Konoko is your name and kicking ass is your business. Somewhere in Asia clever scientists have been busy working on a brilliant project, YOU! Since the story takes place in the future, science and technology has advanced a great deal.
To assist the government / police in important and especially dangerous situations you're "designed". Genetic alterations have been made so you have some advantages against your foes.
As you progress in the storyline a dark plot unveils, so there's a whole lot of trouble you have to clean up.
Oni is a third person beat 'em up / adventure game, in a well made anime theme. Some of you may have played Punisher on arcade years ago, and if you have then think 3D, female and a keg o' style.
When I first started this game I was amazed by the (for once) original menu. If you have decent speakers then turn them up a bit, because the background music is really cool! The actual menu is quite simple, but you get to decide resolution (up to 1920x1080), volume and various other simple things.
You start off the game in a training centre. During your time there you learn the basic keys for movement, how to pull off deadly combos at unfortunate foes and other skills that are crucial to know once you start your mission playing. How does test firing a plasma cannon at robotic dummies sound?
Another thing that amazed me about this game is the amount of action you're into just a couple of chapters (missions) in the game, so for me it was hard to exit the game and actually eat.
As always I played the game at the difficulty setting 'Normal', and I must admit that this is not an especially easy game! The artificial intelligence is outstanding, which you can notice on the health bar when you're fighting 3 male robots at a time.
Another good example of good AI (which I for one have not seen in any other game) is that when you kick/punch someone holding a weapon it falls to the ground, and instead of leaving it there the person you attacked will try to pick it up again (or any other weapon for that matter), and obviously use it against you.
Lets start with the level design. According to the website they were actually designed with help from architects. This is something I can believe because when walking on the side of a humongous building you stop just to look at the details. The textures look somewhat the same, but it's detailed enough to make it believable. Airports look like airports, both the textures and where the individual models (chairs etc) are placed. In the game you'll meet both friends and foes, and all the skins I've seen look great. The people do not walk like robots, and may crouch down when there's gunfights, or run like crazy for that matter. Speaking of fights, close combat is one of the times when you'll really see how much the enemies can move, and in my opinion this is some of the best (if not The best) I've seen so far.
The only downside I can think of is that they could've put some more details on the walls etc, and the fact that in the cut scenes where the various people talk they stand pretty much still (no mouth moving or anything) so fixing that would make it even more real.
The Music / Sounds:
Being a futuristic anime action game you'd expect some cool background music. That is precisely what you get! I'm not a music expert, but the instrument usage is complex and it helps pumping up the adrenaline when you're stuck in a huge fight and your ammo just ran out. The sounds are also just as good as you would expect. For instance, there is a difference between running on a carpet and across some roof, but this you would expect. Hitting / kicking someone sounds real, but as in most other game a bit overdone. I will not pretend like I know how a plasma gun sounds in real life, but this is what I expect it to be. The score would be higher if they included support for EAX (3D sound).
As you hopefully have read earlier - in the beginning you start in a training level, so there you learn how to move. All keys have been pre-set so there's not a whole lot to change there. Luckily moving forward, back etc are done with W, A, S and D. Making combo hits etc is sometimes difficult and when you're in a fight they tend to be a lot the same. After you've played a few missions you learn new combo hits, so fighting a bunch of enemies doesn't have to be so awfully hard. A very important factor in a game like this is how the camera moves. It's what makes a game annoying, or simply fun. Bungie / G.O.D. did a good job here by making the gamer control the view with the keyboard + the mouse (like you did in Rune). The learning curve isn't especially long, but the controls are different from other games so you can be glad there's that training level. A notable thing is that carrying a huge weapon will make turning, and moving in general a lot slower than carrying a simple gun, or nothing for that matter. Secondly, you can't put the largest cannons in down in your shorts just as you can with smaller weapons, you have to drop then when you run out of ammo or you find something better.
Sadly Bungie / G.O.D. didn't implement a multiplayer option, so there's not a whole lot to comment on. I'm sure it could be very fun to try, but in the end I doubt it would be something people would have as contests in at LAN parties.
If you're into action - try this game. If you're into anime - try this game. If you're into gaming in general - try this game. It does demand some processing power and a decent graphics card, but since you have so many resolutions to choose from you shouldn't have much of a problem running it. A Geforce 2 Ultra along with a monitor that can handle the highest resolution would be fun, but naturally quite expensive, hehe. There are many levels, and a compelling storyline so it's a game you get addicted to. This is a game that will be remembered for pushing the genre further. It will be in the game of the year poll next year.