Bonelab: Boneworks makers introduce physics shooter for Quest 2
In the VR shooter Bonelab for Meta Quest 2, you can once again perform lots of crazy physics experiments.
Stress Levels Zero‘s shooter Boneworks broke new ground in the field of VR games. Instead of just shooting digital enemies, players tested the strengths of the underlying physics engine. This is often necessary to progress through a level – for example, to move climbing scaffolds and then cross them.
Objects, such as axes, can also be hurled at enemies in Boneworks. With the controllers of the Valve Index, this is even better due to the fine finger tracking.
At the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase 2022, Stress Level Zero presented its next physics shooter, Bonelab, coming for Meta Quest 2, SteamVR, and the Rift Store in the course of 2022. In 2019, Oculus Connect 6 already announced this Quest offshoot, at that time still under the name “Project 4”.
A VR shooter in the Boneworks universe
The VR shooter takes place in the same surreal universe as Boneworks. After escaping your own execution, you find yourself in a creepy underground lab. The training modules put you in different “pocket universes.” The more challenges you complete there, the more you learn about the meaning (or lack of meaning) of the strange world – and your role in it.
It’s still unclear whether procedural elements will play a role. In the arenas, obstacle courses and tactical tests, gamers should enjoy a lot of freedom. The announcement states that you can approach the “interdimensional” missions according to your own preferences.
Running, jumping, and climbing play an important role in the twisting rooms. In the trailer of the PC VR version, some enemies are pushed away or decapitated in a creative way. However the action, once again, looks more comical than brutal since it often involves stylized enemies, such as skeletons.
The developers are particularly proud of the physics engine Marrow, which they continuously developed over the past two years. Weapons and other environmental objects should behave with even more realistic physics. The predecessor already skilfully implemented the clumsy movement of heavy objects. Grasping the objects, on the other hand, often proved to be a bit fiddly.
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Bonelab: Realistic body feeling thanks to physics engine
If you move your real hip, the avatar’s hand also touches this spot on the virtual body, according to the studio’s plan. For this purpose, the game maps the avatar to the player’s own body. This works even if players are much slimmer or fuller than their virtual character. The studio was silent on how the respective body circumference measurement works.
Haptic feedback should additionally increase the sense of presence. However, a hand-tracking control system has not been mentioned yet. By the way, the game was developed with the Unity Engine.
Bonelab’s Steam presence reveals that the user’s own avatars can also be imported. Apparently, there is also mod support for Quest 2. After playing through the story, levels from users and experimental modes should provide additional variety. Even a go-kart excursion on a huge bowling alley is possible.
Conversions for Playstation VR (2) have not been announced yet. Only in January 2022, studio mouthpiece Brandon J Laatsch mentioned on Twitter that games from the company could appear on Playstation VR 2 with a “high possibility”.
He also confirmed on Twitter that Bonelab’s physics engine on the Quest 2 should not suffer from a downgrade. The processor of the standalone system is quite strong, after all.