May 23, 2022

Deliver Us The Moon – Xbox One Review

The World Space Agency have lost contact with the Moon and in turn the new energy source supplied to Earth. Deliver Us The Moon puts you in the shoes of the Earth’s last astronaut and also it’s last hope.

Deliver Us The Moon is a Sci-fi thriller where you play as the silent protagonist known only as Fortuna, sent on a mission to investigate the Moon years after an event known as the Blackout, where communication with the Moon went dark.

The game revolves around getting to the Moon initially and then solving the mystery of what happened through puzzles, accompanied only by a drone known as an ASE; though I ended up calling it Dronaldo Nazário, as ASE just sounds like ass with an accent.

Gameplay… In Space!

Seems pretty straightforward, just do what the simplified drawing says, easy…

Different sections of Deliver Us The Moon utilizes differing camera angles, from third person in exploration to first person when operating machinery and floating through the Moonhub in zero gravity.

As soon as you’re thrust into the role of your character when donning the space suit at the start, you will realise there is little hand holding when faced with a problem, though the answer will be most likely staring you in the face.

To overcome the puzzles you will have limited options of what you can interact with or there will be a plan or drawing explaining how to complete the task. The best example of this is 10 minutes or so in when you have to complete the launch preparations to launch the Taurus V rocket for the Fortuna mission.

There is a small chance I forgot to invite everyone again…

I Want To Fly The Rocket!

Sat in the rocket you will see a plan on the wall explaining how to take off, showing you which switches to press and levers to pull. I can’t remember the last time I played a game that felt so realistic (in a game sense), making me feel like i was really on the way to the Moon to save humanity.

Side note on that, with the Earth’s energy sources depleted, humanity harnesses a new energy source from the Moon to help; as Earth is as you can understand, in an absolute state. It’s not surprising really, this is set in the near future, but have you looked outside lately? It’s a nightmare.

Your movement is kept simple; run, jump, flashlight, control Dronaldo and interact with screens and objects. As well being able to use a wrist mounted laser cutter on certain yellow latches to access new areas or send in your buddy Dronaldo.

The occasional platforming sections do a good job of advancing the story and don’t feel shoehorned in.

There are some great sections where you are running out of oxygen and can be seconds away from game over when completing your task, that only drills home the impact of your actions and what is at stake for all humanity if you fail, just a little bit of pressure then.

You can even keep fit whilst being silently watched by your robotic companion, who slowly hovers, staring at your space ass.

It’s Cold Outside, There’s No Kind of Atmosphere

The game imparts an eerie atmosphere upon the player, with silence and music used in equal parts to convey the tone as you try to unravel the mystery of what happened and where everyone from the Moon is.

Casting your eye over the landscape from the base you can see the scattered buildings dotting the surface, silent and still which is unsettling. As is the emptiness of the facilities, with no signs of why things went wrong, bar the computer systems not working correctly.

The music adds an ominous air to exploring, with the pieces used seemingly plucked from atmospheric horror scores such as The Woman in Black or Killer Clowns from Outer Space… okay, maybe not so much that one.

You can piece together the story of the Moon base by reading data-logs and listening to recordings, but there are also hologrammatic scenes to watch. I’ll be honest I spent a lot of time just waiting for necromorphs to pop out of somewhere and explain everything.

The first time I saw a hologram, I completely forgot to worry about aliens and just assumed the new problem was space ghosts! The holograms have strange, strobe lighting, stop motion like movement that to be honest terrifies me. I hate strobe lighting, it reminded me especially of that part in Halloween (2018), you know the bit I mean.

Damn it space ghosts, move out of the doorway, I’ve gotta a planet to save!

But Deliver Us The Moon does a fantastic job of making you feel alone and isolated on your mission, that is until you meet Dronaldo.

He Shall Be Called Dronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima

Your ASE will be your only friend in space and you’ll come to depend on it a lot to uncover the story, as it has the ability to “project holograms, including audio, of past events at the locations that these events happened.”

The section where you assemble Dronaldo can be a fun, but fiddly puzzle due to the lack of hand holding and although the plan is right before your eyes, the parts you see may not match the shape.

But your robot companion does pull his weight when traversing the various sections of the facilities, by taking control of the little fella you can squeeze through gaps and interact with special Dronaldo shaped slots to open doors.

The puzzles do vary and will take a bit of thought to overcome, keeping the game feeling fresh and further fueling your desire to save mankind and find the missing Moon inhabitants.

There are even a few Easter eggs to find, would it even surprise you if Pennywise turned up in space?

Closing Thoughts

The story features plenty of surprises as you you feel like you’re chasing ghosts at times, learning the story and following the exploits of Sarah Baker, a software engineer who made the trip before you.

You’ll have to keep your eyes open to find the artifacts that aid your investigation of the inhabitants and discover their motives and drives, along with the key events that occurred around the time contact was lost.

KeokeN Interactive have created a big budget experience with a comparatively small team and they deserve so much credit for what they’ve made. Thank you to KeokeN Interactive for providing the game code.

If all you’ve ever wanted was a Moon monorail, you’re in the right place. I hear those things are awfully loud, not in space, but don’t get me started, I’ll sing the whole song.

The main con I have to mention in Deliver Us The Moon is the frame rate which isn’t great when playing on Xbox One, that caused blur when moving the camera and can be a strain on your eyes when you’re looking around.

As of the time of review, the game is available on Gamepass on Xbox One, as well as PS4, Steam and on Nintendo Switch 28/09/2020.

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If you enjoyed this review, why not check out some our other reviews.

ABG Reviews

Mortal Shell – PC Review

Outer Wilds – PlayStation 4 Review

Paper Mario: The Origami King – Nintendo Switch Review

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A game that needs to be played
  • 8.5/10
    Overall - 8.5/10
8.5/10

Summary

Pros –

  • Story is compelling
  • Puzzles feel fair, difficult at times but not too strenuous
  • Get to hang out with your drone buddy
  • A good length to finish, doesn’t over stay its welcome
  • Music and silence sets the tone

Cons –

  • Frame rate
  • Graphically fine, nothing outstanding

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