deep rock ga­lac­tic

We dig deep dur­ing our hand­son ses­sion with some heavy metal min­ers

XBox: The Official Magazine - - START - Adam Bryant

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.

Mine draught

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

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