Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor – Dig Deeper, Shoot Faster

Bugs, Guns and Ore – If you like one of those things, you’re gonna have a good time with Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor.

Get busy mining, or get busy dying!

Dig deeper, shoot faster. If I had to describe Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor in one go, that’d be it. It does what it says on the tin, an auto-shooter looter that never fails to elicit that feeling of “Oh, I almost had it. Better give it one more go…” at 1am. I’ve never been one for games in this genre before, with Vampire Survivors failing to hook me in when anyone else I knew was recommending it to everyone and their mother when it was sweeping the Steam store, but DG:S has successfully got its claws in me.

Its big, dwarfy claws. For starters, I should get it out of the way that this game has a similar gameplay loop to its predecessor, Deep Rock Galactic. You’re a dwarf, you have an arsenal of wacky weapons and you’ve been given an assignment from the higher-ups to mine an asteroid and kill a gigantic bug that currently resides inside of it. As soon as the lander touches solid ground, you’re off and away, guns blazing and pickaxe swinging. The immediate startup leaves no room for consideration as you’re thrust into survival mode.

Spinoff Central

With those of you unfamiliar with the idea of an auto-shooter, the concept of it is extremely easy to understand. You, the player, are a gun. A gun that never stops shooting at any point unless you are dead. Sometimes you’ll shoot fast, sometimes you’ll shoot slow and sometimes you’ll shoot bigger bullets. But at the core of it, you’re always going to be shooting. With that out of the way, what makes DG:S different from others in the genre? I should preface this by saying that Deep Rock Galactic is a very, very fun game. The setting works, the character barks are delightful and the co-op potential is fantastic with a group of friends.

So imagine my surprise when I found out that Ghost Ship Publishing would be releasing another Deep Rock game, though this time without the co-op that made the first game such a stand out for me? I was baffled. How would it hold up to the original?

Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor

Wonderfully, I can confidently report! While doing away with online play, the high stakes gameplay and bizarre upgrades do a great job of keeping you on your toes as you delve deeper and progress further into a level. You might think that to begin with, there aren’t as many bugs to shoot, maybe a few little clusters here and there but nothing too major, right? WRONG! The swarm mechanic means after a certain amount of time, expect to have your screen full of alien creepy crawlies, something that I think helps elevate the level of danger without feeling too cheap.

Dwarves with different hats

Let’s talk about the classes. You’ll begin the game with a standard dwarf lad that’s a “Scout”, with a couple of class-specific characteristics that make their gameplay differ ever so slightly from the others. As you progress further into the game, level up and collect more XP from successful runs, you’ll find that the other dwarven specialists are there for you to send to the depths. Personally, I was a big fan of the Gunner as they have a preset that lets you spit out bullets like it’s going out of style. I should mention though that each of these classes is unique, each of them having their own little quirks that makes them differ from each other.

I will also say that no matter what class you end up choosing, all of the weapons in the game as well as upgrades are still open to you – classes do not dictate what you end up being able to unlock as you progress. That’s part of what makes this such a winner for me, I never felt like I was putting myself at a detriment by picking my favourite class.

Needs more gun!

The upgrades do well to sell the whole ‘gun, but BIGGER gun’ a lot for me. There are upgrades that make your bullets fiery, frosty, electric or acidic all of which have their own respective buffs and effects against the alien hordes. Don’t fancy that? No problem, you can just keep grabbing every upgrade that makes your weapons shoot faster or deal more damage if that’s something a little more your tempo. There’s also a lot of protective equipment too which negates some of the damage you can expect to take during a dig and can get you out of a tight spot!

Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor

I can’t say that I had any particular gripes or anything that ruined my enjoyment of DG:S whilst I completed my digs, although I will say that I think the game could benefit from a few tiny little tip widgets or tutorial information that let new players to the franchise know what they’re getting themselves into before jumping headfirst into a new dig. That does, however, oddly work here as the discovery of each new upgrade, weapon, enemy and class has that sense of shiny new thing to it.


Deep Rock: ?

In conclusion, do I recommend Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor? Yes, I absolutely do. It’s the kind of game you throw on thinking you’ll just do a quick run and then, before you know it, the sun is coming up and you forgot to eat and sleep before work the next day. Yes, it had that much of a grip on me, embarrassingly. I also love the continued support from Ghost Ship Publishing to do more with the Deep Rock ‘universe’, I think they’re on to something with these little spin-off games and am looking forward to whatever they publish next.

Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor is available now on Steam!

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