Home » General » Bungie ‘bit off a little more than it could chew’ on PlayStation

Bungie ‘bit off a little more than it could chew’ on PlayStation

Bungie ‘bit off a little more than it could chew’ on PlayStation


Whoah! For the last day or so, the whole world’s been going nuts about the Activision/Bungie publishing deal, and why not? It’s a big deal that the developer of the Xbox’s biggest first-party IP is going to be making multi-format games for at least the next ten years. But a lot of people seem to be forgetting something – Bungie’s made a PlayStation game before. Oni on the PS2.

So we decided to dig back into the PLAY archive and find out what we thought of Oni, and it turns out it wasn’t particularly good. Described as ‘an enjoyable but flawed adventure’ back in issue 74, Oni was a third-person hybrid of Syphon Filter, Tomb Raider and Fighting Force that tried to cleverly mix up a variety of gameplay styles, but ended up very much a mix up and not especially clever.

But we’re not about to suggest that Bungie is somehow incapable of making a decent game on any PlayStation platform just because of one iffy release on the PS2. In fact, Oni wasn’t even developed by the main Bungie team. It was actually the one and only project developed by the short-lived Bungie West studio, so it’s definitely not a reflection of where Bungie is now. Still, it’s an interesting and often overlooked little bit of gaming history, and if you want to know more PLAY’s Oni review is archived right here.

Similar posts

  • cleavage

    The game was ported to ps2 by rockstar, do some research because you’re hurting your already non-existant reputation.

  • Yam

    People seem to forget, Halo isn’t particularly great either. It excelled at bringing a viable and easy-to-use control solution to FPS on a home console…something many had struggled with for years.

    Aside from that, each game couldn’t really decide where it wanted to place its focus. Was it a Single Player game first and Multiplayer games second? Or was it the other way around for others who preferred it as a multiplayer game and didn’t enjoy the single player experience?

    Bungie has simply had Microsofts favor and wallet to market a title and create the contemporary definition of the Hype Machine, but sales do not make a game great.

    I hope this new partnership will allow Bungie to really experiment and find their own, however, I fear Activision’s poisonous touch doesn’t bode well for them in the long run. I’d almost be sure they will be pidgeon-holed into re-creating the success of Halo in some other form (or be the new poster child for CoD).

  • Angus

    I loved ONI 🙂 I only played it on PC and the controls were a dog show but still, great fun. Didn’t realize it was bungie. Then again, Rare made a lot of great games way back when. And now?

  • heltonhammer


    Bungie never developed Oni for the PS2, Rockstar Toronto did. Hell, Rockstar even published it on there.

  • Fuzz

    You’re joking right? You use the phrase “bit off a little more than it could chew’ in the title. And then attempt to absolve yourself of any flamebaiting by adding in the body of the article “But we’re not about to suggest that Bungie is somehow incapable of making a decent game on any PlayStation platform”?

    Do you pretend that the title isn’t desinged to suggest quite the opposite? That Bungie IS “incapable of making a decent game on any PlayStation platform”?

    Do you pretend that, because you put the phrase in quotes, you meant it ironically?

    Really? You’re quite the journalist.

  • Ian Dransfield

    As far as I’m aware, the “bit off a little more than it could chew” is a direct quote from the original review of Oni in Play, written on its original release all those years ago.

    It’s not meant to be ironic. It’s a quote.

  • lDEFYl

    WOAH, you guys just blew my mind with this…I remember getting Oni as my fist game for the PS2, (I didn’t know any better back then), but now that it’s mentioned here I actually remember the box art for it and it did indeed have Bungie’s name on it…wow, little did I know..

  • Gavin Mackenzie

    From wikipedia…
    “Porting is also the term used when a computer game designed to run on one platform, be it a personal computer or a video game console, is converted to run on a different platform.”

    From Bungie.net…
    “In 1999, back in California , work was continuing on Oni – now announced as a multiplatform third-person action title for Mac, PC and (gasp!) PlayStation2. This was to be Bungie’s first console* project and easily its most mainstream title to date.”

    Oni was designed for the PC, Mac and PS2 by Bungie. Some technical work for the PS2 version was outsourced to Rockstar Toronto but it was not a port. It was co-development.

    So yes, I have done my research and I’d be grateful if people who don’t understand how game development works would refrain from attacking my reputation. No hard feelings though, eh?



  • Joey

    woah, that was far too many bitchy comments for one article.
    Where is the love?

  • J.-F.

    Oni was awesome. Flawed, yes, but awesome nonetheless.

  • pyro666

    How can we be sure you didn’t just edit that wiki article yourself?
    I kid, I kid… 😉