The Beginning of the VR Boom, Bonelab


Maylin Knoblich, Review Writer

Have you ever played a video game and been so immersed that you forgot about everything in the real world? Virtual reality brings this feeling straight to the forefront every single time. The interactiveness and innovativeness of making you the main character on multiple levels is new territory. 

Bonelab brings this immersion to something we have not seen before in this gaming genre. Bonelab is an experimental physics-orientated game. Parkour, gun ranges, mods, and much more are accessible whenever you need them.

Bonelab is a sequel to Boneworks, a physics game that included a sandbox released in 2019 that had shaken the virtual reality community. It is still widely renowned as one of the best virtual reality games ever created. The game won an award for best VR title of 2019 and boasted millions of sales.

Bonelab had large shoes to fill when it came to its release in September of 2022. If it were going to compete with its sister game Boneworks in the same category, it would have to be good. The game was widely discussed, gaining perceptions that it would outdo Boneworks in every way.

Bonelab runs an engine created by the developers of Stress Level Zero called the Marrow Engine. The Marrow Engine gives your player a more polished skeleton than any other game. The interaction between your character and the world around you because of this engine is the most advanced of its time.

The marrow engine also adds something that is a brand new concept for virtual reality. The weight of your character is realistic to the point that if you step on something thin and you are a larger character, you will break that thin object.

The size of your character also matters. Let’s say your character is 9 feet tall; this will make the strength of your character more than smaller characters. If you mod in a giant character, you can pick up entire people with two fingers. Heavy objects are more easily lifted, and the weight resistance is less.

Bonelab has many features that many other games don’t have. This includes a mod menu embedded in the game. This allows both pc and Quest players to download any mod from the internet and directly import it into the game and use it.

There are many modding options that you can install and use. These include Character models, maps, weapons and tools, and many more.

Overall this game has been fascinating. From what I have played, it is unlike anything I’ve ever played. The closest thing is Boneworks which Bonelab was inspired by. Everything you do in this game feels very fluid and with no resistance.

Everything has a physical feeling, and nothing you touch, including your body, has a phase through, even while carrying an object. This means that if you feel something or hit an object, it will not phase through it; instead, it collides with it.

Collisions, gravity, weight, force, and size, are all things that I experienced while playing this game that, while playing other games, I never thought I would experience. Before Boneworks and Bonelab, the idea that these things would be in virtual reality seemed like something straight out of a science fiction book.

The gameplay and the mechanics of this game make me feel like I’m living in a sci-fi world where virtual reality is much more than just a new place to play video games. Bonelab, unlike any other game, has been able to immerse me into its world to the point where I forget where I’m standing if it weren’t for the connection cable between the headset and the PC.

Bonelab just consistently makes me excited for the future of Virtual reality and where these simple physics-oriented games will lead us in making our games feel the most realistic.

Bonelab is even more accessible to people who can’t afford Pc Vr, being the first Stress Level Zero release on a quest. This masterpiece of a game comes in at ten gigs of storage, allowing it to be accessible on the quest and Pc alike, letting anyone who owns a headset, good quality or bad, play this game-changing game.