Now who doesn’t like a game involving spacefaring dwarves, well I can tell you that Deep Rock Galactic does not disappoint in that area, you are thrown into the action from the get go.
This starting mission sets out the basic controls and introduces you to the single player robot that you can send out to light up the area, the place you will be spending the vast majority of your time on is ‘Hoxxes IV’, a vast planet with cave systems and indigenous life that wants to eat you first and ask questions later.
Each mission on Hoxxes IV is procedural generated and features 100% destructible environments which is reminiscent to Guerilla Games’ Red Faction, with the inclusion of bugs who want nothing better than to eat you I would say it’s red faction crossed with Starship Troopers and as we all know the only good bug is a dead bug!
The planet itself contains vast riches to mine and endemic life to kill. On some missions the best way to collect these resources is to pull out (yes, you guessed it, a Dwarf’s best friend) the pickaxe. With this multi-functional tool you can dig holes, mine gems and even crack the casing of the most hardened critters of Hoxxes.
Once you have finished collecting your resource quota for that specific planet location, you then have to activate your robotic resource dump ‘The M.U.L.E’. This involves bashing a big red button that sets off a series of events resulting in you running back to the Dwarves drill drop pod, now this may seem easy but when your deep in the caves you can easily get lost, there is a short time-frame to get back to the drop pod before it blasts off without you.
This is a fun experience in itself because if you don’t get back to the drop pod within the time limit it will return to base without you and result in a failed mission. Now as easy as it sounds to do that, there are obstacles that only get worse as you progress through the harder missions and these are usually of the bug variety, giant lumber monstrosities that take numerous bullets only to shrug them off and slap your small frame down a large crevice taking you right out of the game.
There are four classes currently, all of which have specific roles which are great in certain circumstances, the first of these is the scout who as you can imagine is armed with all sorts of gadgets and weapons to help scout out the caves and help your comrades to see and spot threats and resources.
The second is the engineer who’s job is to provide support with the aide of placeable turrets and a gun that deploys circle pads to help you and your team climb or descent through the caves.
The gunner is the third class and of course we all know this role in the team, armed with his minigun he is there to rain down hell upon the unsuspecting creatures which is a lovely sight to behold.
The driller is the last class and as the name suggests, armed with two large forearm drills and satchel charges your job is to make pathways and clear obstacles so your team can collect what every dwarf loves, gold and gems.
Now upon return to dwarven command you start to realize why collecting those resources was such a vital necessity, with all the cash collected you can purchase a small selection of vanity items which I’m sure will improve with each update to the game.
But of course vanity items are not the only thing you spend that precious precious cash on, Deep Rock Galactic also uses that cash along with minerals that have been obtained in each mission to upgrade the tools and weapons in each of the classes.
Improving skills and armour grants you bonuses that can be vital to any miners survival, for example increasing the flare skill grants longer light time and eventually an extra flare to send out and illuminate those dark caverns.
Now the real fun comes from the multiplayer portion of this game, playing along with three friends grants you access to everyone’s unique abilities which can be the difference between life or death. Teamwork is vital and often means the difference between finishing a mission with no casualties to failing the mission, nothing says this better than the corporate overlords in charge of this mining operation.
At DEEP ROCK GALACTIC we value TEAMWORK above all! As the saying goes: “Dig together or dig your own grave”. The sheer hostility of Hoxxes IV means anyone caught on their own will quickly be in trouble. As an interplanetary mining conglomerate, we depend on our employees to take care of each other. In other words, we won’t be there to hold your hand.
After the first initial buzz wares off the game starts to feel flat but this is in early access and with new updates I can imagine the longevity of this game increasing, different mission types and new creatures to fight would add more to the playtime, but let us not forget the Dwarves themselves could use more upgrades and even newer tools and weapons to play around with. Hopefully this is all something that can be added as time progresses.
I would recommend this game to anyone who loves Minecraft and/or dwarfs, gameplay is fun and just gets better when you are playing with friends.
Previewed by Adam Walters.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a preview copy of Deep Rock Galactic, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)