As the age of true consumer VR dawns, so too does a new age of consumer-focused VR coverage. At UploadVR we’ve always been dedicated to providing the most exhaustive and detailed coverage of the fast-paced and evolving VR industry, so in order to continue doing that as these technologies and experiences evolve into purchasable products, it’s up to us to help you make informed decisions. You’re not on the outside looking in anymore – these are devices and experiences that you can actually buy with your own money and use with your own time. Because of that, we need to shift our focus a little bit when it comes to covering some stuff, specifically games and other types of VR content.
As is customary for media publications, we’ll be producing full, detailed reviews of finished games, interactive experiences/films, and other types of VR experiences. These reviews will be in addition to our existing features, interviews, previews, and editorials that we’re known for. But since VR content is available out in the wild as finished products now, it’s important that we address their quality and value to end users like yourself. Naturally, one of the best ways to do that, is via detailed reviews. As a result, unless specifically stated in a unique circumstance, Early Access titles and similarly unfinished content will not be given formal review scores.
We’ll provide long, detailed reviews for larger apps, shorter and more concise reviews for simpler ones, and in many cases, even supplement the written reviews with video reviews as well. But across all lengths and formats of our reviews, one constant that you’ll see is an overall Final Score attached to each and every review at the end. These are used to serve as an overall barometer for a piece of content’s quality, as the individual reviewer determines, but the writing within the review itself should be the primary force used to guide your thoughts on the particular piece of content.
Since numbers are tricky and carry a lot of baggage, we’ve put together this review score breakdown guideline on what each number means when reviewing a game at UploadVR.
10/10 – Masterpiece
Games and other pieces of VR content that receive a score of 10 aren’t totally flawless, since nothing is quite flawless, but they are masterworks in essentially every aspect. Everything comes together in such a perfectly orchestrated way that it leaves you utterly breathless. Few apps achieve this mark, but when they do, they’re landmark titles in their respective genre.
9/10 – Amazing
These are must-experience pieces of content that do almost everything correctly, and then some. These are the types of experiences that you buy a platform specifically to try – the system sellers, if you will – and they deserve immense praise and adoration. Just a couple minor snags are keeping them from reaching true Masterpiece status.
8/10 – Great
These are the apps that go above and beyond their primary intention to deliver something truly memorable. While a Good piece of content you might stop thinking about after finishing it, a Great one typically leaves an impression on you and keeps you coming back for more.
7/10 – Good
At this tier, the experience delivers on most promises and accomplishes what it set out to do, but it usually has a few mistakes that are too glaring to overlook. It’s far from bad, it’s labeled as Good after all, but it’s missing that “special” sauce that would have really pushed it over the edge. Good experiences are definitely considered worth trying for most people.
6/10 – Decent
Experiences at the Decent tier aren’t Bad, they’re just not really that Good either. Everything works properly and is likely accomplishing what the creators intended, it’s just not an overly compelling or engaging experience. Decent content usually only appeals to a certain audience and aren’t always worth trying right away.
5/10 – Mediocre
Experiences that receive a Mediocre score exist and don’t do a whole lot else. They may take the form of shallow tech demos, unrealized potential, or just flat out boring implementations of an unoriginal idea, but in all cases, they’re bland and uninspired. While they may not be necessarily Bad or painful to try, they’re just…blah. Usually not recommended.
4/10 – Disappointing
This tier is reserved for the experiences that leave no impression on you whatsoever other than the fact that you’d rather not be experiencing them. They’re not Good, but they’re not so Bad that it ruins your palette for other things. Meaningless experiences that leave you no different than when they found you. Not recommended.
3/10 – Bad
This score is reserved for experiences that you truly have trouble finding redeeming qualities for. In most all cases this is a Bad app in every way and has no value for potential players, other than to possibly sour their appetite for better things. Not recommended.
2/10 – Horrible
These are the experiences that future designers and developers should look at as textbook examples of what not to do. Not only are they bad, but they are often in such an irreparable state that it’s borderline painful to try them. Under no circumstances are Horrible rated experiences recommended.
1/10 – Unforgivable
This is the lowest tier and should be reserved exclusively for experiences that are unplayable, broken, and absolutely unsalvageable. Unforgivable experiences may even be regarded as offensive to think that they were released in such a horrid and miserable state. Stay far away from these at all costs.
Update 4/30/2017: This guideline was updated to apply to all types of VR content, not just games.