Review – Deep Rock Galactic
If Left 4 Dead and Astroneer had a baby, it would look a lot like Deep Rock Galactic – a four-player cooperative shooter, available now on PC and Xbox One via Early Access, that drops players into the boots of one of four dwarven miners out to scour an alien world for minerals to gather and deliver back to the intergalactic mining company they work for.
Players can choose one of four classes to head underground with: Driller, Engineer, Gunner, and Scount. The Driller can drill full-speed through rock and uses a flamethrower, while the Engineer deploys automated turrets to defend the group and floating platforms to aid in moving around the levels. The Gunner is a gatling gun-wielding tank, who deploys ziplines that allow the entire party to bypass crevasses, while the Scout has a personal grappling hook that provides max mobility.
If tunneling through procedurally generated destructible alien landscapes as one of four unique classes looking for precious minerals isn’t enough of a hook, there’s also a slew of alien lifeforms looking to put an end to your mining ways. Roaming the underground, you’ll encounter some here and there – but every few minutes the game will throw a swarm of them at the group, wave after wave of enemies that test the limits of your ammunition stores.
Survive encounters with enemies long enough to gather up the required amount of the target mineral or minerals and it’s a run to the exit, with – of course – a horde of enemies looking to take you down before you make your escape. Make it to the drop pod and off the planet in one piece and you’re rewarded with cash to use towards new gear and customization options before you head back into another drop zone and more action.
Some of the best moments in Deep Rock Galactic come from the unplanned, impromptu actions you decide to take. During one swarm, with aliens closing in on three sides and a stone wall at our back, we decided to dig ourselves an exit – tunneling up at an angle to where we knew there was an existing cave network. With a pair of turrets banging away behind us to cover our exit, we started chipping away.
Once we were in our tunnel it became easier for the Gunner to hold our rear solo with his gatling gun shredding anything stupid enough to stick its head in the entrance…and then we broke through to not only the caves we were expecting but an all-new horde of enemies we weren’t expecting. It was a total party wipe, but also an incredibly fun time full of cursing and laughing.