Deliver Us The Moon hit me right in the childhood wonder; the sheer scale on show encapsulates what I imagine the feeling would be of approaching a rocket ready to launch into space, or those first steps onto the surface of the Moon. Over it’s short runtime, I genuinely felt a sense of place, being in a seemingly abandoned Moon base, searching for answers as to where everyone has gone. It’s a shame that there’s not really all that much freedom to explore though; we follow a linear progression that really isn’t all that taxing, but I still got enjoyment out of it.
Set in 2059, the Earth has been practically sucked dry by our over consumption of its natural fuels. Scientists discover a seemingly magic bullet in the form of Helium-3 on the Moon around 2032, and race to extract its energy and send it back to Earth. This is done via the MPT, a large antenna that beams the energy directly back to receivers on Earth. For a few decades all is well, but suddenly the MPT goes quiet, and no-one is able to make contact with the personnel stationed at the base. Abandoned as a failed project, a handful of scientists refuse to give up and work toward sending someone up there to see what happened and get the MPT back online – that’s where we come in.
We start in the desert on Earth, and need to put the final touches to the rocket launch that will send us to the Moon. From here, we follow the story and it’s objectives pretty strictly. While there are occasional mild puzzles – the first elevator for example needs manually placing at our level before we can proceed – generally the solution to progress is to move forward. This does keep the game moving, but a little more exploration of the environments – especially the Moon – wouldn’t have gone amiss.
The perspective switches between 1st and 3rd person at points, but the feel of controls doesn’t change. This can lead to the 3rd person sections feeling a bit floaty (and not because of the lack of gravity). Some fiddly context sensitive, and small, buttons can make things feel a little hit and miss at times, but we’re rarely under any real pressure to get things done quickly. Even when we are, there’s more than enough help around to prevent us dying too often. One mid game puzzle involving electrified wires was a bit too awkward to judge, and dying meant restarting the fairly drawn out sequence again.
There’s a lot of repeated actions needed throughout, and it’s here where the game can feel a bit of a grind. While it may add to the atmosphere, having to slowly ascend tower after tower to line up their beams of energy isn’t all that fun, especially as there’s very little challenge to it. Occasionally some chatter from those back on Earth will fill the dead time as we travel between them, but sometimes we’re just slowly driving in near silence. KoekeN do at least cut a little time later by placing us back at the vehicle rather than having to descend the tower , but it only really saves a few moments in the long run.
But these actions are really only there to further the tale of what happened on the Moon. It is an effectively told story, with plenty of gaps filled in should you want to look at the environmental details. I found myself quite intrigued to follow to beats and find out what happened. When most of the dialogue is delivered through voice recordings found in the world it can get a little confusing who is who at times, but for the most part reading through logs helped clear any confusion up.
It’s frequently a good looking game too, with some stunning space views and plenty of shiny metal and futuristic design in the labs. This comes at a cost on an Xbox One S; performance wasn’t the best, some flashy effects tanking the frame rate at times. Camera controls, even at max sensitivity, are far too slow to turn making some of the zero gravity sections more of a chore than they need to be.
Deliver Us The Moon nails the feeling of being in space, and the tale being told is interesting enough to keep up gong through to the end. It’s slow and repetitive at times, and the linear nature means we often pass by seemingly perfect opportunities to explore, but I still enjoyed my time with it.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.