Deep Rock Galactic
Deep Rock Galactic is a cooperative first-person shooter video game developed by Ghost Ship Games on developed in Unreal Engine 4 and published by Coffee Stain Publishing. You are put in the boots of
Deep Rock Galactic is a 4-player sci-fi co-op shooter taking place in procedurally generated and 100% destructible caves on an extremely hostile alien planet.
You play as a team of dwarven space miners, out to complete missions for your corporate overlords and to collect as much gold, gems, and other precious minerals as you possibly can before you're overrun.
To complete your tasks, you're equipped with a variety of severely hard-hitting weapons as well as a slew of hand gadgets. Set up turrets, call down supplies, build staircases up walls, or simply just drill your way to your objective - the choice is yours!
CPU SPEED: 2.4 GHz Dual Core.
RAM: 6 GB.
OS: Windows 7 64 Bit.
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 or AMD Radeon HD 5770 /w 1GB VRAM.
FREE DISK SPACE: 10 GB.
February 28, 2018
PC, Xbox One
Developer: Ghost Ship Games
Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
Genre: First Person Shooter
ESRB: Pegi 16
Deep Rock Galactic is a Cooperative first-person shooter developed in Unreal Engine 4 by Danish indie studio Ghost Ship Games and published by Coffee Stain Studios who are known for other games such as Sanctum 1&2, I Love Strawberries (re-release it on IOS after acquiring the rights from Atari), and Goat Simulator. The game focuses around dwarves in space working for a mining company, Deep Rock Galactic, who are tasked with going to the planet Hoxxes IV to retrieve minerals. In return, you will be paid handsomely for your continued efforts. The game was released in Early Access on February 28, 2018, and the development team at Ghost Ship Games is continuously getting feedback and making updates; as of this writing, 21 updates are currently active with 22 more coming in a few more days.
Fantasy Violence/Mild Blood: With the variety of weapons and enemy aliens to use them on, fantasy bloodshed is used to indicate the defeat of the players foes.
Language: Occasionally throughout the player’s adventures on Hoxxes IV, the characters will use some less than favorable words such as, “ S**t, Bast**d,”.
Alcohol Use: In the main hub, the player has the option to visit the bar to get a drink. Some provide temporary stat boosts to your next mission.
As a fan of many aspects of the geek culture, when I heard about a game that has dwarves in space I was instantly curious. Dwarves hold a special place in my heart because of their traditionally loyal attitude, determination, and beards of epic proportions. The player, being greeted by the loading screen may feel excitement as they make their very first voyage into dwarfdom . The tutorial gives a decent description of the controls, which handle smoothly. Fans of modern FPS games who have grown accustomed to the Y button (on Xbox One) as the weapon swap button will be surprised that in this game, the directional pad is used in its place.
Deep Rock Galactic procedurally generates every fully-destructible environment, similarly to Minecraft, which makes every playthrough a unique experience. Like Minecraft, every session is a mix between relaxing, mining, and fighting.
The player’s missions consist of “collect X number of this item.” The number of materials that can be carried by the player is limited, so while being dropped in a tunnel and fighting their way deeper the player is followed by an indestructible crawling deposit bot that works as a minecart on legs. The player can call if forth by pressing Y; this places a beacon that the cart will follow open paths until he reaches it.
After the player collects their goal they can press a “call the drop pod” button on Mollie. This will send a drop pod to the original area you started in. The cart will begin walking its way back to the pod as a 5 minute timer ticks down before the pod leaves. The challenge lies in retracing your steps through the maze of tunnels to get back in time. This is the first mission type.
The second type of area the player are dropped into already has a set up deposit station equipped with turrets that doesn’t move. In these, the player searches the nearby area for the specified number of a certain special crystal. Other minerals can be found and turned in for a bonus as well. In the third and final mission type, the player are tasked with fixing 2 deposit bots from previous miners that didn’t make it, getting them to their drop pod, and defending the area as the drop pod starts up to leave.
Every level also has area-specific hazards such as radioactive crystals, spouts in the ground that shoot fire, and icy winds that will freeze your character if you remain in them too long. If that wasn’t enough, there are a few varieties of enemies. All of the enemies in the current build are a crawling spider-like creature. From swarms of tiny babies that bite, large acid-spitting armored tanks, to medium sized exploders that detonate when shot, and many more. These creatures will seem endless as you delve deeper into these caves in search of riches and glory. On top of all that, you have limited ammunition to deal with these foes, which creates a lot of controller clenching moments as you desperately hop around like a bearded child attempting to avoid losing your last sliver of health to a ground full of swarmers. The feel of the combat is reminiscent of Left 4 Dead.
Taking on these monumental tasks are four playable classes: the Gunner, the Scout, the Engineer, and my personal favorite, the Digger. Each comes with class specific weapons that aid in your exploration and domination of these caverns.The Gunner is a class focused on protecting the other members of the party as they travel about the tunnels. With their mini gun and zip-lines they can traverse rather easily through swarms of enemies. The Scout focuses on getting ahead of their allies to survey the area ahead. The intention being that none of the team is caught off guard by hidden swarms of enemies lurking around the corner. A shotgun and a personal grappling hook keeps them light and out of reach of most creatures. The Engineer places turrets and has a gun that creates platforms for those hard to reach areas. Many seasoned players know the risk of digging into rock below to be met wit a long fall into a deep pit. The ability to create standing areas on the fly come in handy during those times. The Digger is all about excavation of the mine. He is equipped with a flamethrower and a set of digging gloves allowing for quick work of large areas of material in need of moving. It also comes in handy when making way towards the drop pod as the player can make a direct path towards the landing zone through layers of rock.
Every class has a limited number of weapons currently in the game, but the gun-play is smooth and satisfying enough to entertain the player for now. The classes are very limited in the current build in the game with no real skill trees to put all the money and experience gained into. Every class has specific weapons only for that class and an option to unlock a second one in later levels. The skill tree is a filled with arbitrary skills that slightly increase the players sprint speed or reduce fall damage. Nothing that is class specific, nor is there a way to customize a class for certain play styles.
Deep Rock Galactic just needs more options, such as something along the lines of Payday 2 where you get cash and some type of reward at the end of missions with a shop to purchase and upgrade your weapons. On a related note, adding some type of armor system besides the one armor that has only three upgrades would add to the optimization of each character to specific play styles. The customization in this game are currently limited at the moment, but with updates happening on a monthly basis,in some cases more, it is likely that these issues will be addressed in an upcoming patch. I would like to see more options, not only for weapons and armor, but character appearance as well. Update 21, which is the the current build of the game at the time of this review, only has a few options that are limited to specific level restrictions.
The main hub is a space station orbiting Hoxxes IV which is the planet your character had been hired to mine through the Deep Rock Galactic company. You arrive at the hub after completing your first mission. While exploring, there are many jokes all around. Barrels are a common thing to be lying around that you have the option to kick. If you kick the barrels into the launch area under your arrival pod, you will be met with reprimands from the man over the PA system. If the player is feeling adventurous and wants to explore, certain areas above the main floor are considered off-limits according to the PA man. Although some areas are incomplete such as the entire second and third floor, many of the areas on the first floor are rich with character and artistic design. One such place is the bar where players can buy a round for all of the players in their team. Some drinks offer small bonuses while others are just for fun. Comically placed directly across from bar is a jukebox. For 2 credits, a song will play making anyone in the area dance uncontrollably. Seeing four dwarves floss and do the Gangnam Style to a jazz ensemble is something that I never knew I wanted to see.
The perks customization(located in your personal pod is one of the first things you see when spawning in, but its location or use is unclear. It wasn’t until about level 10 that I realized that I had accrued perk points and had perks to spend them on. This system would benefit from a Borderlands/Payday 2 approach, where perks are separated by sub-classes assigned to each main class. This would focus game-play styles and better fit the players. For example, a subclass for the Digger’s digging equipment and a subclass for demolitions so that there is some variation and choice in your load-out.
Another area where Deep Rock Galactic could improve is giving the actual in-game character more personality similar to the characters in Left 4 Dead, characters in past zombie modes of Call of Duty, or again Borderlands. Currently the character seem bland, although the voices of the characters change, the overall tone of what is being said is the same. The different dwarves should all have distinct personalities and lines that are specific to them. Having the Scout make quippy remarks as he grapple hooks his way over obstacles while the Digger chuckles in anticipation as the squishy man flies head-first into the oncoming swarm of exploding crawlers would add personality and relatability allowing players to further connect with the class of their choice. That, coupled with lore and a story-line which the game is currently lacking along with boss monsters would bring depth to the universe and a whole new joy to the game. On that note, more mission variety and a higher level cap beyond 25 would add to replay-ability. As the game stands now, there are only a few mission types to choose from. Story/lore driven missions would add a new level of mystery and intrigue into an already fairly solid game.
My overall experience with Deep Rock Galactic has been fun. I find myself recommending this game to many around me and the only real complaint I have with the game is I want more of it. Ghost Ship Games has been very active with listening to the community and pressing forward to make their good game great with constant improvements. All things considered, Deep Rock Galactic is in Early Access and, as long as the community continues to grow and the company keeps up with the demand, it has the potential of becoming an unrivaled powerhouse in the gaming world. Also, if they ever need a voice for a new character I would be happy to offer my services. As a deep space dwarf miners would say, “Rock and Stone Brothers!”
Thank you for reading my review. Let me know what you think of this. If you like it, tell your friends. If you hate it, tell your enemies. Also, if you are interested in being a part of my process, I have a YouTube channel, Facebook page, and Twitch channel that I post to weekly with live streams. Be sure to follow so you will be up-to-date with everything. Thank you very much and God Bless!
+ Good art style
+ Good gunplay
+ Smooth animations
+ Frequently updated
+ Mixes scifi and fantasy
+ Fun to play with friends
- Bland characters
- More mission types
- Underwhelming loot
- Not enough enemy variety
- Could use more single player content
- Needs more customization options for weapon types, loadouts, and armor