Boneworks is a Physics-Focused Virtual Reality (VR) First-Person Shooter (FPS). I’ve recently started playing it and here are my thoughts.
Going into Boneworks, I had heard that it was very physics heavy, similar to Half-Life Alyx. Initially it was just a tech demo; but then later became a full game.
I’ve been playing Half-Life Alyx for the past little while, and I loved how interactive the environment was. Boneworks is very similar in the sense that the devs put a lot of focus on the hard-body physics and created some interesting physics puzzles.
Boneworks has a very similar play-style to Alyx – lots of things to interact with in the environment. You can pick up boxes to smash them open, look through drawers to find goodies, and push/pull/poke levers/buttons/knobs to do more.
So far into the game, I feel as though the story follows a dark-souls model: There’s no one really spoon-feeding you the story via the main character talking or plenty of cut scenes. Instead, there’s a few cut scenes presented in two main forms.
The first one is where you appear in a room with no windows or doors, and there’s a giant TV that plays the content. So far IIRC I’ve only seen two videos in this form and there has been no words – just video and music.
The second form is when talking heads appear on computer monitors throughout the levels. I accidentally missed the content of one as I partially entered a room with one of those TVs and backed out to fight some enemies. Unfortunately the videos only play once and you can’t replay them.
The gun-play in Boneworks is alright. The aiming and shooting mechanics work; however, there are a few quirks.
When I was aiming in Boneworks, I felt as though it was a bit off. When I initially brought the pistols up and took the first shot, the tended to not land where I thought they would.
I went through some of my videos frame-by-frame and noticed a lot of my shots weren’t perfectly lined up. My front sight tended to be a bit high, which would result in my shots going high. But to compensate, I would need to use the 6:00 hold. This would explain why I felt aiming was a bit off.
I’ve realized that it probably feels off because I’m used to playing a different VR game. I assume the angle between the controller and what the firearm is represented as in VR differ just enough to feel off. See the post under the reloading section for more details.
I explain the balance VR dev’s need to handle with Realism vs Ease-of-use in my blog post here:
Boneworks took reloading and tried making it easier. Most other VR titles, you would have a dedicated button to drop the magazine. Boneworks – you either grab below the firearm to pull the magazine out, or you tap the firearm with the new magazine and the old one falls out. If your slide is locked back, then you can release it by either pulling on the slide, or pulling the trigger.
I can see how new VR users would prefer a simpler mechanic to reload. However, I much prefer the full-process version with a small assist with aligning the magazine to get it in. See my Pavlov Review, or Gun Club VR Review.