First Impressions: Raw Data

by: John -
More On: Raw Data

Raw Data has been teased for a while with some folks being able to get their hands on an early beta. It was finally released on Early Access a few days ago and having played it, it’s definitely one of the more polished VR titles out there.

Raw Data is basically a wave shooter with various types of robots coming at you. The Early Access version gives you two characters to play with, a robotic ninja with a retractable katana, and an Equilibrium like Cleric that is equipped with a pistol. More will come later on with new weapons such as bows and shotguns. Each character also has a few special powers and upgrades that they can get later on.

I thought the pistol was really satisfying to use and had a ton of fun getting headshots on the robots coming after you. The sword seems more effective in certain situations though, and sometimes not so much. There were times you would see your sword swing right through a robot and no damage is dealt. Other times, you can take them down with one shot. I spent more time throwing the sword as that seemed to really do some good damage more often than not. This inconsistency makes it hard to really get into using the robot ninja sometimes, but more refinement should come and it should be a pretty fun class to play with once all the kinks are worked out.

Unlike some wave shooters out there, you aren’t confined to one area. You can do what is called a blurred sprint to different areas in the room as well as move around in your Vive specific room scale area. The sprint isn’t as instantaneous as a teleport that you see in most Vive games, but it’s pretty close to it. I was pleased to see that it didn’t make me nauseous, but that could be that I’m pretty used to movement when using an HTC Vive. Still from what I’ve read, most people have no problem with this move mechanic.

The graphics are really well done and you can see the team at Survios has spent some good amount of time making the animations and atmosphere very immersive. I particularly liked how the different robots would move towards you. Some would just lumber like old fashioned robots would do, others would act more human in their movements, while some others..well I’ll just won’t say anymore so you can be surprised. It can get a little too dark at times so I think a future addition such as a flashlight attachment to your gun would be a nice option. There’s a lot of neon incorporated into the environments and some interactions with computer panels in the early build. If you’re a fan of futuristic sci-fi elements, then Raw Data is your cup of tea.

Raw Data allows two people to play cooperatively and that’s one big selling point of the game. The robots can overwhelm you pretty quickly and it’s great to have someone guard your back. Danger comes from all directions so you have to be on a constant state of awareness, looking around as much as possible. With a friend, it’s a lot less stressful and more fun as well.

Because it’s an Early Access game, there are some bugs here and there to try fix. While most of the time, the game does a good job at modeling your hands and forearm, there are instances where they can just bend in an unnatural position even when you aren’t doing anything out of the ordinary. You’ll also find yourself clipping into robots at various times and that breaks the immersion pretty quickly when you see some partial polygons of a robot you’re standing on top of.  There were also some AMD issues that was patched pretty quickly.

It’s a great start and a game I’m really looking forward to seeing grow. More characters and more levels are needed, but for now, Raw Data looks to be one of the more premier titles for the HTC Vive and one that will get your adrenaline pumping and making feel like you’re right in the middle of an action movie.

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