Its been a little while since there has been a standout title in the narrative adventure space. That’s surprising given that these “walking simulators” quickly rose in popularity due to their appealing stories that only require just a bit of interaction from the player. While that’s not to say recent titles haven’t been good, They just haven’t caught my attention until. Well, KeokeN Interactive is here to change all that with the console release of Deliver us the Moon from. What I ended up experiencing is a Sci-fi title set in a pretty grim and realistic situation that mirrors the global issues we talk about today.
Deliver Us the Moon opens with the Earth already depleted of all its resources, leaving its environment unstable. This has world governments launch what is known as the World Space Agency to colonize on the Moon and harvest Helium-3 as Earth’s new energy. Until one day, both communication and power were lost with the colonizers, and the Earth was once again in danger. Players then take control of the last astronaut able to take on the mission and figure out what happened to the colonist to reestablish Earth’s energy.
The story’s heavy themes use today’s issues of global warming and continued mining as a significant backdrop throughout the narrative, creating a grounded experience that falls on the player’s shoulders. I am a fan of grim themes in video games, and the believability only made this experience hit a little closer to home for me.
Deliver Us the Moon uses collectible letters, emails, and decrypted hologram videos that paint a clearer picture of the people who were on the space station during “the Blackout,” the event of which all power was lost. These clues are spread throughout the game, creating a nice pace between gameplay that had me playing endlessly to the finale.
As mentioned before, Deliver Us the Moon tends to be more interactive than other narrative games. The astronaut can use tools to cut through panels, find more oxygen tanks, and avoid strong electric shocks. I felt these gameplay bits brought me closer to the astronaut as he had to endure plenty of hazards and close calls during the increasingly dire situation that he had to uncover. Like the collectible, the gameplay setpieces are well-paced to keep players interested, and KeokeN Interactive has done a great job of that.
Speaking of gameplay, there are plenty of times where Deliver Us the Moon switch camera perspectives depending on what is happening. Exploring in small rooms or flying in zero gravity environments has the player view the world in the first person. I enjoyed this feature as walking around small spaces in third person games can become disorienting at times, and I felt the same could be said about moving in zero gravity. Later in the game, first-person camera sections also include a controllable friendly drone named ASE to use for puzzles that require the small robot. ASE can also go through vents and unlock doors to progress.
The third person sections tended to be in larger rooms with environmental puzzles and platforming. The different camera modes do a good job changing up the gameplay styles, keeping Deliver Us the Moon from being a static experience.
That said, Deliver Us the Moon isn’t perfect. There are several issues that, while not game-breaking, have some quality-of-life issues. Loading between sections suffers from hard stutters that can be jarring when not expecting them. While they don’t last more than a few seconds, it happens enough to bother me when I need to go back and forth between large rooms often.
Also, using an interactive object requires more than just bringing your astronaut close to it, having me also turn the camera toward the object to use it, which became redundant. Additionally, running in third person view has a slippery feel to it when the astronaut is turning. Again, it’s a minor issue that could take the attention away from the better aspects of the game, but it can also be overlooked after awhile.
As for how the game looks and sounds, Deliver Us the Moon does well to make me believe in the world with its attention to detail and original music. It’s clear to me that the developer paid particular attention to how space equipment is used and then translate it in a way that is interesting to video games.
The opening chapters have plenty of examples of just how interactive the world was, such as priming a spaceship launch. I just wish that there were more ways to use complicated space technology throughout the game than there was.
Deliver Us the Moon is a space adventure for everyone. Most of the minor issues can be easily overlooked since it’s so easy to become invested in the narrative. Furthermore, the puzzles and hazards offer a challenge that doesn’t stifle the player and simply acts as a nice breather from the story bits. If you’re in the mood for a story that harbors some mystery and thrill, this is the one to pick up.
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