‘BONELAB’, Successor to the Popular ‘BONEWORKS’, Announced for Quest 2 & PC VR


Formerly known only as ‘Project 4’, developer Stress Level Zero has officially announced BONELAB, the follow-up to its popular VR action sandbox game BONEWORKS. The game is set to launch on Quest 2 and PC VR this year.

It’s been nearly two and a half years since veteran VR developer Stress Level Zero released Boneworks, a VR action sandbox game that felt like a spiritual relative to the Half-Life and Portal games. Though Boneworks never made it to Quest, its successor—announced today as Bonelab—will launch on Quest 2 and PC VR.

Stress Level Zero revealed Bonelab today at the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase, where it showed off the first gameplay footage for the new title.

The Bonelab announcement trailer above shows us the game is very much a direct continuation of the first, featuring similar gameplay elements, enemies, and environments. It’s also teased that the original game’s ‘Arena’ and ‘Trials’ modes will return.

Image courtesy Stress Level Zero

Bonelab is said to be “built on its predecessor, pairing a brand new story with two years of innovation and interaction engine progress,” according to the developer.

The ‘interaction engine’ mentioned there is the underlying physics system that was at the heart of the original Boneworks. With nearly everything in the game being physically interactive, the system could really feel magical at times… but could just as easily fall victim to physics jankiness, as we wrote about in our review of the game.

With ‘two years of innovation’ since then, hopefully Bonelab will deliver a more consistently satisfying experience with less of the jank. Here’s a clip showing some satisfying physics destruction from the new system:

Developer Stress Level Zero also announced that Bonelab will support mods, which it says will allow you to “enhance your experience with new maps, new weapons, and new avatars.” Mods were something that felt sorely missing in the original Boneworks so we’re glad to hear they’ll be included, though it isn’t clear whether mods will be more limited on Quest 2 compared to the PC VR version of the game.

And one more thing we’re looking forward to from Bonelab is the game’s soundtrack (considering how great the original was). The developer confirmed to Road to VR that composer Michael Wyckoff is returning to score a brand new soundtrack for Bonelab (the first taste of which is heard in the game’s announcement trailer above).

Image courtesy Stress Level Zero

The release date for Bonelab set for 2022 on Quest 2 and PC VR, but a specific launch date has not be revealed.

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  • 3872Orcs

    Hopefully better performance on PC with a Quest optimized version.

    Boneworks ran horrible on my PC, especially the last level; from the stairs with the save checkpoint and up to the flying contraption is unplayable for me; major performance issues with that part of the game. And I never figured out the cause, I’ve troubleshooted the problem to death. I suspect there’s something about my computer the game does not like. It’s weird. I don’t experience performance issues in other VR games.

    My PC specs:

    PSU: Corsair RM850X V2 White 850W
    Motherboard: GIGABYTE Z390 AORUS PRO WIFI
    CPU: Intel Core i9 9900k
    GPU: MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Duke OC
    RAM: 32GB G.Skill TridentZ DDR4-3600 CL16
    SSD: Samsung 960Pro M2 SSD
    CPU Cooling: NZXT Kraken x62
    Case: Fractal Design Define R5
    Valve Index

    • PsYcHo

      you might wanna try vrperformance tool kit,with foveated rendering and fsr,helped me tremendously with minimal quality loss.

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      • 3872Orcs

        Yes I already use it, it does improve performance but does not solve this particular issue.

      • 3872Orcs

        Yes I tried that. Did not work. There’s something weird about Boneworks and some component in my PC it don’t like.

        • Fordeal Isbad

          do you do any cpu intensive work? maybe something limiting it since its required for physics

    • Mikael Korpinen

      I had a lot slower specs during time I played the game and it run perfectly.
      and intel 5960x
      Vive pro 2

  • Arno van Wingerde

    Hm… this physics destruction demo looks nice… but it requires that every object is not only shown from the outside, but has all of its inner parts defined as well. Something tells me that is doen only for a few objects. Simpler objects like walls can of course come apart.

  • Mikael Korpinen

    Boneworks was one of the best games I played. In some areas even better than half life.

    Happy to see a sequel.

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  • Marc W

    I loved Boneworks so much! I’ve clocked many many hours in the zombie warehouse map. If they smoothed out some of the kinks this is likely to end up as my favourite VR title of 2022, here’s hoping!

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