bungie had some good original stuff back in the days, with my two favourtie games being Oni and Myth. It's a real shame that the company's gone in a different direction, and won't even consider re-releasing their old IP in some sort of Remastered version so I can play it on my newer machines.

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