Dwarves, Danger and Darkness

As Gimli from the movie “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” said, “And they call it a mine … a mine!” Indeed, Gimli, indeed. Although unlike in the “Fellowship of the Ring” where Gimli is marveling at Dwarven engineering, the game “Deep Rock Galactic” by Ghost Ship Games deals with something even Gimli would have to recognize as a mining operation.

“Deep Rock Galactic” was released last Wednesday, Feb. 28, for personal computer (PC) and is available on the Early Access Steam Store page. As a disclaimer, early access games are always a risk to put money into, but from the reviews and gameplay I have seen thus far, “Deep Rock Galactic” seems to be a pretty solid experience.

The meat and potatoes of “Deep Rock Galactic” is its multiplayer focused gameplay element. There is definitely a single player experience to be had, but from what I have observed, it somewhat pales in comparison.

There are four unique classes of dwarves that you and your friends can play as, and you will use them to collect various resources in dark caves and cavernous spaces while fighting off hordes of giant bug monsters. You can help escort your team through caves by being the Gunner, light up dark places and look for resources as the Scout, dig holes into rock as the Driller or help protect your Dwarven brethren by constructing buildings and turrets.

To help you along the way, there are some nifty gadgets that you and your fellow dwarves have at your disposal. There are Gatling guns, flamethrowers, platform launchers and much more.

The environments in “Deep Rock Galactic” are fully destructible, which means you can complete missions and objectives however you want. You can dig straight down to get to the valuable rocks and elements you need, or you can hop from ledge to ledge and build along the way.

Every map that you load into is completely different from any of the previous cave systems you have explored. This is due to a procedurally generated program that randomizes the layout of each map.

One question on the Early Access Steam Store page for this game was, “How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?” The developers, Ghost Ship Games, responded with, “At first, the Early Access version of the game will focus on the Core Game Loop — getting the basics right. The plan for the full version is to add and expand on things like: More game modes, much more varied cave systems, and actual biomes within them. Many more tools, gadgets, and equipment. More character classes, each with access to their own unique gear. A deep and meaningful Meta game. More, more, more!”

The developers for this game have plans, and I will give them the benefit of the doubt because the game they already have looks well done and cared for. I hope that they keep working on it and do not quit halfway through development like many games I have witnessed. (Darn you to hell, “Blood and Gold: Caribbean.”)

I hope “Deep Rock Galactic” continues the obvious progress it has already made. With any luck, the developers will keep updating and fixing their baby until they can confidently bring it out of Early Access.

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