What happens when you throw headcrabs, crowbars, and advanced physics puzzles into a dystopian cityscape? If the first thing that comes to mind is Half-Life 2, you’re only half right. Boneworks, by developer Stress Level Zero, is a clear homage to that and several other Valve classics. And while its mechanical ideas and atmosphere aren’t the most original, Boneworks’ best physics-driven moments manage to make VR feel more tangible than any other action-adventure game to date.
Physics-based arena games like Blade & Sorcery and Gorn have been a favorite of VR enthusiasts for years now, but Boneworks is the first VR game to take the idea of giving you a variety of objects, each with their own distinctively modeled weight and heft, and then use those as the components for solving single-player puzzles and combat. I was pleased to discover that there’s quite a thick campaign to progress through here, sprawling across nearly 13 different levels. There’s also a pretty cool original retrowave soundtrack by Michael Wyckoff, and it adds flavor to the overall ‘Half-Life meets Tron’ style that Boneworks is shooting for.