Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault)
Oni stuns the third-person action scene with a powerful uppercut to the jaw. Bungie has never put its hand to a bad product, and its latest offering is a passionate protest against dull games. Some of the previews I read leading up to Oni's release equated it to Tomb Raider, and although this was inevitable due to the use of a third-person perspective and a female lead, the comparison is a poor one. Oni's action seeps with voltage, demands hard things, and at times causes smoldering frustration. That it is also irresistibly fun is a testament to its outstanding design and spectacular, cutting-edge animation. A couple of things could use polishing in a sequel or expansion, such as the unfinished interface and the A.I., and it would be nice to see the next title better leverage its 3D environment -- imagine grabbing a pipe and swinging around it to hit enemies or access a new area. But for now, Bungie has hit all the right notes.