As I continue to grow into the world of Virtual Reality through the HTC Vive and gather more and more experiences, I further become amazed at just how glorious and engaging it can be. Once more I found my muscles aching as I took my first steps into Raw Data, which can be played as a shooter or hack and slash, depending on the character players select.
During Raw Data’s free weekend on Steam I decided to put aside some time to see what the game is all about. Unfortunately, I only played two levels during my two hours of play, mostly because I continued to attempt to get a high score on the first mission. I’m a high score addict like that. But from what I experienced, players are placed in a room, with some cover, where waves of enemies come from all sides for players to shoot, while also avoiding taking fire themselves – that’s where those areas of cover really come in handy.
Actually, having just reviewed Gears of War 4, Raw Data reminded of a segment in that game where DeeBees continue to appear from all sides as J.D. and crew try to escape an elevator shaft. Playing the first level in Raw Data almost feels like a VR experience of that mission, except far better.
There are two heroes to start out with in Raw Data; one hero with a gun and another with a sword. Sure, it’s fun to hack and slash away at robots with a sword, and then also deflect enemy bullets with it, but I still preferred to be a gunslinging robot annihilator instead by choosing the pistol-packing hero for the majority of my time with the game.
The first mission is pretty easy and straight forward as it allows players to become familiar with the concept of the gameplay. There are many robots that appear and act as if they are almost a helpless zombie, but they will swing at the player if they get close enough. There are other robots that come prepped with an assault rifle that fires multiple shots at the player, but they weren’t overly difficult to handle. Things get challenging when there are multiple robots, including flying drones, that all start shooting at the same time.
Check out my gameplay video from the first mission.
What makes Raw Data really unique is the ability to aim to a location and shift to it. This allows players to move around the small room and behind cover by quickly shifting. However, it takes energy to shift, so it’s important to only move when necessary. It sucks getting caught up in a bad spot! Thankfully, players can still dodge bullets by moving their body around too. I’m also happy that shifting didn’t mess with my head at all or make me feel nauseated.
I had a great deal of fun playing the first mission multiple times as I attempted getting a higher score. I also enjoyed facing the large, rocket-firing robot in the first mission and realizing how much it sucks to get caught up in his way. But I also love shifting to the side wall where I could peak around and shoot it without taking rocket fire from it.
As I moved on to the second mission, that’s when things got a little bit spooky with Raw Data as players are in a dark room with robots that are crawling around and jumping at the player. It’s a little unnerving, especially as the flashlight is the player’s main source of light. I also took a moment to try the multiplayer which I was incredibly ill-prepared for as I saw enemies I had no business fighting against yet. But hey, the map looked awesome and the stronger enemies were impressive to see as well. It just means there’s a lot more to experience in Raw Data that my first two hours didn’t show me.
Raw Data is another VR shooting experience that puts my leg muscles to the test as I crouch and sidestep, as well as hide behind cover, while staying away from the enemies and avoiding their firepower. The first two missions are great, and I can’t wait to try out more in the future, because there is so much more to experience here.