Saturday, 25 Jun 2022

Best VR Of 2019 Nominee: Boneworks Embodies A New Era Of VR Play

The road to UploadVR’s Best of 2019 awards starts here! Every weekday for the next fortnight, we’ll be revealing one of the ten nominees for our Overall VR Game/Experience of the Year, counting down to the reveal of our full list of categories and nominees later in December. Today we’re looking at the unmatched physical playground found inside Boneworks.

As we worked our way through Boneworks recently, Jamie Feltham finished the main storyline in about six hours while I took about double that time. He found himself stumped by puzzles I got through quickly while I needed his assistance to get through another part of the game which absolutely confounded me. We had varying reactions to the smooth locomotion and intense climbing mechanics of the game, with my sensitive stomach requiring a couple eyes-closed-in-bed sessions to let my body recover.

What we both discovered in Boneworks very quickly, and found comparable amounts of love and appreciation for, was the incredible and unparalleled physically interactive playground the developers at Stress Level Zero made for players to find their way through. David Jagneaux discovered it too in his first few minutes playing through the game, which arranges its first tutorial level as a sort of history of VR.

The moment can be found around 28 minutes into his launch day livestream:

This contrast between “traditional virtual space” and the physical responsiveness of everything in the Boneworks environment is striking, funny, and also entirely accurate. After being inside Boneworks for a dozen or more hours climbing, pushing and grabbing everything around you, it’ll be harder to experience content in VR that does anything else.

When I first tried Boneworks earlier this year I wrote that it felt “like the first next generation VR game” and, after finishing the campaign, and seeing the first trailer for what Valve is planning with Half-Life: Alyx, I believe that description fits perfectly.

Stress Level Zero’s Boneworks is available on Steam for around $30.

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