DID I HEAR A ROCK AND STONE?
Deep Rock Galactic came out of left field for me, I’d scrolled past it a few times on Gamepass with no intention of ever playing it. One night though me and my mates were scrambling around looking for something to play and thought we’d give it a go, what helped with this decision was the fact it’s only 2GB – Why the hell some games are over 100GB I’ll never know.
Deep Rock Galactic is a FPS with mining mechanics where you essentially go on different missions with varying difficulty and objectives. There’s a nice amount of variation in missions from simply mining a raw material, destroying fleshy nests to find valuable eggs, to building tubes from your refinery all the way to different geysers in order to pump the resource back to base. At the end of the day it does usually just boil down to mining through some glorious rock and stone to find a specific material, but you are playing as dwarven miners so what else did you expect?
Upon loading the game you will have to complete a brief tutorial which is actually pretty decent at teaching you the basics and giving you a feel for the atmosphere and vibe of the game. The Ambience is great due to the darkness and lighting effects, you have a limited pool of regenerating glow sticks you can throw to illuminate your path – throw all five and you will have to wait for them to burn out in order to throw more.
IF YOU DONT ROCK AND STONE YOU AINT COMING HOME
After finishing the tutorial you are thrown into the hub world – your home ship, and this is where the game quickly turned into a barrel of laughs. I always love it when games have a little hub world you can play around in instead of going for the easy option of simply having a main menu. In this hub world you can choose your class, customise your dwarf with either cosmetics, perks or upgrading items, or you can mess about. There’s a jukebox with a dance floor, put a song on and watch your dwarf boogie like that drunk cousin at a relatives wedding with a few extra chromosomes to spare, as the camera changes to third person. Jumping on each others heads chanting Rock and stone over and over. There’s a little dunking basketball-esque game where you boot a barrel into a moving hoop which keeps your score. If you ask me that’s a lot better than just sitting in a menu waiting.
Spamming the right analog stick so your ugly bearded mess of a character shouts drivel about rock and stones over and over again was hilarious, we were clicking the stick that often (every millisecond) that one of my mates went to the menu to turn voices all the way down it had annoyed him that much. If there’s one thing you shouldn’t do if you don’t like something, it’s let your mates know ’cause they’re definitely gonna do it even more.
Deep Rock Galactic gave me big Starship Trooper vibes, mainly due to the enemies strongly resembling the insect like aliens from those movies. There’s a huge variety in the enemies too. From little buggers that just stumble toward you and don’t pose much of a threat to ginormous ones that roll around and can slam the ground blasting you away with seismic force. These bigger Aliens also tend to have armour and a weak point, so simply spraying at their head won’t do much damage, you’ll have to organise with your team and flank their behinds ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). There are also really challenging bosses that can spawn in at random moments which will be indicated by a health bar at the top of the screen.
As you progress through the levels random hordes of enemies can spawn and hone in on your location, which are very satisfying to survive through. Illuminating the green blood spattered on the cave walls with a glow stick after you’ve survived a crawling onslaught, admiring the hill of chitinous corpses piled up and crunching underfoot.The game isn’t a walk in the park, if you stroll around lackadaisically chances are you’re gonna wipe and you’ll need to restart the mission.
THAT’S IT LADS! ROCK AND STONE!
There’s a variety of different classes that are better at different things. One could be great at mining as he has a motorised mining tool, whilst the others have to rely on a pickaxe. One could be great at killing things with better weapons, and one could be better at navigating due to being more nimble and having a grapple hook. I chose the class with the grapple hook which made everyone else jealous, I could just yeet myself out of danger and leave the lads as bug food on the floor. Depending on your preferred play style, there’s definitely a viable class choice for you!
At the end of each level an escape pod burrows into the cave network a few hundred metres away from you. This is timed and will leave without you, so it’s quite anxiety inducing trying to make your way back through all the dark twisting caverns with bugs nibbling at your ankles. One of the missions we played two of us had made it back safely and the other was miles away struggling. Me being the hero I am decided to mount a rescue mission, and upon reaching him I saw his laughably pathetic attempts to climb a cavern, and his body crumpled at the bottom waiting to be revived – with a bug nibbling at his bald forehead. Needless to say it didn’t go well, I got downed whilst reviving him and we were both left behind… but we don’t need to talk about that. The whole experience reminds me of the wave planet in Interstellar when they’re running back to the ship, it’s pretty tense.
The gameplay and atmosphere would make for a great Alien game. I’m talking Xenomorphs crawling on walls, dripping acid on you as you pepper them with your peashooters, facehuggers leaping out of their eggs when you accidentally stumble into their nest. Just writing this is actually making me wish it were a thing, I’d buy it in a heart beat.
Overall Deep Rock Galactic is a fun game to be enjoyed with friends. It does get repetitive after a while as there’s only so much spelunking and bug killing one can do at a time. I think it would definitely be boring by yourself, so recommend downloading it with a friend. It’s not something you can play all night, but you can easily hop on every now and then and do a mission or two. Deep Rock Galactic earns the Gamepass Gold stamp of approval, and at only 2GB you’d be a fool to not give it a go. Get out there and mine some rock and stone – ’cause we all know if you don’t rock and stone, you ain’t coming home!