Bonelab’s avatar-swapping gameplay could make for a unique VR experience
Bonelab might be one of the most extraordinary VR games of the year. New video footage shows why.
Bonelab is the successor to the PC VR game Boneworks, which broke new ground with its physics simulation and influenced other VR games, including Half-Life: Alyx.
In Boneworks, objects, environments, and even your avatar obey physical laws. This increases realism and enables novel interactions and gameplay mechanics.
“In Boneworks, the player’s physicality and the physical presence of his environment is a fundamental part of the gameplay,” writes MIXED colleague Max in his Boneworks review.
Bonelab: Choose your body!
Stress Level Zero has been working on the sequel for almost three years. Bonelab is the first game from the roughly 20-person studio to also be released for a mobile VR platform, in this case Meta Quest 2.
This hasn’t hurt the sophisticated physics simulation. With Bonelab, the development team stays true to its recipe for success and even goes one better with avatar physics.
In Bonelab you can switch between several avatars with their own physical characteristics in the middle of the game. Want to be fast? Transform yourself into a nimble runner. Want to be able to take more hits and hurl opponents through the air? Choose the pot-bellied robot. Want to crawl through a narrow shaft? Slip into the skin of a small anime character.
The scale, feel, physics, and proportions change every time, so you should get the approximate feeling of being in different bodies.
Mod support at launch
Not much is known about the game’s story. You discover an underground lab as a nameless outcast and take part in experiments and challenges (as a guinea pig?). The studio promises arenas, obstacle courses, tactical trials, and user-generated levels.
Yes, that’s right: Bonelab offers modding support. Level and avatar mods will be available at launch, with items and vehicles to be added later. Bonelab is supposed to be a kind of VR experimentation sandbox, a Garry’s Mod for virtual reality. You can install the mods within the game.
Yesterday, Stress Level Zero revealed the release date: Bonelab will be released for Meta Quest 2 and on Steam on September 29.
An exclusive video from Node (see above) shows the avatar’s body change and other aspects of the PC VR version of the game. There is also a new trailer.
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