VR games are becoming all the rage now. With people clamoring for more and more immersion in their gaming worlds of choice, nothing can really come close to the suspension of disbelief that this new wave of games create. Whether you’re stealthily sneaking around in a haunted house, or repelling waves of enemies with your guns, VR games can provide a visceral experience that is so realistic that I’m wondering what sort of legal coverage their developers have. Some of these VR games seem so realistic that I fear for the safety of the gamers that get a little too wrapped up in them (heart attacks, etc.).
Speaking of wave-based games, game developer Servios’s new shoot-em-up (and slice-em-up as well), Raw Data, just debuted after about a year and a half of sitting in Early Access. Although there were already a bevy of wave-based shooters that were being developed around the same time as Raw Data, it stood out head and shoulders among the many wannabes.
Personally, I rate VR games based on two primary factors: Their immersion factor (i.e. how convinced you are that you’re actually playing in a virtual reality), and their storylines (i.e. how good its writing and concept are). So how does Raw Data stack up with regards to these elements? Read on…
Story-wise, Raw Data doesn’t really offer anything breathtakingly different. However, as the saying goes: “There is nothing new under the sun.” In fact, most of the backstories that you see in games or movies these days are just different interpretations of the same Greek classics over and over. With this in mind, what makes a story a good story is how its storytellers tweak it and make it intriguing enough to warrant attention.
Raw Data’s world is a near-future dystopian affair, and tells the tale of a gigantic corporation called Eden Corp., which has slithered its tentacles in to just about everything. A vigilante cyberpunk group dubbed the SyndiK8 has done some digging around and (surprise!) discovered that Eden Corp. is anything but the benevolent conglomerate that it portrays to be to the world (much like Google). In fact, this massive corporation has been performing all sorts of dastardly deeds in the shadows, and it is up to the SyndiK8 insurgents to expose their nefarious acts.
The only thing, however, is that just like Silicon Valley, Eden has implemented a Box system wherein any data retrieval must be enacted locally. In other words, there is no way to remotely hack into Eden’s servers from afar. Any pilfering of data must be done from on the premises of Eden’s corporate home office. The catch? Eden Corp. definitely takes it security considerations very seriously. If fact, it controls a vast host of robotic security guards that can mobilize like an angry swarm of hornets around a tampered-with hornet’s nest.
Luckily for you, the SyndiK8 employs four operators who can really take care of business on the battlefield. First up, we have the lumbering Boss, who sports a bot-shredding shotgun as well as high explosive demolitions. Next up is Bishop, who is quickly becoming a fan favorite with his ability to dual-wield some pretty badass pistols. Not only is Bishop deadly at a distance with his laser-like aim, but he can also get deadly up close as well with his CQC pistol skills.
And speaking of CQC, for those who like their action strictly up close and personal, there’s the sword-swiping Saija. With a few flicks of her wrists, Saija can dismember the murderous machines with relative ease, granted she swiftly moves out of danger after doing so. And last but not least we have Elder, who seems to be one of the least used characters. Why? Well, my theory is that because he uses a bow and arrows as his weapon of choice, the actual application of said weapon system takes some getting used to. Personally, while I found his VR game mechanics a bit more challenging, he quickly became my favorite, go-to character to play because of his deft utilization of the relatively archaic weapon system that he brings to every battle. Plus, I just like playing underdogs to be honest.
While wading through throngs of devilish droids, Raw Data’s primary movement system is based on the utilization of a trackpad or stick for locomotion. However, there is also a handy-dandy teleport movement option as well. While the teleportation system is fun to use and can get you out of danger quickly (such as when you’re cornered or need to dodge a rather large attack), sometimes you can end up warping to a location that you didn’t intend to. Personally, I prefer the game’s manual movement system, as not only is it less disorienting, but it also amps up the immersion, especially when in the thick of battle. However, a combination of the two systems can also work as well.
Raw Data’s immersion factor is through the roof, with beautifully rendered environments, and great looking robotic antagonists. There were also plenty of times when a droid got the drop on my character and (because of the VR experience) literally scared the bejesus out of me. It certainly suspended my sense of disbelief and the game fooled me into thinking that I was really in its virtual world, locked in a life and death struggle against the mechanical minions of a massive, malevolent institution.
Once you’ve completed the rather lengthy main campaign, you can always jump into Raw Data’s full multiplayer PvP suite, with modes such as Dominate and Hostile Takeover. Multiplayer battles can really get frantically frenzied and are simply a blast to play. There’s nothing like feeling as if you’re personally delivering a death blow with your sword, or blasting someone’s face off via the visceral nature of VR technology.
Raw Data is my new favorite VR game. It offers some deft and humorous writing, a great sense of immersion, slick gameplay mechanics, and tons and tons of ways to blow things to smithereens. If you’re a fan of VR action titles with substance behind them, Raw Data is a great choice.
Raw Data features great graphics that make its droid blasting gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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