I only purchased one piece of new tech in 2017 which is strange as I usually jump on all new devices as soon as they become available. However, the new tech I bought was something I had owned once before, PSVR. When I initially purchased it, on release day, I was forced into selling it as I needed the cash and the camera port wasn’t working on my OG PS4. Fast forward to the end of 2017 and with my new PS4 Pro and all the deals going on, I couldn’t say no to re-purchasing it. Since buying PSVR, I have tried to play/experience as much as I can to see what I was missing out on and I have a few favourite games like Shooty Fruity, which is my best Static shooter and the REC Room being my favourite social game. But what about Raw Data? It’s a game created by Survios and originated as a PC VR title and later ported over to the PSVR. Come find out if I thought the game was as enjoyable as ‘Terminator 2’ or ‘Terminator Genesys’…
**All images captured on the social screen – in-game is much higher quality and the VR effect is a lot better than what you will see here**
The year is 2271 and there is one company who pretty much runs the world, the Eden Corp. Their newest creation, the Program, promises a kind of immortality to all users; however, our protagonists would like to uncover whats really going on behind closed doors and as a member of Syndik8 you are tasked with the mission to infiltrate and receive the’raw data’. With this data, you plan on uncovering all the mysteries and secrets which are being hidden away from the public and use them to your advantage as you aim to expose the company and take them down from the inside. As a group of four varied protagonists, you have four different play styles and weapon-sets to play with; however, on PSVR you will be completing your missions alone as there doesn’t appear to be any sign of a co-op mode on the horizon (unlike the PC version which has a multiplayer and co-op built in).
The story is rather generic but it holds up. The story isn’t forced down your throat and you can skip collecting the optional data files if you wish and don’t mind being unable to achieve 100%. Quite a few times I just jumped in, skipped the story and took on the various missions – you don’t need any story to know how to defend an item or slay all of the enemies. Now, the question is, why did I refer to Terminator in my opening paragraph? As soon as I jumped into the game for the first time I instantly felt like I wasn’t taking over and uncovering Eden Corp but rather I was trying to expose and take down Skynet! Your main enemy isn’t technically the corporation, it’s the robotic defences they have set up. You will be taking down small flying drones, hordes of T-1000 foot soldiers and even 10ft tall angry robots!
As mentioned above, you have the option of four protagonists, each with their own weapons, upgrades, abilities and even skin sets. We have; Bishop with his Pistol, Boss with his shotgun, Elder comes with a bow, and Saija uses a katana. Personally, I started off with Bishop as I was more used to using guns in VR and I absolutely love it! The attention to detail in this game is amazing as you were using one hand for your gun and the other grabs ammo from your belt in order to reload. After a while, you receive an upgrade to pack two pistols at the same time! In order to reload now, you simply slam your pistol onto your belt and your clip will slide right in! If you have ever seen the film Equilibrium or The Matrix – I felt like the main protagonist of those films at times as I span around with arms stretched out shooting enemies all around me!
I tried out all of the different protagonists, your in-game arms and body changes with each selection and the range of weaponry are great. With the bow, you pull the move controllers back like a real bow and then release – the shotgun is a massive gun, like really massive! – the katana allows you to re-enact being a Jedi as you slice through all the enemies and cut their head off! No matter which one you prefer, you will find one you love and most likely stick with it and unlock all the upgrades and secondary attacks.
The game itself is fairly simple in premise tbh. There are ten floors in the Eden Corp tower and you must go through each of them as you aim to protect and destroy. You arrive on a floor, in a self-contained ‘arena’ of sorts – some are simply a room with various obstacles and some are massive areas with floating platforms and giant reactors. You place your hacking device onto the console and the game begins – wave after wave of enemies who increasingly get more difficult will begin to home in on your location. Their main directive is to protect the data and kill anyone who gets in their way.
After you have progressed a few levels, you obtain the ability to use secondary devices such as turrets which can be placed on the ground akin to a tower defence game. These become invaluable as you are off stopping enemies on one side of the room, your turrets can be holding off the enemies on the other. It feels like this works well, but the turrets don’t last long and it would have been a million times better if another human could jump in to help you out – as that seems to be what the game was built for.
The premise of a wave-based shooter can sound like it will get repetitive but in my many hours of gameplay, I never grew tired or bored of the game. As soon as you are used to a certain enemy and you are confident nothing can stop you, the game throws in new enemies with different weak points and more of a temper than the last one! Numerous times I was thrown off the building and smashed into the walls yet I always got back up and fought again.
In terms of VR, Nausea and dying – the game has all three! You have to use the move controllers but you have two play styles. Either you teleport around (meaning enemies don’t run at you, to keep it fair, but you are limited in your movements) or you have a free-roam mode (the best but hardest to master/stomach). In Free-roam you hold the left controller vertically and hold the main button – as you move it, akin to a flight stick, your character will move in all four directions, with rotating being done by the bottom two buttons on the controller. This gives you greater control but can result in becoming nauseated a lot quicker which means shorter play times. In terms of dying, I had all safety options off and I would occasionally be thrown off the platform to my death – as someone who doesn’t like heights, this process did affect me a little – but I believe there are options to restrict seeing the whole ‘thrown from a high ledge’impact.
I personally played the game with the latter controls as I don’t like teleporting in games and would rather stomach a more nauseating experience than having to point and jump everywhere – but both methods are there along with ‘safety’ features to help you slow down the nausea effect like incremental turns.
The graphics in the game are probably among the best I’ve seen in VR so far. Let’s be honest, the game isn’t all bright and colourful like Shooty Fruity but it’s dark, atmospheric and incredibly realistic once you put on your headset. /the game also received a PS4 Pro update which helped refine the graphical quality and increased the texture quality from what I can see. Along with the sound effects, which are perfect in both tone and quality and the music which really sets the atmosphere – this game is a joy to play and anyone who likes FPS or wave-based games and owns a PSVR should definitely add this to their collection.
VR wise this is one of the few games from 2017 which I feel uses the move controllers and tech at hand correctly. As long as you stay visible to the camera, everything works perfectly, the tracking is great, the move controls feel natural and realistic, and the use of the weapons make it seem like you are actually there. This is definitely one to pop into your ‘use to show off PSVR’ folder to ‘wow’ your friends with.
Raw Data is a great game to show off your PSVR with. This isn’t an entry-level PSVR and I don’t recommend jumping in and turning off all safety features for your first playthrough – however, once you are used to the controls and movement style which suits you, this game is so much fun and can be played in both short bursts and long stretches. Sadly, the Multiplayer and Co-op haven’t made it to the PSVR version which does affect its overall appeal and replayability factor. Highly recommend this game to anyone who likes the genre and is looking to increase their PSVR library.
**Code provided by developer for review purposes**
- Best 'moving' shooter on the PSVR (in my opinion) so far
- Great music and sound effects
- Varied protagonists with their own upgrade trees and weapons
- Easy to pick-up-and-play in short or long sessions
- PS4 Pro enhanced
- No Multiplayer or Co-op in the PSVR version
- Levels may start to get repetitive if you aren't into wave-based horde modes