Raw Data, the newest shooter out now on the PSVR from studio Survios, has been around for a while. The developer released the early access beta for PCVR over a year ago, and it has been tweaking it ever since. Did those tweaks result in a must-own PlayStation VR title, or another extended tech demo? Keep reading to find out.
The story is this: The year is 2271 and a company called Eden Corp runs the world. Their products and services permeate life and dominate the world’s economy. The company’s newest endeavor—called the Program—promises something akin to immortality. But at what cost, and what do they really want? As a member of an elite hacker group called Syndik8, you’ll be tasked with infiltrating the heart of Eden Corp to extract as much raw data as possible, and expose them to the world.
There are ten levels of the Eden Corp tower you’ll be exploring as any one of four different hackers. I started with Bishop the gun cleric. Using the PlayStation Move controllers, you’ll eventually wield dual pistols. As you progress, you can unlock upgrades and different firing modes that really spice up the shooting. Playing as Bishop gives you the most familiar gameplay, but it was still a lot of fun. Besides Bishop, there is a shotgun wielding bruiser called Boss. The obligatory VR bow and arrow character called the Green Arrow (not really, but he is green, so he might as well be). And my favorite, a cyber-ninja, laser sword wielding badass named Saija. Honestly, all four of them are fun to play as and each of them uses motion mechanics with their chosen weapons that feel satisfying and immersive. Assuming the PSVR tech cooperates, that is.
Speaking of the tech, there are the occasional glitches, and a simple Google search will prove that the graphics took a pretty big hit from the game’s first computer iteration. For me, however, I forgot about any sub par graphics as soon as the robots started inching their way towards me. A far greater concern than the graphics would be the PS camera. When the camera can see you and the controllers, the shooting and stabbing feel fabulous. But when the proverbial brown stuff hits the fan (and it will), and when you get turned around (and you will), expect some frustration. This isn’t new, of course, and certainly isn’t any fault of the team at Survios, but for some reason I found it more difficult than on many other games to get back in line with the camera. Maybe that’s me, but I thought it fair to mention.
As I mentioned, when you are in full view of the camera, the combat is a blast. Shooting robots in the face or cutting off their head has never been more fun. Did I mention there is a freaking laser sword here? Sure, Raw Data is little more than another wave shooter on a system with a shitload of wave shooters, but this is the best of the bunch.
You’ll have to play the game with a couple of Move controllers, which means Survios had to get creative to offer full locomotion, which is the ability to free walk about the map. Teleportation is still the default movement style, but I greatly preferred the full locomotion option. The best part about this option is it allows you the best of both worlds. You can walk about freely when it pleases you, but with a double tap on the left hand Move button, you’ll teleport to the direction you’re pointing. The ability to shoot across the room when things get hairy is a huge advantage and one I took advantage of liberally in the latter stages of the game. The free movement is all handled with the left Move stick and takes some getting used to. Click turning is handled with the right Move controller, and sadly at this time, there is no option for smooth turning.
The story is loosely filled in between rounds, but like I said, the game is basically a wave shooter. You ride an elevator to a section of the building, insert the data collector into a giant mainframe, and try to stay alive as a bunch of different robots come creeping out of the woodwork to eat your lunch. You have basic creeping death robots, which simply try to bash your head in, while others come out firing rifles. You’ll be hit with drones and many different giant robots that act as mini bosses. The variety is really well done, and the overall polish of the game is impressive.
My biggest complaint in the game is the fact that the team at Survios hasn’t implemented the multiplayer or co-op mode that is currently part of the computer version. I’m sure they’ll add it eventually, but in the meantime, it’s disappointing that us PSVR’ers are left wanting.
In the end, Raw Data didn’t reinvent the wheel, nor did it perfect it. But it comes closer than all of the other wave shooters out there, and the $30 price tag feels more than justified. If you like shooting, or if you’ve ever wanted to be a Jedi, than you should probably buy this game. And if you don’t like those two things, then why the hell you playing video games to begin with?
Raw Data PS4/PSVR Review
While at its core it may only be another wave shooter, the depth, polish and unique characters make it rise above the pack. If and when the multiplayer and co-op are added, consider it an absolute must-have. Plus you can wield a laser sword.
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a digital copy of the game bought at the expense of the reviewer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
Reviewed using base PS4.