Also coming soon: a medieval king, sieging a castle, on the back of a T. rex.

Deep Rock Galactic: Rogue Core looks like a tougher, action-minded co-op dig - Ars Technica

A lot of things can go wrong during a Deep Rock Galactic mission. Deep Rock Galactic: Rogue Core , a new roguelite spinoff from the makers of the cult co-op shoot-and-mine game, suggests that something has gone even more deeply, terribly wrong on Hoxxes IV. Now you, your friends, and a Processor Drone have to figure out what.

And you'll die—a lot, probably—then try again with new gear and lessons learned, if the title and announcement trailer are anything to go by.

You can wishlist Rogue Core on Steam now, and the game will launch in Early Access, which is anticipated to last for 18–24 months, in November 2024. Closed alpha tests will be announced on the game’s Steam page and fan Discord . Deep Rock ’s developer, Ghost Ship Games, promises “updates on the game’s direction right from the very earliest stage of development” and will be “adding new features to the game based on feedback and observations of how our community is playing it. Each feature will be tweaked, balanced, and polished as it is added.”

Mikkel Martin Pedersen, co-founder and game director at Ghost Ship Games, said in a press release that the company intends to keep fans in the loop, as “our process of open development helped Deep Rock Galactic be the game it has become.” The developer also emphasized that support for the original game will continue.

The game’s teaser trailer provides only a minimum of context for the plot. It’s heavy on the Ridley Scott Alien touches, right down to a Lego brick of a ship coasting toward a planet where the corporation has lost contact with workers who were mining near the planet’s core. Your “Reclaimers” team has to reestablish the dig. That's about all we know for now.

Then again, the plot of Deep Rock Galactic itself, while certainly peppered with lore, is essentially “We need these minerals, these bugs are in the way, sorry if they kill you.” Rogue Core will have the same fully destructible environments, procedurally generated levels, co-op interplay, and greedy corporations, but with a focus on getting farther into a run each time.

Your means of success is through customizing and upgrading your weapons and Phase Suit, using salvaged gear and Expenite, “a new wonder-mineral.” You complete tasks, find stuff, go deeper, and get stronger, until you inevitably fail and start again. Given the roguelite framing, you can expect some upgrades to stick with you from session to session. But R ogue may differ significantly from the far more casual, dig-by-dig nature of its foundation, if the claustrophobic, abandoned-station screenshots and trailer are any clue.

One might look at such a heavy emphasis on upgrades and achievements and wonder if microtransactions might infest this new horizon. But Ghost Ship has made a point of only offering cosmetic and non-gameplay goods for sale in DRG , relying on the main purchase price, word of mouth, and goodwill add-on purchases by fans for revenue.

Ghost Ship has quite a few other games cooking in its other, expanding role as a publisher, detailed in a livestream earlier today:

  • Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor , by Funday Games, has a playable demo until October 16, available as part of Steam’s Next Fest, and will release in early access in Q1 2024.
  • SpellRogue , a roguelike deck-builder by Guidelight Games, arrives in early access in January 2024 and also has a demo available.
  • Dinolords is a Medieval real-time strategy, but you can also control dinosaurs. It's due in early 2025 .

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