A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Raw Data is a sci-fi themed first-person shooter game for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive virtual reality devices. The game is a fully immersive VR experience, relying heavily on player motion and activity. This also means that players need both plenty of space to move around and constant calibration of the VR equipment. The game is a first-person shooter, with players fighting waves of robot enemies with a variety of realistic weapons and sci-fi abilities. Despite being robots, damaged enemies do appear to lose a bright red fluid similar to blood, and occasionally appear to have what looks like blood splattered on their bodies. Parents should also be aware that some profanity does appear throughout the game's dialogue.
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What's it about?
In RAW DATA, you play a member of the elite hacker resistance group SyndiK8. Your current target is the seemingly benevolent Eden Corporation. The company has begun to offer people the opportunity for "Promotion," an elevation to a higher existence complete with the promise of eternal life. Immortality comes with a price, though, and your job is to uncover the sinister truth behind Promotion and expose Eden's atrocities to the public. To do so, you'll have to infiltrate the company's heavily secured headquarters and steal data from specific systems, all while defending yourself and the hack from an onslaught of on-site security robots programmed to eliminate all intruders with lethal force. Using your arsenal of weapons and a variety of unique skills, you must get in, get the data, and get out alive ... and hopefully stay human in the process.
Is it any good?
This sci-fi action game can be fun, if you manage to keep the game calibrated and the action works the way it's supposed to. One of the interesting things about VR games is that, despite all their hype about a fully immersive experience, most still have a certain level of disconnect in action. Sure, you can look around and get a little more hands-on with some objects, but it doesn't always feel natural. Instead, it feels more like you're on an interactive amusement park ride. Raw Data looks to change that, having been built from the ground up with VR and motion controls in mind. And when it works, the game does an amazing job of making you feel like you're genuinely in another world and an active part of everything that's going on around you. In fact, when everything is at its best, Raw Data is easily one of the most fully immersive VR games available today.
Unfortunately, as good as Raw Data can potentially be, it's held back considerably by certain frustrating restrictions. For starters, as fluid and natural as the combat feels, whether it's swinging a katana or dual-wielding pistols like a sci-fi gunslinger, it only applies if you've got your hardware configured just right and you never stray from the relatively small "sweet spot." This would be difficult to do even if you weren't strapped into a headset that gives you no real-world frame of reference for your position. If you're even just slightly out of sync with where the VR thinks you are or should be, everything falls apart. Even minor interactions become difficult, and you find yourself fighting the controls more than you do the hordes of robot foes trying to kill you. The game is also relatively short and somewhat repetitive. HTC Vive and Oculus Rift gamers can extend the shelf life of the game with some interesting co-op play with friends, but unfortunately PSVR owners have to stick to solo play.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about immersive content in virtual reality. Does immersive content, such as that experienced in VR, have a bigger impact on users than more traditional content?
Talk about the history and future of virtual reality. How has VR technology advanced over the years, and what are some ways VR tech can affect our lives in the future?
- Platforms: HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Survios
- Release date: October 10, 2017
- Genre: First-Person Shooter
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts, Adventures, Misfits and Underdogs, Robots, Science and Nature
- ESRB rating: T for Violence, Blood, Language
- Last updated: May 30, 2018
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.