I’d love to see a remake of Oni. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a game with so much potential, so poorly executed. It was Bungie’s other big game that was in development at the time Microsoft bought them so they could make Halo an Xbox title, and it ended up getting rushed out in a very unfinished state.
The fighting system is amazing though. The game plays like a Hong Kong action movie, with a bit of WWE wrestling and ninjitsu splashed in. Sure, the levels are mostly big open hallways full of crates, but the fighting was some of the best I’ve seen in a game.
To start with, the game did a really good job of putting guns and melee attacks in the same game. Guns were generally useful, but you’d drop them if you took heavy damage, you couldn’t carry much ammo, and the general gameplay was to beat the crap out of people take their gun and use it til it runs out of ammo, then beat the crap out of more people.
In a lot of ways it was a predecessor to the plethora of bash em up games we have now, except that the melee system was more involved than just mashing A as fast as you can. It is a lot more like a 90s fighting game in that respect. It was a bit less oriented toward complex button presses than 90s fighters were, but instead your combos were heavily affected by positioning, and they kinda made sense. Most players didn’t master every move, but you could learn to reliably use enough to work out your own fighting style.
Then there was the acrobatics. Players had a lot of control over movement, and it was possible to chain jumps and combos so that you Lariat (basically a combination of Yummy Catnip Frenzy and Twirly Death) into a pack of enemies, and spend the whole fight jumping from one enemy to another until the fight’s over.
There was a lot about the game that was clearly unfinished (empty levels with virtually no textures, no multiplayer, levels and enemies shown in the trailer that never made it into the game, a professional intro scene and then bad, placeholder art in the rest of the game, etc.), but the gameplay itself was great, and still holds up. It’s actually pretty rare to be able to complete a level multiple times using the exact same tactics and weapons, because the way you fight varies a lot based on positioning.
I’d love to see that game remade with actual effort put into the level designs, art, story, etc.