Oculus has added a vital component of gaming to its Rift and Gear VR headsets: achievements. An update featuring the change will be rolling out to all
Oculus Home users between now and the next few weeks; they’ll see achievements from Minecraft, Anshar Wars 2, and Hitman Go right away, with more developers adding them in the future. By default, users will be able to see what achievements their friends have unlocked, although new privacy settings will let people opt out of sharing that information.
Oculus Home is still pretty bare-bones compared to gaming platforms like Steam, Xbox Live, or the PlayStation Network. In the case of the Rift, a number of players will be launching games through Steam instead of Oculus Home, so this won’t make much of a difference to them. And many people probably don’t care much about achievements at all. But while there are certainly bad implementations — like, maybe don’t ruin your romance subplot with a trophy — I happen to personally love them. Here are some great things you can do with achievements:
- Hint at side quests and Easter eggs without shoehorning instructions directly into a game
- Help me keep track of big choices I’ve made in story games that I play multiple times, over the course of years
- Subtly suggest different courses of action I might find satisfying
- Make silly meta-jokes about the nature of achievements
- Make me feel good about knowing I’m part of the 1.2 percent of players who managed to perform a gameplay task with some kind of extremely arbitrary restriction, probably with the help of a YouTube guide — this isn't sarcasm, I really do like it.
So go forth, VR players and developers, and embrace this new world.