Stepping foot on the moon back in 1969 was seen as perhaps one of the biggest steps for mankind and all these years later we may know more about space than before but have never once returned to the moon. Though what if the moon ended up being the only way for humanity to possibly survive? That is the question poised by developer KeokeN Interactive and one that rings rather close to home despite advances made in recent years. So with Deliver Us The Moon now arriving on consoles, is this exploration game worth your time?
Set in the not too distant future the world has come together to deal with a climate crisis unlike anything the world has seen before on top of dwindling resources to keep those who are surviving alive. With dust storms sweeping the planet and over a third of the surface already transformed into a desert, the World Space Agency managed to use what few resources were left to colonize the moon in 2032 and locate a powerful energy source, the Helium-3 isotope. Through the use of a newly invented Microwave Power Transmission system the energy could be beamed back down to Earth for humanity to once again thrive.
For some time this seemed like a fine solution until the MPT suddenly went dark in 2054 leaving Earth with no hope left for the future as no communication could be made with those that operated the facility. While most of humanity gave up hope, a small group of scientists managed to scavenge enough resources over the course of five years to make one last desperate chance for the moon with a single person vessel in an attempt to not only find out what happened but once again, deliver the moon’s power to the people.
Deliver Us The Moon quickly drives home how desperate the situation is on Earth and how humanity is basically doomed should the player fail to accomplish their mission. Most of the story is presented through audio logs, hologram recordings, and notes located on terminals that players will need to find in the environment, allowing for some fascinating storytelling where only small pieces of the story are actually told in real time and most of what is discovered are bits and pieces of the past that unveil the fate of the station and those who resided onboard. There are certain collectibles that are unmissable to make sure that players are able to keep up with the story beats but exploration is key to really enjoy most of what the game has to offer as the extra collectibles provide extra context and depth to most events.
That being said, while Deliver Us The Moon starts out rather strongly it does end up losing steam as the game progresses through its fairly short length, running only a bit over four hours even when tracking down collectibles. This is primarily due to the fact that the main story does end up becoming a little predictable after the halfway point and also ends rather abruptly, though at least the tension of exploring a nearly destroyed station and carrying the fate of humanity remains true all the way through to the ending.
In many ways Deliver Us The Moon keeps players on their toes a bit when it comes to how the game will be played as the title regularly switches things up on players by having them play in third person, first person, in zero gravity, or even exploring the surface of the moon depending on the situation. Exploration is pretty much the key focus since, as mentioned before, most of the game’s storyline and extra content comes in the form of clues in the environment and collectibles scattered around. Navigating through zero gravity does make for some of the best moments of the game, since normal walking can be a bit floaty at times, and not due to low gravity.
There are a fair number of puzzles that players will need to solve to advance past various roadblocks and while a few of them are as simple as tracking down a code on a piece of paper, there are some more involved puzzles with some fun solutions though none of them are too challenging so those looking for some difficult puzzles will be a bit disappointed here. It is also worth noting that there are more than a few action sequences here and there that make use of both quick time events and placing players on a timer or face a game over so the developers have made sure to provide a great mix here that really drives home the unpredictability of space, especially since the space station itself is nearly falling apart.
Another plus happens to be the slow deliverance of additional gameplay elements in the form of new tools. These range from a cutting laser to a robotic companion that can be sent through vents or used to examine things the player cannot reach. That being said, although exploration can reveal more about the history of what happened on the station, there really is no variety here for players to enjoy. Instead the game features a very linear path paired with a short run time which can be a bit disappointing especially since it is clear that there is more to the story.
It is also worth noting that the game does from some rather rough performance drops regularly throughout most chapters. This is especially true when it comes to dealing with various particle effects that can slow the game down to a crawl and while Deliver Us The Moon does feature a fairly generous checkpoint system in case of death that take a while to load, most autosaves bring the game to a temporary halt which is more than a little distracting.
Visuals & Audio
There are a lot of ways to tackle the vacuum of space and the wonders that can be seen beyond the atmosphere and the developers have done a great job depicting not only the vastness of space while staring out into the sky or while outside of the safety of a station but also the functionally sterile but worn down aspect of the stations. One must also applaud how well objects react when bumped into or used in zero gravity.
The voice work present through radio transmissions as well as collectibles is handled quite well and can do a great job of piercing through the eerie quietness and atmospheric sounds that exist on moon and the station itself.
Deliver Us The Moon Manages to deliver an enticing adventure involving a mystery in space with the human race’s fate hanging in the balance. With a solid variety of puzzles and some impressive visuals to witness while exploring, Deliver Us The Moon keeps players active with something new every chapter in what ends up becoming a worthwhile adventure that is a bit rough around the edges and unfortunately is rather short in length.