deep rock galactic
We dig deep during our handson session with some heavy metal miners
PUBLISHER Coffee Stain Publishing Developer Ghost Ship Games Format Xbox One ETA 2018 (full release)
When you discover an extremely hostile alien planet that’s rich in valuable materials and find it teaming with dangerous creatures, you send in dwarves. Not the live-in-the-woodslooking-after-young-women kind, but the stout, beer-drinking, heavymetal-loving space kind. This sci-fi co-op shooter has been described as Left 4 Dead meets Minecraft, but after getting our hands on it we think it proudly stands on its own.
Taking control of one of four hulking space dwarves, it’s your job to work as a team to complete missions on the hostile planet of Hoxxes IV on behalf of Deep Rock Galactic. This health and safety averse mining corporation will have you and your three dwarven colleagues jumping into procedurally generated networks of caves in order to mine and gather valuable resources and hopefully make it back alive.
There are four unique classes to choose from. The Gunner, with a minigun and a zip-line launcher to blast enemies and bridge large chasms respectively. The Engineer sports a platform-creating gun to help the team get to hard-to-reach areas, as well as a shotgun, grenade launcher and a sentry turret for holding off waves of enemies. Equipped with two power drills, the Driller can make light work of the fully destructible environments, and has a flamethrower to hand. Finally there’s the Scout, who uses a grappling hook to quickly reach any area and scout ahead, and an auto-rifle and sawn-off shotgun for extra firepower. We chose Engineer, because that shotgun and sentry turret combo sounded irresistible.
We started our demo on board a spaceship that acts as a hub area where you can level up, customise your character or weapon loadouts, and socialise with your team. There’s even a jukebox pumping out music to dance to. Once you’ve chosen your mission it’s time to hop into a boring drill which will fire you deep into the planet and send you on your way.
Our mission involved locating, mining and extracting a rare material known as Morkite. It sounded simple enough, but that was before waves of arachnid-type creatures started closing in on us once we discovered our first Morkite vein. We were surrounded so it seemed like an appropriate time to place a sentry turret, and as everyone stood backto-back blasting enemies we saw the health of the critters slowly chipping away. Once the horde was cleared and a couple of the team were revived we continued to sweep through the mine.
You may be a stout dwarf but you can’t carry everything and your packs will soon get full. This is where the Mining Utility Lift-Engine, or MULE, comes in. This cute little quadruped robot, once summoned, will come running to your location and lighten your load, allowing you to mine away.
After some more alien encounters we had collected the requested amount of Morkite and called for extraction. What ensued was an intense race against time to reach the exit while fighting off an even larger wave of enemies. We got turned around during the mission, so the Driller started making a path towards the exit. One of our team went down but we ran back to revive them and we all made it out alive.
Our hands-on session was a blast, and with it now available on Xbox Game Preview you can see for yourself how it plays. Grab your axes and start growing those beards – Deep Rock Galactic is hiring.
“There was a race against time to reach the exit while fighting waves of enemies”
The plural of dwarf is dwarfs but a grammatical slip by JRR Tolkien popularised it as dwarves