There is no game in the world that isn’t improved with the addition of lasers. By that metric alone, Deep Rock Galactic‘s Season 2 looks set to impress – but based on the game’s glowing Steam reviews, that probably won’t surprise anyone.
Deep Rock Galactic‘s premise – a co-op shooter where players must navigate a team of dwarven miners through procedurally generated (and destructible) levels – is already pretty damn innovative. The game’s first season has already proved that developer Ghost Ship Games has struck gold, which makes Season 2’s upcoming content – killer robots and exciting new weapons – all the more tantalising: it’s more of the same, in the best way possible.
In a hands-on preview of Deep Rock Galactic‘s Season 2, Ghost Ship Games debuted four new secondary weapons for players to run wild with. The best of these is the Engineer’s Shard Diffractor, a beam weapon which quickly sizzles anything in its path. Like GoldenEye‘s beloved watch laser, the Diffractor is supremely satisfying – but the other three new weapons are still cool enough to give it a run for its gold ore.
The Gunner gets the environment-destroying Armskore Coil Gun, while the Scout class is handed a Nishanka Boltshark X-80 – a crossbow that comes with a variety of options for ammo types. Finally, fans of the Driller class can wield the Colette Wave Cooker, an incredibly rewarding weapon that microwaves Deep Rock Galactic‘s numerous foes.
As discovered in the preview, these weapons aren’t being handed out for no reason: Season 2 pits players against hordes of robotic enemies, including the towering Nemesis: a mecha-Thatcher whose only goal in life is to make things difficult for miners. To survive it, players will need to kit their characters out in a way that makes their party as well-rounded as possible.
Even with a full squad making full use of Deep Rock Galactic‘s expanded arsenal, this Nemesis had little trouble dispatching an entire team in the preview session. Tentacles would casually lash out to catch miners who got to close, while longer-ranged attacks forced players to maintain a delicate balancing act of dodging attacks while returning fire. Working as a team was imperative to surviving this encounter – the Nemesis can score lethal damage by picking up and tossing unlucky dwarfs, so communicating who was down and who was still fighting was a must.
Despite its difficulty, taking on the Nemesis is a lot of fun: though it’s not the only new challenge to arrive with Season 2. This Season’s story revolves around taking on an adversarial faction known as the Rivals, and that entails smashing communications equipment found in expeditions. In this particular preview, it wasn’t possible to complete the Season event – an explosive robot left one of the devices unreachable – but that’s the nature of the game’s procedural maps, and in co-op games like Deep Rock Galactic, failure’s not so bad when it leaves you with a funny tale to share with pals.
Deep Rock Galactic‘s first season laid plenty of groundwork for the shooter to expand on. It feels like Ghost Ship Games is content to build upon Deep Rock Galactic‘s innovative Minecraft meets Left 4 Dead formula, and from the preview – filled with deadly new enemies, gleefully explosive weapons, and entertaining cosmetics, it looks set to achieve that with ease. Fans of Deep Rock Galactic are in for a treat when Season 2 launches later this month – and if you’re yet to experience the game’s frantic carnage, now is a great time to dig in.