Beloved co-op game Deep Rock Galactic is back, as a roguelike

Deep Rock Galactic Rogue Core is a co-op game for up to four players, bringing the Dwarf FPS mining game into the roguelike format for rock and stone fans.

Deep Rock Galactic boasts perhaps one of the most enthusiastic communities online. It never fails to bring a smile to my face when, on some unrelated thread on a forum for a completely different topic, an off-hand remark leads two or more complete strangers to bellow “Rock and Stone!” in unison at one another. Now, new game Deep Rock Galactic Rogue Core gives the Dwarf mining game a new dynamic in a four-player FPS roguelite.

Deep Rock Galactic Rogue Core is a standalone game from the original DRG that puts a ‘roguelite twist’ on proceedings. Taking inspiration from the best roguelike games, you’ll no longer bring increasingly stacked gear loadouts with you on each subsequent mission as you progress. Instead, you’ll have to start off with basic gear in each mission, building up your powers and abilities as you go.

Things go awry when the Deep Rock Galactic mining company sets up covert operations deep within Hoxxes IV in search of an incredibly useful new mineral called ‘Expenite.’ Before long, its dig sites have fallen dark and all contact is lost. You and your teammates are the Reclaimers, an elite crew sent to bring the sites back online, discover what’s causing ‘The Greyout,’ and prevent further troubles.

When heading out on a mission in Rogue Core, you’ll grab a Phase Suit with an active ability of your choosing, along with one of the unique Reclaimer weapons. Once you land, you’ll carve your way in through the Greyout barrier – a one-way entrance point. As you progress, salvaged DRG equipment and weapons can be shared between your crew, while uncovering Expenite deposits will let you unlock potent, temporary upgrades.

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The deeper you dig, the more powerful you’ll get – but the more dangerous exploration becomes. Ultimately, your goal is to reclaim the dig site at the very Core. Between missions, you’ll unlock new Reclaimer weapons, Phase Suits, and Suit Mods that can show up for future runs.

Deep Rock Galactic Rogue Core isn’t yet ready to launch, although Ghost Ship Games is planning an extensive early access period. Instead, this initial announcement marks the beginning of ‘open development’ – something the team says “made DRG a better game than it otherwise would have been.”

“This is our open invitation to you to come on this journey with us as we tackle making a game right from the very earliest stage of development – way before we launch into early access,” Ghost Ship Games explains. “We recognize that this kind of thing is not everyone’s cup of tea, and if so simply don’t join – but we have faith that a lot of you will.”

Deep Rock Galactic Rogue Core - Three abilities to power up your character.

Once the game gets closer to release, there will be opportunities for closed alpha testing, before the game launches via Steam Early Access proper. When it does, you’ll be able to buy a copy to join in at a reduced price “to reflect its unfinished state,” much akin to the original Deep Rock Galactic. Ghost Ship says it expects this early access period to last “18 to 24 months,” so don’t expect to see the full game to launch for a few years to come.

Deep Rock Galactic Rogue Core is set to launch via Steam Early Access. There’s currently no release date, and the team at Ghost Ship Games emphasizes that it is “still early days” but is committing to a process of ‘open development’ – you can follow its progress and wishlist it on Steam if you’re curious about joining in.

The original Deep Rock Galactic, meanwhile, remains one of the most fun co-op games on PC, and it’s also available as part of Microsoft’s PC Game Pass library if you’re a subscriber. So give it a try, and maybe one day you’ll find yourself joining that glorious chorus of “Rock and Stone!”

Take a look through the best upcoming games for the rest of 2023 and beyond if you’re after something a bit nearer on the horizon, or have a browse of the best FPS games if you fancy blasting something right now.