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Deep Rock Galactic review | PC Gamer


Need to know

What is it? Left 4 Dead meets Minecraft in deep space
Expect to pay £25
Developer Ghost Ship Games
Publisher Coffee Stain Publishing
Reviewed on i7 9700K, 16GB RAM, RTX 2080 TI
Multiplayer? 4-player co-op
Link Official site

You’ve no doubt heard that Deep Rock Galactic is like Left 4 Dead, if Valve’s co-op classic swapped zombies for alien arachnids and took place exclusively in dark, confounding tunnels. That’s more or less accurate, but Deep Rock Galactic’s eponymous depth is more than just environmental. The breadth of approaches possible here makes Vermintide 2 look like Desert Bus, and frankly it’s all a bit much for the first few hours.

An opening tutorial mission does a fantastic job of conveying the basics, though—this is your pick, use it to hack away at valuable minerals and carve tunnels. Right. Cool. Shoot the gun on the bad spiders—with you there. Call the M.U.L.E to you and deposit mined resources, press 3 to equip a zipline launcher and 4 to toss a rechargeable shield. Mine the required materials, dump them in the M.U.L.E., call for evac, then make it out through your own haphazard tunnel network before the dropship leaves without you. (Once the payload’s on board your employers could care less about the fleshier elements of their workforce.)

This all makes sense within the confines of a friendly dummy run to get you up to speed, and in fact depicts a brilliant core loop that should feature in other 4-player first-person co-op games. I wish Vermintide 2 stole that brilliant dynamic shift of having to rush your way back out through a level, racing against a stern time limit and raising the stakes to absolute failure if you don’t make it out in time. I wish there was more of Deep Rock Galactic’s resource harvesting and persistent upgrades to Left 4 Dead, to punctuate all that mowing down walls of groaning undead and carrying the odd gas cans to and fro. And asymmetrical class-based co-op is always a treat when it’s balanced this thoughtfully.

(Image credit: Coffee Stain)

It’s a fascinating proposition, and Ghost Ship Games deserve the dedicated fanbase they’ve found through Early Access by marrying such demanding elements as destructible scenery, class-based co-op and procedurally generated cave networks. That’s not to say it’s much fun for a newcomer, though.  

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