Deep Rock Galactic Review – Xbox One & PC

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Deep Rock Galactic

Publisher: Coffee Stain Publishing
Developer: Ghost Ship Games
Genre: Action
Released: May 13 2020
Certificate: 16+
Consoles: Xbox One & PC

Deep Rock Galactic is a 4-player, co-operative, class-based FPS, set in 100% destructible, random-seed, procedurally–generated environments. You’re here to mine minerals, fight waves of alien bugs, build pipelines, explore varied biomes, drink beer, work as a team and most of all salute your fellow dwarves, Rock and Stone brothers!

Tomorrow marks the release of Update 33, aptly titled New Frontiers. The update implements 2 new biomes: Hollow Bough and Azure Weald. Also a few new enemy types are being introduced. Mactera veteran enemies the Tri-Jaw and Brundle. As well as 2 new Dreadnaught varieties the Hiveguard and the twins, Arbalest and Lacerater. Also being released tomorrow is the cosmetic DLC Dawn of the Dread, giving each dwarf some glyphid carapace armour as well as new paint jobs for their weapons, pickaxe and dearest Bosco. Let’s take a look over what makes up this brilliant, original co-op game, and why now it a great time to join the fun.



All classes have access to the same perks but are differentiated by their weapons and support abilities. Each class is equipped with a traversal-based mechanic and a support-based mechanic:

  • The Driller, as his name suggests, has drills which allow for quick penetration of the landscape. He also comes equipped with C4 charges which not only do immense damage to enemies (and occasionally teammates) but also allow for fast mineral mining.
  • The Engineer comes outfitted with a platform gun which shoots circular pads enabling softer landings and the creation of bridges and stairs. Engi is never too far from his trusty turret guns either, allowing for strategic defense against waves of enemies.
  • The Scout has a batman-esque grapple gun allowing him to zoom around the map to get to those hard to reach minerals, or quickly coming to the rescue of a fallen teammate. He also comes with a powerful flare launcher bringing light to even the darkest of large caves.
  • The Gunner brings his zip-wires for convenient travel across large chasms and up and down the steepest of cliffs, all while keeping you free to shoot those nasty bugs on the walls, floor, ceilings, your fellow dwarfs face etc.

Each Dwarf in Deep Rock Glactic has a primary and secondary weapon. After a little bit of leveling up they will also unlock a second option for each. These weapons are all heavily customisable. From purchasing an assortment of upgrades (higher damage, more ammo, armour piercing, larger clips etc.) to installing “overclocks”. These mods and upgrades drastically alter the behaviour of the weapons. This allows for an immense amount of experimentation and variance in loadouts.

Working together as a team can help bring out the best of each loadout. For example, the Engineer has a SMG that does extra electricity damage for enemies caught in an electromagnetic field, and the scout has an electromagnetic field generation grenade that slows enemies down. So, not only is there a huge variety for maximising your efficiency as an individual dwarf but also for working together as a team and complementing each other.


There is a diverse choice when it comes to biomes on the planet Hoxxes 4. Here’s a quick breakdown of the pre-update 33 biomes:

  • Crystalline Caverns: Tight corridors filled with worthless, easily smashable crystals jutting out of the walls at irregular angles. Be weary of the electric crystals though, standing near them is bound to be shocking.
  • Salt Pits: Red and white salt packs these caverns. Watch out for the fragile stalactites and platforms that will collapse when disturbed.
  • Fungus Bogs: Overgrown with vegetation and poisonous spores the harshest part of these caves is trying to walk through the sticky goo that litters the environment.
  • Radioactive Exclusion Zone: Much like the electric crystals of the crystalline caverns this biome contains radioactive crystals which damage everything and anything that comes near. Stay vigilant for those radioactive glyphids, miner!
  • Dense Biome: Dark, narrow corridors covered in grass and shrubs that may conceal smaller enemies. Naedocyte shocker enemies are found in this environment, don’t get overwhelmed!
  • Glacial Strata: Blizzards, ice vents that freeze you, snow that slows movement, smooth ice which causes you to slide around, ice-based enemies and earthquakes which may create large crevices. Oh, and more Naedocyte shockers, keep your wits about you.
  • Magma Core: The opposite of Glacial Strata. Earthquakes which open up molten crevices, lava geysers, explosive plants, explosive enemies. The hazards here are numerous and even the ground itself can hurt you.
  • Sandblasted Corridors: The only biome where the environment only takes one pickaxe strike to destroy. These caves can be massively expansive. Be careful with the wind tunnels, fall damage is very likely and sandstorms will reduce visibility to near zero.

Each Environment is more or less likely to contain specific minerals. So, if you’re running short on Enor Pearls, for example, try the Salt Pits. Or, if you’re in need of some Bismor look no further than the Dense Biome. You could also just use the mineral trade on the space rig and sell what you don’t need to purchase what you do.

New Frontiers adds two new environments and we look forward to discovering the strange and unique quirks in both of them. Hollow Bough contains tangled, thorny roots which unwind when damaged. While Azure Weald is reminiscent of another famous dwarvern video game location, Blackreach. It features dark caves speckled with bioluminescent vegetation.


Hoxxes is infested with a wide range of creatures, monsters, creepy crawlies and harmless wildlife on top of its environmental hazards. I won’t break down every single enemy, but here’s a taste of what the game offers.

Glyphids: The primary enemy of Deep Rock Galactic. These are large (to a dwarf) arachnid like creatures that come in around 15 types. Some of which have different variations depending on the biome you encounter them in. Here’s some notable Glyphids:

  • Praetorian: The most common heavy enemy. These guys take more damage than your average grunt. They have a medium range AOE attack that does sustained damage. They come in 3 Variants: Common, Ice and Radioactive. Be aware of how these will affect you during the mission.
  • Oppressor: When one of these turn up you should turn your attention to it immediately. The longer it’s there the more carnage it will cause. It’s heavily armoured at the front and its weak point is very small. It’s AOE slam attack can make defending an area or delivering an objective more than a little difficult.
  • Warden: The Warden should be your focus as soon as you see those tell-tale pink beams. The Warden buffs the grunts and heals them, so take out the warden before focussing on the grunts.
  • Menace: The menace does what it says on the tin. Be quick to kill these as soon as you see them. They will dig back into the walls and reappear somewhere else to terrorise you from the ceiling until killed.
  • Bulk Detonator: The biggest common baddie. Freezing these guys before you kill them is highly advisable. The Bulk does a lot of damage with its strike, but luckily its slow moving and can be easily avoided. If you can’t freeze it make sure you’ve space to run away from its explosive demise.

Mactera: The resident common flying enemies sent to bother the miners; these can cause some issues if you aren’t vigilant. Here’s who you need to keep an eye out for:

  • Goo Bomber: Shoot its bulbous sacks, otherwise it will drop sticky goo that will reduce your mobility.
  • Grabber: “I can show you the world.” The grabber will take you for a ride, remember to help you fellow dwarves if they get snatched!

Plenty of other enemies will cause your problems across Hoxxes. Don’t let your guard down. Deep Rock Galactic has many challenges for your dwarves to overcome. Here’s some of the most dangerous other enemies you might encounter.

  • Nayaka Trawler: Exclusive to sandblasted corridors this beasty will grab you and take you far away from your teammates. It will cause damage the entire time. They’re hard to hit as they will bury themselves in the sand to avoid your gunfire.
  • Cave Leach: Watch the ceilings! The cave leaches are stealthy and dangerous. Be careful Scouts. Save your teammates ASAP when they’ve been grabbed.
  • Spitball Infector: A large stationary enemy that can cause a lot of damage from far away. They’re easy enough to destroy but can cause issues if not dealt with before an active swarm event.
  • Naedocyte Breeder: If you see some pink Naedocytes then there’s one of these about. It’s best you deal with them quickly before they become a persistent nuisance.

These aren’t even half the enemies you will encounter in Deep Rock Galactic. The game features many different types of baddies to keep you on your toes. Don’t stand still for too long, stay well stocked with nitra and work together and you should be fine. Pay attention to any special warnings and anomalies when selecting a mission.

Mission Types

There is plenty of variety when it comes to missions on Hoxxes. Management want various different objectives completed by you dwarves. Let’s see what’s in your job description.

  • Mining Expedition: Simple enough. Management expects a certain amount of Morkite, go down to Hoxxes and bring it back. Mine it from the walls like any other mineral and dump it in the mule before heading back to the drop pod.
  • Egg Hunt: Not too dissimilar from the mining expedition, except you are collecting eggs buried deep in the walls of Hoxxes. Each egg has a chance to spawn a swarm so make sure you’re collecting enough nitra to restock before you grab it.
  • Salvage Operation: Collect the parts, fix the mini-mules and return them to the drop pod. Activate the uplink and refuel the drop pod before leaving. This mission is all about defending an area. A great time for the Gunner and Engineer to shine.
  • Point Extraction: Like the Egg hunt, but more stationary. Explore the cave, dig up the glowing aquarqs and deliver them back to the mining platform. It’s tempting to go off on your own to quickly grab a gem, but you may be putting yourself and your team in danger.
  • Elimination: Hunt the Dreadnaught. An armoured and deadly glyphid with mountains of health and devastating ranged and melee attacks. Make sure you’re somewhere that allows you to move around before you crack open its pod.
  • Escort Duty: Protect the Drilldozer on its journey to the Ommoran Core and defend it while it drills through the crust. Make sure you pay attention to its health and fuel as you will need to repair and refill along the journey.
  • On-Site Refining: Like the Point extraction these missions take place in single large caverns. Find the liquid morkite sites, call in a pumpjack and connect the refinery via pipes and then defend those pipes with your lives miners!
  • Deep Dives: These are pre-seeded adventures of 3 separate missions with no breaks in between. Ammo and health carry over between missions so make sure to conserve what you have and stock up on Nitra. Each level of the Dive will have 2 objectives from those listed above. Good Luck.

Combining the different mission types with the various enemy types and biomes allows Deep Rock Galactic a tremendous amount of variation in gameplay experiences. This is only compounded by the procedurally generated maps which guarantee you’ll never experience the same cave twice. Each individual mission will also come with a secondary objective, such as collecting fossils, plants, minerals or exterminating fleas along the way.


Deep Rock Galactic is a fantastic casual co-op game. It’s fun, chaotic teamwork at its best. There hasn’t been a co-op game that really makes you feel like each person contributes to the team quite like this in a long time. While Left 4 Dead, Vermintide and Borderlands games merely feel like an extra body improves your chances of survival DRG feels as though an extra Dwarf improves the experience overall. Using the Gunners zip-lines to get the aquarqs back to the mining platform or following the driller as he carves his way through the terrain back to the drop pod really enhance that feeling of contribution each player has. The random-seed levels paired with the unmatched variation of mission types and biomes, that are still ever-increasing through free updates, makes sure the game remains fresh.

There’s plenty of aspects of the game I haven’t touched on here either. Such as the cosmetic customisation of you dwarf. Outfitting your own rough-and-tumble miner with ridiculous moustaches, hats and bejewel beards is surprisingly addictive. Drinking a special beer before each mission to give yourself a little more health, a stronger pickaxe attack or the ability to collect more gold from each vein, not to mention the novelty beers that are best left to explore yourself. Don’t forget to collect those ingredients on your missions.

If you haven’t yet checked out Deep Rock Galactic yet I heartily encourage you to do so. Even played alone the game is engaging and might I say meditative but played with other dwarves it’s a revelation. And, for an online game the community is surprisingly non-toxic. Update 33 looks to keep adding to the well of content this game is already overflowing with, with yet more on the horizon. Truly an action game for all. Karl would be proud.

Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding