Upon first firing up Raw Data on my PlayStation VR, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. Surely this power-packed showpiece of a game wouldn't be able to make it over to PSVR fully intact. Well, there definitely has been some watering-down of the formula that has made Raw Data one of the very best VR games in existence, but I was literally blown away by how much of the game made the conversion unscathed. For the most part, this is Raw Data. I must admit that I'm playing this game on my PS4 Pro, so it's possible it's even further watered-down on the OG PS4, but this is clearly one of the best PC to PSVR ports that I've seen in the systems current lifespan.
In fact, you could almost make the argument that this is the best port PSVR has seen so far. That's high praise considering how well Super HOT translated, but also considering the type of games these are. Super HOT partly made such a smooth translation because of it's stylized graphical design. It's simplistic colors and tones. Raw Data doesn't enjoy this convenience. Raw Data is a game edging closer to realism than most, so bringing something of this magnitude to the PSVR is an incredible accomplishment. Survios has crafted a high-powered Sci-Fi action adventure movie that you get to take part in. The experience on an HTC Vive or Oculus Rift is one of the crowning achievements in VR gaming. You feel like you've stepped onto the set of an I,Robot movie. You're looking around for Will Smith. The PlayStation VR port of this game could have been laughable. In fact, I was slightly worried going into the experience, that the downgrade would be so obvious that it would be nearly unplayable.
Instead, we're actually looking at quite possibly one of the 3 or 4 best PlayStation VR games currently available. I honestly feel like this is right up there with Resident Evil 7, Farpoint and Rush of Blood as some of the most impressive VR games you can possibly play on a PSVR system. I've played countless hours of this game on an HTC Vive with full roomscale, and controllers that track flawlessly. There are some concessions being made with this version, but I'm literally floored by how smooth everything is. I never could have guessed I'd be this delighted to play the PlayStation VR version. I'm having a great time going through the game all over again. In fact, there seems to be quite a few improvements from when I last played the tutorial and early levels of Raw Data. I'm not sure if the PC versions have also been updated in this same way, but it seems like the PSVR version has received some extra love and care to make it even better. I could swear I'm hearing completely new voice work and story sequences, but again, it's possible this has also been added to the Rift and Vive versions.
One of the coolest things about Raw Data in general, is just the overall vibe that you get while playing the game. I mentioned the movie I,Robot earlier, but there is also some RoboCop and Terminator thrown into this. You really feel like you're taking part in a Sci-Fi action/adventure movie. The guns look spectacular in your hands, and track quite well. I was amazed how few times my tracking went haywire. You can take your guns, and bring them closer to your eyes and just marvel at how good everything looks. There is certainly some aliasing and definitely a bit of the vaseline look that almost every PSVR game suffers from, but my hat's off to Survios for managing as well as they have. These guys have really been hard at work, striving to make a port that is a cut above. They could have easily mailed this in, but instead, they went the extra mile. I think Survios knows that they could have a franchise for the future with Raw Data.
The biggest concession that Survios had to make was the fact that PSVR only has a single tracking sensor. They give you a button that swings your view around 80 degrees or so with each push. This allows you to continue to face your PlayStation VR camera for the best tracking.
Still, this game is about as hectic as it gets, and you can easily get turned around in your playspace. Survios provides an arrow on the ground that shows you where your camera is at, so it's not too hard to get back in proper position. It does take some time getting used to however. In fact, I'd say the biggest headache with Raw Data on PSVR, is learning all the controls. There are a lot of different controls that you need to get to grips with. You have the teleporting, the quick perspective shifts, and you also need to actively reload clips into your guns. It can be extremely hectic in the heat of battle to instinctively know which buttons do what. I often found myself shifting my perspective one time too many. Or teleporting when I didn't really want to. Still, I can't really fault Survios, because they are making the best of a less than ideal situation. PSVR Move controllers aren't designed from the ground up for VR, and there's only one tracking camera. It all works surprisingly well when you consider this.
I never could have imagined that I would have this much to say about the PlayStation VR version of Raw Data. I definitely wanted to try it out, but more for the sheer curiosity than anything else. In fact, I was half expecting a train wreck. When I first heard that Survios was bringing the game to PSVR, I wondered just how they could actually manage it. I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised if this was more disaster than crowning achievement. Luckily for PSVR players, it's the later!