Deliver Us The Moon
A New Beginning for Humanity Dawns
Keoken Interactive first introduced Deliver Us The Moon in 2018. Initially launched on the PC this Space Epic is the First release from this Netherlands based Indie developer has found a new home on consoles . This game offers a unique look at space based game play with immersive varied gravity, a spectacular soundtrack and a mysterious story which is unravelled as you search for clues in an incredible, lore filled environment. This review is solely based on the PlayStation 4 edition of Deliver Us The Moon, with no influence from playing the PC version prior.
Story- Not a normal delivery
Deliver Us The Moon is set in the Year 2059, in a bleak yet believable looking future for humanity. All of Earth’s Resources have been depleted. Mankind has taken to harvesting a newly discovered element found on the Moon “Helium 3” for Power. However, 5 years before our Journey begins, the Moon Base goes dark and resources stop being sent to the earth. Causing a mass black out across the planet.
We play as mankind’s last hope, a lone astronaut going by the code name of Fortuna one. Who is tasked with a last-ditch attempt to save humanity from a life of permanent darkness. We are to be sent into space to investigate the space stations questionable outage and earths tragic blackout.
Deliver us the moon is played out mostly through the gameplay itself, with very few cutscenes, apart from in its most dynamic moments. Such as its introduction telling you the story of earths past and what led to us the player being in this moment. The gameplay truly advances the story as you find notes from the crew, audio logs and holographic fragments, all of which slowly unravel the truth of what has happened on the moon. The dynamic story development used is an incredible way to play games, and I have always been a fan of it when it is done right. Deliver Us The Moon is definitely one of those games that do it right. Every area has such varied detail and lore dotted around it. Not just in the notes and logs as I mentioned earlier, but also in the smaller things such as, posters and personal effects scattered around various work-spaces and living quarters, which are all explorable.
For me the story of Deliver Us The Moon is one that has only made me want to play more and more. As you explore each area the mystery surrounding earths blackout only grows and makes you want to continue in an almost addicting way. It is these captivating, exciting stories that make indie developers like KeoKen, along with their games stand out, even among the triple A titles and larger developers.
Gameplay- Disorienting Fun
Deliver Us The Moon is a first and Third person adventure game which is advanced through a series of puzzles and obstacle courses each varying in difficulty and complexity. The puzzle element is relatively simplistic, with basic logic puzzles, chasing wires or finding the correct pattern. The adventurous obstacle courses are reminiscent of more retro games. With time-based sprints as your oxygen depletes or climbing a satellite tower, avoiding obstacles with activate and deactivate every few seconds. These challenges made for some amazing in game moments, giving you the feeling that you have accomplished something as you leave into the next area.
The differing perspectives of first and third person vary from level to level, allowing you to take in each environment in a way that suits it. There are however moments in the game where I question the perspective, such as avoiding live electrical wires in first person, when it would be much easier and logical to do so in the third person perspective, which would allow you to gauge distances and make a more accurate assessment of your surroundings.
My absolute favourite part of Deliver Us The Moon’s gameplay is the time spent in zero gravity. This immersive and disorienting way to play is incredibly fun, as you spin around, bouncing off the walls and into objects that move with your force.
Movement is accomplished in this mode through a small burst jet pack allowing for some very controlled actions, but it is in these controlled movements you can lose your sense of direction. Especially when you are flipped upside down trying to get a power core from a maze of wires. Though some may find this frustrating or challenging, for me this was a moment where I had to just stop and say oh damn that is good.
When you are not in a state of weightlessness and in low gravity or even in normal gravity, the game is still brilliant. Though not as free moving as the time spent in zero gravity you are still able to explore every inch of the level to your hearts content (oxygen permitting). One of my favourite early game moments (to avoid spoilers) was when we first depart for the moon. As we climb the tower to our ship (also called Fortuna) and enter the cockpit we are tasked with sending the ship into atmosphere. Though a relatively easy puzzle of following instructions, it really does give you that brief feeling of being an astronaut as we flick through controls setting up the launch sequence in correlation with the ground crew.
The level design also makes for some incredible moments, be it from traversing on earth to your ship in the middle of a giant dust storm, to making an extremely daring spacewalk. This game offers it all. Especially with the addition of impressive soundtrack to match the situation, it really does give us an incredible experience.
The only flaw I have so far come across in the gameplay is a very minor one, to which I am sure can be corrected with future updates. The flaw I speak of is the games auto save feature, which happens between the completion of tasks and puzzles. When the game saves itself, everything freezes and the graphics slightly blur out, if only for a few seconds, but these few seconds really do take you out of the moment and back into reality, which is incredibly unfortunate.
Audio- Into The Night.
The most important aspect of any audio in video games is the soundtrack and composer Sander Van Zanten has NAILED IT. Between the radio calls and story logs, this incredible soundtrack echoes the games mood in every aspect. The scores, used both in ambience and to elevate the more intense moments really captures the mood of the game, from the feeling of being truly alone as you explore, to the incredible excitement as you are in floating helplessly chasing oxygen as the clock counts down on you.
It is not just the soundtrack that makes the audio in Deliver Us The Moon so great in the audio Department. Every sound recorded in the game is spot on the environment. When we first enter the game, we are listening to a FM Radio, the audio coming from the host talking sounds legitimately from a radio. It is not crisp, like the howling wind outside, or your footsteps as you walk through the metal cabin you are apparently living in and adds to the game’s immersive qualities. When we reach space and are not embraced by the outstanding soundtrack, we are met with very few sounds such as the occasional burst from your jets or the vibrations from machinary. It is only when we are in areas where there is no vacuum that the sound truly returns and like at the beginning of the game it is fantastic.
Graphics- Flat Earth Conspiracy
Unfortunately for Deliver Us The Moon the graphics are unfortunately the weakest aspect. This is not to say they are bad though, as there is a certain level of detail that is unmistakably brilliant. The issue with the graphics is that on occasion the graphics can look flat, and textures looking not fully rendered. One such example is when you first look down from space, to the powerless, tragic Earth. This I hoped would be an incredible, awe-inspiring look into the game’s morose future of our amazing planet. Regrettably, it made me feel like a different disaster had struck, which was that flat earther’s were right. The planet looked like a disk, rather than a sphere, which is so disappointing, especially after seeing the screenshots prior to purchasing this game. The game does redeem itself though, through the tiny details that can often be missed or under appreciated. Such as the small indents in computer terminals, the way a room lights up when given natural light from the sun, in place of the bulbs that once dimly illuminated it and even the stitching in the fabric insulation of tunnels and rooms. These saving graces do deserve recognition as it shows a lot of work has been put into the game. I for one hope that KeoKen can address this in the future and bring the graphics up to their high standards delivered in the screenshots with updates.
Summary – Fly Me To The Moon
Overall Deliver Us The Moon is an incredible experience, but nothing is perfect and it is not without its flaws. This is KeoKen’s first release though, one which I would say is a very incredible release at that. The overall experience of Deliver Us The Moon is surreal, magical and well deserving of praise. With its £20 retail price, I would definitely say it is one well worth joining your collection of single player experiences. With its retro game play and unique experiences Deliver Us The moon is fun if nothing else, and I have enjoyed every challenge that it presents.
Deliver Us The Moon offers an incredible experience I am sure many will enjoy and I am happy to say that I was one of those people. I am giving Delver Us The Moon an 8/10. Graphics are not always the big winner in video games, and for KeoKen and Deliver Us The Moon, the clear winners were in the gameplay and soundtrack, making the game worth my time and an absolute pleasure to play.