The long anticipated Raw Data by developer Survios launches for the HTC Vive on Steam today in Early Access. We sat down with Survios to get an inside look at what players can expect now and in the future from this hero-based action combat game.

While we’ve had a chance to play the game in one form or another over the course its development, Raw Data’s Early Access launch today marks a significant step forward in the scope of the game; you’ll now get to step into the shoes of two distinct heroes, each specializing in certain weapons and combat styles, instead of generic avatars—and Survios gives us the first glimpse at the next two to come.

Survios Chief Creative Officer James Iliff tells me that rather than focusing on a huge weapon arsenal, Raw Data’s heroes will have an array of special abilities that enhance and extend the heroes weapons and fighting styles.

Heroes of Raw Data

Iliff shares the roster of Raw Data’s two Early Access heroes and their weapons & unlockable abilities.

Bishop – Dual Pistols

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Bishop is what Iliff calls a “gun cleric”, a sort of gunslinger-meets-martial-artist who relies on powerful pistols to deal medium range damage. As Bishop, you can do some gun spinning to add a little flavor to your combat style, and you’ll have a range of powerful abilities once you unlock all of his talents.

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raw data bishop crusader pistol

Proximity Reload – reload your pistols instantly by touching them to your hip or lower back.

Charged Shot – charge your pistols by holding the triggers to fire a powerful shot that penetrates enemies and cover.

Timewarp – Momentary slow motion for high action awesomeness (and to buy yourself some time).

Bulletstorm – Turns Bishop’s pistols into fully automatic guns firing “self-replicating nano rounds” which don’t deplete your standard clips.

bishop-charge-shot-raw-data-ealy-access

Iliff tells me the there’s another ability planned for Bishop which will be seen following the game’s Early Access launch: the Fusion Charge shot, which will allow players to charge both of their guns while held together to fire a powerful ball of energy.

Saija – Energy Blade

saija-cyber-ninja-raw-data-early-access-2

Saija is the second character you’ll be able to play at Raw Data’s Early Access launch. She’s what Iliff calls a “cyber ninja”, and her speciality is getting up close and personal with her energy blade to tear the game’s synthetic enemies to pieces. Just because she’s using a sword doesn’t mean she won’t be deadly at range however, unlocking her abilities give players several fun ways to do damage at a distance.

raw-data-saija-flash-blade-concepts
Concept art for Saija’s katana

Shuriken Stream – Allows players to aim at enemies and fire ethereal shurikens.

Sword Throw – Use Saija’s katana like a deadly boomerang. Depending upon how you throw it will yield different results. Throw it horizontally to strike a wide group of enemies together, or concentrate all the damage into one enemy with a vertical throw. You can even use the direction of your throw to optimize the blade’s path through the greatest number of enemies.

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Counter – Hold your swords together to charge the blade for a powerful swing which can take our enemies in one hit. This also enhances Saija’s ability to reflect projectiles by making them more likely to bounce back at enemies.

Gravity Push – Lets you shove enemies based on your hand movements. Great for throwing enemies off the edge or holding them in the air for teammates to take out.

Levitation Smash – Launches Saija into the air to slam back down for an area-of-effect blast.

Iliff tells me that Saija is also planned to get a Telekinesis ability which will allow her to pinpoint enemies and throw them from afar.

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  • Steve Biegun

    Both codes are taken already :(

  • Pistol Pete

    Tried it! Best game I have experienced in VR to date!!

    • DougP

      It really is a fantastic game.
      Was just skyping w/friend who has a Vive, seeing if he’ll buy it so can try co-op play.
      This game seems ideally suited for co-op when you’ve got 360-degrees to cover & can go back to back in the thick of a battle.

      Re: graphics
      I think that it’s one of the best looking games out there, as well. Provided people have the gaming rig w/enough oomph to handle cranking graphics settings up to 11. :)

      • J.C.

        A friend and I bought this game specifically to play in co-op. That Early Access tag? Believe it. The game falls apart for the second player. We haven’t had a single session where someone was able to keep reloading their gun the whole time. If the game crashes, it kills Steam and sometimes Windows locks up.

        Maybe the game is cool but the second level, where you’re supposed to have a flashlight, doesn’t have one, so all you see is a vague idea of enemies in the dark.

        Game is fine single-player, but that’s not what I bought it for. I assumed EA meant “limited features”, not “completely busted multiplayer”.

        • DougP

          Wow – that does sound bad.

          Thanks for the info/feedback. Think we might hold off until some updates are made.

        • Karl Schmidt

          For what it´s worth, I have consistent and good multiplayer experience throughout about 12 hours of gameplay. Occasional crashes, but never got stuck or locked up or something. Perfectly fine for an early access title on an entirely new medium, I think.

          • J.C.

            I wonder what the difference is. We both live in the same city, using the same service provider. In most games we get pings of around 40, but this one was always showing pings of 250-300. The issues always hit the second player (can’t reload, or game crashing upon joining), the primary player would have no problems unless the second player crashed out. Then the host would generally crash out about 30 seconds later, and Steam itself would crash as well.

            Are you on Steam VR beta, or “standard”? That may be part of it, but games shouldn’t rely on users running the beta. I switched off of it after it caused all sorts of issues with booting up SteamVR and keeping it running.

          • Karl Schmidt

            “Standard”, just bought the game a few days ago and I have about 80% of my multiplayer games without problems.

          • J.C.

            Well, he requested a refund so I did as well. We had 100% of our multiplayer games fall apart due to show stopping issues. We gave up on it for now. Might look into it again after it’s cooked a bit longer.
            Our go-to Vive multiplayer game isn’t nearly as complex, but it’s way more fun than it has any reason to be: Cloudlands Minigolf, heh. Their netcode feels bulletproof, surviving usually-catastrophic issues (host machine crashes) without a hiccup. Hoping Raw Data eventually gets there. I’ve got no hate for the game, it’s just not quite ready yet.

  • JAMF

    Bishop??? Oooh, gotta practice my gunkata! (bad ascii art: m7Lm ) :D

  • Gaspar Ferreiro

    LOL. its amazing how ever mechanic i am building into my VR game seems to appear 3 weeks later in raw data, at this point they should be offering me a job. The movement shift, and now the time warp make it into raw data too… and before anyone goes and calls BS… just check this article http://www.roadtovr.com/project-ghost-lets-you-bend-time-whilst-dual-wielding-lightsabers/ . That is the reason i stopped posting videos of my progress online.. and have remained quiet.. but damn, enough is enough :(