Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor – PC Preview

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Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor is a new bullet-hell roguelite available in Early Access. It is being developed by Funday Games (Don’t Die In The West) with publishing by Ghost Ship Publishing (SpellrogueDeep Rock Galactic [technically Coffee Stain Publishing]). It is currently available for PC via Steam and there is no indication that it will be available on other platforms.

It’s Like a Love Letter to Rock and Stone

I don’t know about you, but I love Deep Rock Galactic. Overall it has a simple concept, is easy to dive into, and is a hell lot of fun playing with friends. If you haven’t checked it out, I highly recommend doing so. As a fan of DRG, I couldn’t overlook when the Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor demo hit Steam a while back. I was itching to get my hands on it for more and here we are! Are there any games that you’ve checked out simply because of the same IP – not necessarily the same genre? Let me know!

A screenshot of the game in action. The player's selected weapons are shown at the bottom of the screen and the dive timer at the top showing how far you have progressed to the elite. The gameplay shown is of a miner moving toward the left of the screen with a mass of bugs following close behind, getting killed in the process and leaving little xp gems in their wake.
Sometimes you just need to RUN AWAY!


Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor is a bullet-hell roguelite that is a direct salute to the FPS that gives it its namesake. But even if you’ve never played DRG, this is a welcome stand-alone game in this niche of genre. Similar games of this type include the well known Vampire Survivors and Halls of Torment. (Halls of Torment is actually still in early access too and I previewed it back in June.) Like with Halls of Torment, I played DRG:S primarily on my Steam Deck and it was quite hard to put down.

In true roguelike fashion, Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor sends the player into the fray with little more than a primary weapon at first. A dive consists of multiple levels and the objective is to survive and defeat the elite at the end of each level. As the player levels up, they have to choose one of three upgrades per level. New weapons can be picked up at levels 5, 15, and 25. You also have a chance to select upgrades between levels of your dive. This is dependent upon just how many gold and nitra (two primary minerals found around the map) you manage to make it out with. Specialty resources may also be found randomly throughout the different levels and these are used for passive upgrades that carry over to subsequent dives.

In addition to passive upgrades, player progression in Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor comes with a plethora of additional unlocks. Other classes, class mods, weapons, side missions, and more bonuses unlock simply by playing the game. Unlocks are tracked in the Milestones menu within the game so are available for easy reference. Leveling a weapon up to 12 for the first time in a dive also unlocks overclocks for that weapon in future dives. Overclocks are basically bonus upgrades for your weapon that change properties such as the number of beams or damage type. A lot of this is a nearly direct representation of what can be found in Deep Rock Galactic in addition to the enemies and environments.

Graphics & Audio

The level up screen and three options for weapon choice at that level are shown. Each weapon provides a description of how it operates and different attributes, such as the middle being for a turret that the player must pause to place.
Your weapon choices can greatly affect how your dive plays out.

Though I did take some time to play Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor on my pc, most of my play time has been on Steam Deck. The game looks and runs beautifully on both. The visual style is of the same aesthetic of the original DRG and compliments the gameplay very well. The only minor issue of note was when I had a very large swarm chasing me across the map. That sent my Steam Deck fans into overdrive!

Audio tracks and sound effects in Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor also seem to be directly from DRG. This is especially noticeable with the familiar guy in mission control bossing you around. But again, it transfers over well from the original game and even if you’re not familiar, it suits. The music emphasizes the tension exactly when it needs to.


Currently there are three different biomes in the game. These three biomes also have five different difficulty levels (named Hazards), each with specific objectives to complete. Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor also has an in-depth milestone and upgrades system. I feel like I haven’t even scratched the surface yet and it’s only in early access! About a week after launching into early access Funday Games also shared a living roadmap for what’s ahead that has plenty of content and changes coming down the pipeline. Though the game itself may be short-lived for some, for the price point you are going to be able to sink many, many hours in and get far above your money’s worth out of it.

The gameplay is shown as the player character, while shooting flames out in four directions, attempts to make it to the drop pod in time to leave. A timer is shown at the top of the screen with 16 remaining seconds. Green arrows along the ground point the way to it. A very large group of many, many bugs trails close behind in the upper right area of the screen.
Don’t miss the drop pod or you’ll be left behind and fail!

Final Thoughts

I have to say that Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor is already a stellar game. I only feel it will improve from here as Funday Games smooths out bugs and refines the gameplay. Not only that but also adds additional content in the process. It is definitely going to be another Steam Deck staple for me. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here!

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out my other reviews here.

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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