GDC 2016: Raw Data – multiplayer VR combat first impressions

Raw Data - Screenshot - Drone Attack

VR seems to be the new technological platform that gaming will be on. So far, there’s been so many great games, but the one thing that feels lacking, is multiplayer. I mean, I don’t think it’s that tall of an order right? Have a game that supports more than one VR set is simple enough. Well, that’s not really the case since I haven’t seen anything supporting a multiplayer platform. At least until now.

The guys over at Survios are bringing to the table something fresh and new for those wanting a bit more from VR. Raw Data is a co-op VR shooter that pits you against AI combatants in a somewhat tower defense-type game. The game allows 2 users each with an HTC Vive to connect and play within the same virtual space. Basically, you and a friend will be fighting waves of enemies. Not just any enemies either, these guys look like the came out of the movie I-Robot.

Stepping in, I’ve got a pistol as my sidearm and an energy katana on my back. The game uses the motion controllers from the Vive, which worked beautifully. My buddy JR was back to back with me as we entered the facility via elevator. You use the controller to grab your weapons from their holsters (reach down and grab the pistol with my right hand, while I reached behind my back with my left to grab the katana). I opted to dual-wield my weapons, which is every bit as awesome as it sounds.

Raw Data - Screenshot - Dual Wield

Tracking is spot on, as my gun shoots about exactly at the point I aim at. Blocking enemy shots with my katana, sends the blaster fire right back at them. A cool feature is that you can hold the katana with both hands instead of one, and that in turn makes the blade a bit longer, almost like a broadsword. One thing to remember when you’re swinging the sword, is that the accelerometer on the controllers are active. That basically means you have to swing hard to do damage against enemies, which I love.

As the levels progress, enemies get a bit harder and are more plentiful. There were melee-centric enemies, others with guns, and flying robots as well. With new enemies also came new weapons. While you can already dual-wield with a katana and pistol, you had the option to dual-wield 2 of the same weapon as well (2 pistols or 2 swords). Having 2 pistols made me feel like I was in a movie, and the only thing I wasn’t doing was diving all over the place while shooting in slow motion.

We also had access to a shotgun, which required both hands to operate as well as came with a secondary fire option of a grenade launcher. Our final available weapon was a bow and arrow. You would think it would be useless against robots (aka Hawkeye in Age of Ultron), but they’re fairly effective. Choose any archery hero (Hawkeye, Green Arrow, Legolas, Katniss), and you’ll instantly feel like you’re in their shoes. It requires 2 hands as well, but allows you to fire arrows fast by continuosly drawing the string back and firing. If you reach back into your quiver, you can grab a special arrow, that when pulled back all the way, unleashes a strong arrow that can go through multiple enemies.

Not once did it feel cumbersome playing alongside a friend. We stayed back to back almost the entire time (by our choosing), which kept us from getting in each other’s way. When it was all said and done, we didn’t want to stop, as we were having so much fun. If there’s anything that would push me to get a Vive or the Rift, this would be it. The game looks to release later this year, but no word yet on an exact date.

 

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Narvin Seegoolam
Narvin Seegoolam 712 posts

Narvin's middle name is FPS....ok maybe not, but he's like BOOM!! HEADSHOT!! I'm hungry...