As we all know, space dwarves make for excellent miners so grab your pickaxe and firearms and get ready to have a blast.
Deep Rock Galactic has been around for a while on PC and I heard good things. So, I decided to give it a try and holy hot darn; they were right! You basically control a dwarf miner from a selection of 4 character classes (driller, engineer, gunner, and scout) in order to fulfill orders which primarily involve mining for certain ores deep within an alien planet. However, this planet is crawling with insect-like monsters so you have to fend them off as you forge ahead through the caverns. The core gameplay essentially resembles a first-person shooter yet it relies a lot on cool gadgets, cooperation, and your ability to figure out how to traverse tricky terrain. It all comes together to form a highly enjoyable gameplay loop that's even more fun when you play with other fellow dwarves via online multiplayer.
One aspect that I love about Deep Rock Galactic is its sense of comradery. Considering you're working with a few other miners, it feels great to highlight points of interest only to hear your character guide his coworkers to a mineral deposit, etc. You can even push the right stick in to have your character provide some cheer which is sure to lift the spirits of everyone who's partaking in the current mission. On the other hand, you can accidentally shoot others which usually results in a humorous line from the dwarf who got shot.
The gameplay also lends itself well to the cooperative online formula. For starters, each character class offers something unique which ensures that everyone will be a valuable asset to the team. It's fun to do things like set up zip lines, deploy platforms, and drill tunnels so everyone can traverse the environment easier. Combat is also more satisfying as a team as each player uses their unique weapons and some can even help with recharging shields and such. Needless to say, playing Deep Rock Galactic online is the way to go.
As you complete missions, you'll earn various currencies, level up in more ways than one, and upgrade your equipment. You'll start off only being able to survive easier missions but as you progress, you'll find yourself becoming much more capable which is due to both your gaming skills getting better and all of the cool upgrades that you'll acquire. At the home base area, you can swap character classes which level up separately, purchase gear modifications for 8 different pieces of equipment, swap parts of your pickaxe, purchase and equip customization parts, trade minerals, forge items, and even drink at a bar. Although all of this is awesome, I wish the hub area was more intuitively laid out because it took me a while to realise what I could do there due to partially obscured terminals and such.
Last but not least, allow me to discuss Deep Rock Galactic's graphics. I don't usually care if a game looks realistic or not; as long as there's some cohesive visual theme and Deep Rock Galactic definitely has that with its gritty yet arcade-like world. However, the graphics do become difficult to discern at parts. Keep in mind; as you play, you'll have to regularly throw flares in order to see your surroundings. This is perfectly fine but what I don't like is when you're in a confined space and no matter where you look, you can't make out exactly what you're looking at. This is especially troublesome when you're confronted by aliens as you aimlessly try and shoot them while they gnaw away. I also encountered visual glitches where certain textures would rapidly pop in and out which was quite disorienting.
If you love playing online co-op games then Deep Rock Galactic will knock your little dwarf socks off with its rewarding gameplay loop, variety of fun gadgets, and satisfying sense of comradery. Rock and Stone!
- + Awesome gameplay that's exceptionally enjoyable while playing online co-op
- + Fantastic sense of comradery
- + Rewarding unlockables and progression
- - Visuals can become far too chaotic
- - Occasional graphical glitches
- - Hub area could be more intuitive