Deep Rock Galactic
Ghost Ship Games
When I’d first heard of Deep Rock Galactic I checked out some gameplay videos of it and came away feeling pretty underwhelmed. The concept seemed interesting—you play as a small team of space dwarves who are on a never-ending quest for shiny ore, embedded on far-flung planets. However, it seemed to me at the time that the game was all about dropping onto a planet, trying to locate said ore, and blasting away at same-y looking alien bugs—and that was it.
My superficial investigations were unfounded; a friend of mine who had played Deep Rock Galactic ranted and raved about how good it actually was. Therefore (arm-twisted) I got suckered into trying it out for myself, and I’m really glad that I gave the game a chance.
In Deep Rock Galactic, you play as a gaggle of dwarven space miners who have entered into orbit around a resource-rich planet. There are four unique classes to choose from. First up is the Driller, who packs twin titanium power drills which can melt rock away quickly, and also wields a flamethrower. Next up is the more straight-ahead Gunner, who brandishes a powerful minigun for mowing down enemies in droves, as well as a handy zip line for traversing chasms and other obstacles. We also have the Scout, who comes equipped with a flare gun which lights up areas more effectively, a grappling hook for extra maneuverability, and an assault rifle. Lastly, there’s my personal favorite, the Engineer, who can reach hard-to-get-to areas with his platform gun, carries a powerful shotgun, as well as place-able machine gun turrets which can devastate enemies with their deadly, heavy metal volleys.
Gameplay-wise, Deep Rock Galactic does indeed involve digging big holes, shooting up bugs, getting a little (okay, maybe completely) lost, and hoarding a bunch of glittery ore. While the game doesn’t exactly come packed with an interesting campaign, and these four tenants might sound limited, the way in which everything plays out is something to behold.
Firstly, there is a bevy of mission types that you and your stubby cohorts can choose from, although they all basically boil down to extracting or obtaining some sort of sparkly treasures. When that’s set, you fly down to the rocky mantle of the planet below and bore deep down through its strata.
Once you reach a certain depth, your mining vessel will stop, eject you, and blast off again back to your orbital mining ship. From there it’s just you, your chubby comrades, and lots of rock and bugs. The alien bugs come in all shapes and sizes and they also come in waves. There are smaller, unannounced bug waves that you’ll encounter from time to time, and then there are massive ones that your mining ship’s sensors will pick and relay to your team.
Your initial landing will seem eerily calm. However, as you investigate your first cavern in an effort to locate veins of valuable ore, you’ll probably see an alien skittering around here and there in the darkness, but not a real concerted effort to assault your team. Yet. Once you get further into the caverns, the cantankerous bugs will become more aware of your meddling presence and proceed with their aforementioned attacks.
One of my favorite parts of Deep Rock Galactic is towards the end of a mission. Instead of acquiring your treasure and immediately being greeted with a win screen, your escape plans have just begun. You must hail your transport vessel to once again bore into the planet and land somewhere within a cavern connected with the one that you’re in when you complete your objective. A timer commences, and in dramatic fashion, you and your cohorts must extract your chunky little butts towards the landing zone.
Of course, the blood-thirsty bugs always seem to sense this and will call out all of their fellow critter-homies to come and hunt you down. This entire final escape sequence is such a blast and really makes Deep Rock Galactic stand out as a unique experience. Actually, surviving to even enter into this sequence is quite a task, since the game is naturally difficult, even on its “Normal” level.
Deep Rock Galactic is one Early Access title that has a lot going for it, and seems to be embraced by an already burgeoning fan base. If the devs continue to deliver free content updates, and steer clear of monetizing the final product with loot crates and such, we could have a new modern classic on our hands.
Deep Rock Galactic features pretty great graphics that make its shooter mining 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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