The human fascination with the world beyond the stars is always a well-loved subject in science fiction. In many cases, that fascination is in search of answers to problems we cannot solve by earthly means, and Deliver Us The Moon is no different. At present, the media swarms us with voices of concern about the damage we have done to the planet and the inevitable destruction that will occur. Deliver Us The Moon offers a look into a future where we have realised our fears and damaged Earth beyond repair.
Set 50 years in the future, Deliver Us The Moon tells a story that feels all too familiar in our modern world. After depleting Earth’s natural resources, the world enters an energy crisis whilst dust storms threaten to decimate the population. Humanity turned its eyes to the stars for the solution by establishing the World Space Agency (WSA) on the moon to provide energy to the otherwise doomed Earth. That is, until one day when all communications were lost and the new energy source along with it. Five years after the communications blackout, the player becomes humanity’s last hope for survival as the world’s last astronaut. The game begins as the player makes final preparations to launch into space, uncover the mystery the WSA left behind, and restore energy to Earth.
Players hoping that Deliver Us The Moon will provide the freedom of open-world exploration will have to search elsewhere. What the game does offer is a linear experience set across six chapters that detail a clever and engaging narrative. To progress through these chapters, players must solve simple puzzles by moving objects and cutting down barriers with a laser in search of terminal passwords or energy sources. Occasionally, the mechanics feel somewhat empty. Exploring the facility on foot can be repetitive in more contained levels, which could have been fixed through the inclusion of more puzzles that give the player further control.
Keeping the player company on their journey across the moon facility is a robot, ASE, that can assist with puzzles and replay video logs that detail the troubled days surrounding the WSA blackout. ASE becomes the player’s companion when it is assembled in a later chapter. ASE has a sweetness about it as it comes online and appears to blink lovingly at its new friend. The biggest shame about this cute robot is that it feels underutilised. The puzzles ASE is required to help solve seem simplistic and could have additional functionality implemented to make it feel more useful.
Deliver Us The Moon delivers a stellar opening chapter that perfectly sells the astronaut illusion with a finale that tasks the player with launching their ship into orbit. Toggling switches and buttons may seem mundane, but the simplicity of the action fosters a childlike excitement as the spacecraft leaves Earth’s atmosphere and journeys into the stars.
One of the greatest aspects of Deliver Us The Moon is uncovering what happened to the WSA facility. From a child’s drawings on a bedroom wall to audio logs recorded by facility staff, the world offers multiple opportunities for the player to discover the WSA colonies’ former inhabitants. Exploring the levels to uncover all of these hidden stories feels achievable. Much of the content is available on or slightly off the main path, allowing players of all inclinations the opportunity to learn everything about the facility. KeokeN Interactive has also done a brilliant job at limiting the cast of characters, which makes the aural telling of the story much easier to follow considering no faces are ever shown.
Our preview of the game concluded at the end of Chapter 5 on a revelation that leaves the player hungry for more. The final chapter will be released as part of the full game on October 10 and will answer all the burning questions the story has left so far. Despite knowing that more is to come, Deliver Us The Moon is a sadly short experience. That being said, the story feels perfect. The development of suspense as information is uncovered is perfectly paced. If more gameplay had been included to pad out the length then it would have let down the key element that makes the game shine.
Time will tell if the quality of the narrative will withstand the judgment of its short length. KeokeN Interactive has crafted a game with visual polish and narrative excellence that deserves a place in a story lover’s gaming library. An exciting game is hidden behind the rare tedium of the mechanics, and hopefully, the final build will offer an additional challenge to satiate the needs of more players.
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