I’m a big fan of co-op games, I’m an even bigger fan of beards. When a game involves both you have nothing short of my complete approval. Deep Rock Galactic might be the freshman IP from developer Ghost Ship Games, but they show some top quality action and gameplay attached to it. Granted the game has little to do with beards but the fact that I can buy different styles definitely is a huge thumbs up in my book.

Dwarven Mining

Deep Rock Galactic is a 1 to 4-player sci-fi co-op shooter taking place in procedurally generated and 100% destructible caves. When first starting the game I sat inside a vehicle burrowing deep into a planet. This clearly wouldn’t be a simple, in-and-out extraction job as seen in movies. I mean, my starter character has a Gatling gun for crying out loud. It isn’t something you picture in your mind as a tool being used in mining. Sure enough, Deep Rock Galactic is as if you mixed Left 4 Dead and Starship Troopers.

However, unlike those other horde shooters, Deep Rock Galactic keeps you engaged with something to do. It isn’t just survival, you have a goal to achieve, and the round isn’t over until you mine what you came for. There is kind of a lull between the horde attacking and the mining, so I never felt I was in much of a rush to get the mining portion done. I found myself exploring more than doing what I had come to do. I mean I would get lost for minutes at a time trying to find my way through tunnels I made accidentally. The find a big open cavern with lots to mine and loot.  Then the bugs would attack while I was lost in awe. I think I would have liked a little more pressure to pursue both the objectives and shorter time between bug attacks. This would definitely ramp up the tension in the game.

Take Your Pick Of Characters

Deep Rock Galactic has your choice of four different characters, unlike Left 4 Dead, however, they have their own set of abilities, guns, and tools. Players can choose from;

  • Driller – Equipped with twin drills on his power suit, he can tunnel through rock and obstacles to clear a path for the team. The Driller also comes equipped with a flamethrower for high area damage to the hordes of bugs.
  • Engineer – His primary function is to place sentries that will help with damage against incoming swarms. He comes in handy in a tight fight. He also builds platforms to help other players to reach higher areas. His personal weapons do major damage as he carries a combat shotgun and grande launcher.
  • Gunner – He is equipped with a giant ass machine gun and a powerful revolver to keep the swarms under control. He also provides ziplines for the other players to reach distant places. Gunner also comes with Detention packs with cause some giant explosions.
  • Scout – He definitely gets around the easiest. He carries a flare gun capable of lighting up a place for some time and a grappling hook that allows him to have more mobility and reach places where the other players can’t. He comes equipped with a sawed-off shotgun and an Assault Rifle.

All of the Dwarves eventually become completely customizable. You earn (and find) gold while you are mining to buy new equipment, upgrade those, pick new clothes, and even new beards! So if you don’t like the look of your favorite, its ok, you can soon change them.

Landscapes and Graphics

The caves, in the game, are dark and atmospheric, rich with veins of different ores, creatures, and colors. You really get a sense of how massive the game is when you pop a flare and a full cave opens up in the light. Much of the landscape is the same while you are in that part of the map. It wasn’t something that really bothered me though. The game was gorgeous to look at and between the action and the hunting for ore, you don’t really notice the same textile over and over again.

The colors can be confusing at times. For example, if you are looking for Nitra (a red colored ore) it blends in a little too nice to the orange rock. So you really need to pay attention to your surroundings. Like I said, this isn’t that big of a deal, it keeps the game interesting because I need to be more aware of what I’m looking at.

Overall, so far…

While the game is still in Early Access (for the next few days) it still has captured my heart, Devs can always add more stuff to make it great but I have very little complaints.The game is beautifully made, the customizable Dwarves are fun and full of character. The bugs are gross looking and present a real challenge. The teamwork needed is important but it’s just as fun alone fighting off the bugs. Over time I would love to new characters and environments but so far I am hugely impressed.

The full game of Deep Rock Galactic comes out on February 28th on Steam and Xbox One.

About The Author

John D
Chief Operating Officer

I have worked hard to become the COO here at GAW and I love it. I write and stream here and I couldn't be happier. I once had a show that I produced, wrote, and co-hosted called the Wide World of Games. I also co-host a podcast called Party Up! I'm an Action-Adventurer, platformer, RPGer, and FPS kind of gamer. Quick to play any game that has magic, swordplay, and/or stealthy elements. If you can customize a character I'm in it for the long haul. Or just give me your 2D platform and I'm a happy camper. What else do you expect from a gamer with a beard and a bow tie tattoo? Seriously.