Raw Data has been in Early Access since July of 2016, but hit its full release this week. Raw Data is a VR only shooter available on the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. A PSVR version will be out here shortly, but for now it is a PC exclusive. Raw Data is very much a shooting gallery with a story, but it takes everything that has come to VR before it and learned, adapted and perfected the ideas.
The single player story is pretty basic, but manages to keep you engaged up through to the very end. You are in the future fighting robots for survival. That is about all that you need to know to get started with Raw Data, but where this game sets itself apart from other VR shooters is its levels and environmental design. Each level is carefully crafted and astounding to look at. Raw Data is probably the most visually stunning game in its vein that I have seen on a VR headset so far.
The story in Raw Data is intriguing, if not a little played out. Everything here has been done before and not much is original to this game, but it all takes a back seat to the gameplay which I was more than ok with. I never really felt like I was missing out with the story, it just never really came out and wowed me above and beyond the gameplay itself. There is a good bit of story to find in the world if you seek it out, but I always found myself pushing toward the next engagement and not concerning myself too much with the ancillary details. Again, this is by no means a bad thing. As most VR experiences so far have shown, the look and feel of the world, as well as the way the game plays matter more right now than an incredibly in depth story to follow. I can get a great story in a standard game, I want VR to be an out of this world amazing experience that I can?t get elsewhere.
Movement and controls in Raw Data follow the precedent that most other VR shooters have set. Point and click teleportation moves you around the map while you wield your weapons with the controllers and point and shoot. If it?s not broken, don?t fix it. This seems to be the best way to effectively build VR shooters for the home space so I see no reason it should change right now.
The true selling point here is the multiplayer aspect. Real life, PvP VR multiplayer has found a home in Raw Data. The feeling of actually pitting yourself against another person in a man to man shoot off where you are both trying to avoid being hit while simultaneously take the other person down is thrilling, much more so than any shooter that uses a standard controller. This is the most unique aspect of Raw Data and the piece that really makes it worth the $40 price tag. As the game grows and the player base increases I really look forward to some more heavily populated servers and can see this becoming the go to VR shooter for years to come.
Raw Data is hands down the best shooting experience to come to VR in its life so far. I loved the gameplay in the single player element and can?t get enough of the multiplayer. The inclusion of classes brings a new aspect to the genre and adds replayability, and as long as the developers keep up with new content for the multiplayer and the communities sticks with it this will be the VR game that everyone talks about when bringing up the pros of the technology.