Raw Data PlayStation VR Review

Publisher: Survios  Developer: Survios  Genre: FPS, Action  Players: 1  Age Rating: 16+  

Other console/handheld formats: N/A

PlayStation VR has had its fair share of wave shooters, so it does have to be something rather special to stand out. First person game Raw Data is one such game, taking the wave shooter and making it feel utterly sublime to play. This is all thanks to plenty of smart design choices on the part of developer Survios, which does nothing more than give the game loads of appeal.

Taking place in the future, Raw Data has a fairly intriguing story that involves a huge corporation called Eden Corp as well as a hacker group called SyndiK8. Without me explaining any further, you have probably already came to the conclusion that Eden Corp are rather shady, and Syndik8 are attempting to expose them, hopefully opening them up until all their secrets are laid bare. You also have an AI companion called Simon whom works on several levels as the comic relief of the game as well as an enjoyable and evolving character.

Visually, while the game doesn’t look anywhere near as sharp as this in the PSVR headset, it still doesn’t look too bad at all.

So how do you go about exposing the dodgy Eden Corp? You have to extract large amounts of data, protecting the giant cube-shaped Data Core as it goes through the download process. As a wave based shooter this obviously means that as you defend the Data Core you have to fight off waves of enemies who are attempting to stop you in your tracks.

These enemies include a variety of robots whom not only attack you but also focus on destroying the data core as well, and said robots explode satisfyingly, with the ‘ping’ that is heard when you score a headshot also never getting old. With all the latter said, Raw Data is an exciting and tense game, particularly as you have to survive five waves of enemies on each of the ten levels in order to complete the task that you are there for. As for if the robots complete their objective by destroying the Data Core, then it’s back to the start of the level for you.

When it comes to movement in the game, there are actually two options available to you, although two PlayStation Move controllers are always required whatever the case. You can either move around normally or you can use a teleportation method, and both of these do take a little while to get used to. I largely used the walk method, although as the game requires PlayStation Move this obviously means that, with no sticks available, you’ll be moving around by pressing buttons. Even with the free movement system it’s possible to make ground up quickly with a teleportation move. With a little experimentation, I’m sure that most people will find a manner that is comfortable for them.

Raw Data has four different hacker characters, and the best thing about these characters is that they are each very distinct. Bishop is armed with a pistol that is capable of stronger charged shots for example, Saija wields a katana that can return bullets to their senders, Boss carries a pump action shotgun that must be pumped when the barrel is empty, and Elder has a bow and arrow at hand, which mechanically works in the way that you would expect such a weapon to work. The mostly smooth feedback from the Move controllers makes the game feel like a truly authentic action game for the most part, and add this in with the VR perspective and you have a game which may make you forget that there’s a world outside the headset that doesn’t have killer robots….yet.

You’ll eventually unlock pistol dual wielding, charged shots, and quicker reloading for Bishop and dual swords and a fun telekinetic ability for Saija, while Boss has a bionic arm, and Elder receives multi arrows, to name a few of the abilities on offer to the noble hackers. All the characters also have Ultimate abilities, which are helpful in getting you out of a bind. Bishop is able to fire a quick flurry of bullets and make use of slow motion, Saija can jump up in the air, smashing down to cause massive damage, and can also fire out beams from her sword, Boss can send enemies up in the air, leaving them vulnerable to attack, and he is also use a flurry of punches from his bionic arms. Finally, Elder can slow down and damage enemies with an area attack, and also fire out explosive arrows. The Ultimate abilities enter cool down once used, which means that you just can’t keep firing them off one after the other.

You can also set up turrets and shields in the game, which prove to be helpful at levelling the playing field. You can’t just place an unlimited amount of these though, as you first must purchase them with points that you earn from killing enemies. It’s also possible to repair damaged turrets and shields, which also makes use of your points. These extra offensive and defensive options are great little additions that can be the difference between victory and defeat, and makes the game feel a little like a tower defence game.

The PSVR version sadly lacks the multiplayer seen in other versions.

While the level design of Raw Data is impressively varied, sadly the same can’t be said of the range of enemies that you’ll be facing. As impressive as they may be in design, you’ll quickly see all the different robotic foes that the game offers, which is a shame, and it just doesn’t feel as if there are enough of them to spread them across the duration of the campaign. The game also has tracking issues from time to time, although perhaps this is the fault of the aging PlayStation Move and camera hardware as opposed to the game itself. This doesn’t happen enough to ruin the game entirely, but it can ruin an attempt on a level if you aren’t able to get it quickly sorted out.

All in all though, Raw Data is a hugely enjoyable VR wave shooter, which has a lot more variation than you might expect thanks to the four different characters. There’s bound to be a character that will be suited to your play style, but it’s also enjoyable to explore the differences of each character, and to unlock each and every one of their abilities, making the game highly replayable. A few problems hold the game back from a higher score, but this is definitely a game that I’d highly recommend to any PlayStation VR owner who is looking for plenty of intense and robotic action.