Why Everybody is Talking About Deep Rock Galactic

By Alex Sinclair Lack
28th of January 2022
Rugged dwarfs take center stage in this innovative new game.
Some rugged dwarfs stand ready to do some mining and serious butt-kicking

Rugged dwarfs. Hearty laughs. Space-mining. Destructible environments. Say no more? Discover why Ghost Ship Games’ Deep Rock Galactic is the talk of the town.

“Rock and stone!” yells my blonde-bearded mining dwarf with a top knot and shades as he descends onto an alien infested asteroid ripe with valuable ores. Over the course of the next ten minutes, he’s grinded on rails while partaking in gunfights, found precious minerals, defended his teammates, been kidnapped by some hostile plant-life, and pocketed a giant egg.

Deep Rock Galactic is a 1-4 player multiplayer FPS game using procedurally generated and fully destructible environments. After two years in early access, Deep Rock Galactic received full release back in May 2020. But its at time-of-writing in January 2022 that the game is receiving the most attention.

A few hours of play will unlock all number of gigantic moustaches, welding masks, afros, and other such distinct looks for your character.
In game looking down barrel of gun

There are several reasons that contribute to DRG’s renaissance, and many of them boil down to expertly timed marketing. In the same month that Deep Rock Galactic was one of the PlayStation Plus free games of January, it featured in the Steam Winter Sales at a massive discount. These deals are culminating into an impressive buzz around the game and an injection of new players.

These discounts have been timed to coincide with Deep Rock Galactic’s biggest update to date and a switch to its new Season-based system. The first season, Rival Incursion, features four new primary weapons, a cosmetics-based battle pass (the Performance Pass), and an all-new boss battle.

What Makes Deep Rock Galactic So Good?

Simply put, Deep Rock Galactic just gets it all right. Let’s start with your homebase spaceship, which is complete with its own minigames, countless exciting upgrade stations, trophy rooms, “slappable” toys, extensive customisation options, as well as its own bar complete with daily specials, jukebox, and Irish robot barkeep. And don’t get me started on how much time I’ve spent on the barrel-kicking minigame.

Character customisation is extensive, fun and accessible. A few hours of play will unlock all number of gigantic moustaches, welding masks, afros, and other such distinct looks for your character. You don’t need to splash out to look great. Meanwhile nearly every piece of your equipment can be upgraded or swapped. That includes your pickaxe – every nut and bolt of which can be changed. There are also some very fun and unique perks. Our favourite of which was the hover boots.

A field of alien flowers
Dwarves in a firefight

The Mining Missions

While the mechanics and goals of Deep Rock Galactic are quite repetitive at heart, the gameplay doesn’t get stale thanks to the game’s bubbling personality and variety of mission types. Depending on the mission, the dwarves might be hunting eggs, searching for rare minerals, or building and connecting grindable fuel pumps, to name a few.

The missions happen in different locations in the solar system, each sector has a different feel with different skins and a few other changes. All of them are tense, in no small part due to the possibility of raiding hordes of bug-like beasts. Though a greater variety of foes wouldn’t go amiss, nor a less frustrating 3D scanning map (this was especially problematic on console).

Still, the cool parts of Deep Rock Galactic more than make up for these frustrations. And being cool is something DRG makes very easy. After just a few hours of gameplay you’ll find yourself performing zipline combat, shooting from giant flying stingray like creatures, and performing mid-air jumps between pipelines as you grind along them firing at swarms of foes.

Let’s Meet the Dwarves

The different dwarf classes are what gives the game so much flavour. There are four classes: Engineer, Driller, Gunner, and Scout. Each has their own weapon set, traversal tool, accessories, and more:

The Engineer builds and reloads turrets, fires a grenade launcher and deploys decoy grenades to distract the horde.

The Driller does hardcore CQB damage with a flamethrower as well as satchel charges and throwable impact axes.

The Scout works best alone with his personalised grappling hook, flare-gun, shotgun, and carbine providing the ideal kit for a mobile explorer.

The Gunner lives up to his name with a huge minigun, a heavy revolver, grenades, and a life-saving shield generator that pushes out foes.

Of course, all of this equipment can later be upgraded or swapped for other badass weaponry like proximity mines and cryo cannons.

These classes optimise for a really cohesive party that genuinely rely on each other not only in combat but to explore the deep dark caves. Each class has a unique traversal tool to help them explore the labyrinths, but these tools also encourage teamwork and cooperation. The Engineer lays bulbous platforms to help the team gain altitude; Drillers (unsurprisingly) drill but they do so in style – with dual wielded drill gloves; Gunners create a zipline that all of the party can use, and Scouts, best for exploring solo, have grappling guns allowing them to zip out of peril.

Is Deep Rock Galactic Fun to Play Solo?

While DRG is best played with three other friends, it’s is a great game to play alone or in pairs too. When solo playing, players have the assistance of a droid companion, Besco – who will mine on command, revive you if you’ve fallen, and assist with upgradeable weapons like rotating chain guns and rocket launchers.

In game screenshot

Is Deep Rock Galactic Worth Playing?

Absolutely. Deep Rock Galactic is a hugely fun multiplayer romp full of humour, character, dramatic action, and fun foes. It’s made all the better for its excellent voice acting, creative weapon design, and extensive customisation options. It’s a game that the devs have clearly enjoyed making and that makes it all the better for playing.

Is Deep Rock Galactic Better on Console or PC?

Having reviewed Deep Rock Galactic on Console and PC, we’d say the action is best suited for console or PC with a gamepad. That said, a few of the perk activation buttons and the 3D map scanner are more convenient with a keyboard.

As always with our multiplayer game reviews that just leaves us with two pieces of housekeeping:

Summary
Will We Play Again Post Review? You can bet your bottom dollar we will. “Leave no dwarf behind!”
Pros
  • Dwarves, I mean, c'mon!
  • A great variety of game modes
  • Fun ways to customise your party
Cons
  • Slightly repetitive at times
SCORE
9
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