Ghost Ship Games’ Deep Rock Galactic has been called many things, but the description that fits it best is probably ‘Left 4 Dead meets Minecraft’. Of course, there’s a lot more to Deep Rock Galactic than that, but the one thing that should be pointed out about the game is that while it can be played solo, it’s one of those games that are best enjoyed co-op. Don’t let that turn you off though, this is a fantastic co-op game, even if you’re playing with randoms, which was apparently Ghost Ship Games goal all along, to make a fantastic co-op game. Without further ado, let’s get into the review.
Deep Rock Galactic – Gameplay
With the game being co-op first everything else later, there’s no real story here. There is a background plot in place for what you’re doing what you’re doing, but that’s about it really. The moment you start the game you’re thrown into a tutorial, which you need to finish to start playing co-op. The tutorial does a great job of introducing the game’s basics to you. Use pickaxe to make tunnels and mine resources. Use gun to shoot at bad spider things. Call M.U.L.E to deposit resources you’ve mined. Then there are the aditional abilities, press 3 to equip zipline launcher – for hard to reach places, press 4 to create a shield globe. While you’re doing all of the above you’re constantly tossing out flares to light the way, which is otherwise very very dark. The final step, once you’ve deposited the required amount of mats into the M.U.L.E is to call for an evac ship. It’s not that simple though, the game will tell you where it’s landing and you’ve got to get there before the timer runs out, or it’ll leave you behind. That’s about it to the gameplay loop, which is both simple and somehow, a lot of fun.
What you have here is a very well-balanced co-op experience, with so many different aspects to the gameplay loop, the resource gathering, dealing with enemies, race to the evac ship, it all weaves together very nicely, so props to Ghost Ship Games for pulling it off. If the above wasn’t enough, there are also different miner classes, each specialising in one of the above mentioned aspects. Scouts for lighting the way with more powerful flares, gunners who are equipped for dealing with baddies, drillers who all about the resources and engineers who can set up turrets and other defencive structures. Four classes in a four-player co-op game.
If you’re not a pre-made team of four, things can get pretty chaotic. Deep Rock Galactic features a rather complicated 3D map, that’s hard to grasp at first, there’s also all the darkness, so it’s easy for everyone to keep getting lost while attempting to navigate the environment. The environments in the game are procedurally generated, so no two runs are the same, and the environments are also almost completely desrtuctible. Of course, this means that there’s no real way for you to know where the resources you need are; this is something you need to figure out on your own, and without coordination, this can, for lack of a better word, be a b*tch. This makes a rather difficult game to get into, but once you master the terrain, literally anything is possible. Making the four classes work together is something to witness, and is honestly enough to keep anyone going. With all that said, you really want to be playing this game co-op. You can certainly play it solo, but it won’t be nearly as fun of an experience, it almost feels incomplete. Like they said, co-op game first.
Deep Rock Galactic – Graphics and audio
The game isn’t too graphically intensive, however, some of the effects can tank your frames. If you have a powerful rig though, you shouldn’t have any issues whatsoever. In terms of looks, the game looks kind of like a very clean, voxelised version of Borderlands. You aren’t on Pandora however, you’re in a lot of caves. There is quite a bit of variety in the biomes, with new ones being added regularly. Shiny crystals, glowing plants, complete pitch darkness, it’s all there. The game’s sounds compliment everything very well, from the pickaxes thwaking away at materials to the sounds of the various equipment you’re using and even gunfire. Of course, there’s the random dialogue that your miner throws out, in a very thick dwarvish (Irish?) accent.
Deep Rock Galactic – Verdict
Deep Rock Galactic is a game that’s hard to get into, but once you’re in, there’s no turning back. The gameplay loop is some of the best we’ve seen in co-op games, and we’d love to see them in more games. Everything works together really well, it simply clicks, but only if you’re playing co-op. This isn’t a game you want to invest in if you’re planning to go it solo.
SKOAR! – 8/10
Developer: Ghost Ship Games
Publishers: Coffee Stain Studios, Coffee Stain Platforms: Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Windows 10
Played on: Windows
Price: INR 699 (Steam)