It’s the future, the world is dying and the last lifeline for humanity, the MPR system on the Moon that provides clean energy to the Earth is offline. Before time runs out, you launch into the heavens with a simple mission – Deliver us the Moon.
In Space no one can hear you Panic: One of the best things Deliver us the Moon does is create a sense of panic and urgency. The lack of environmental sound—or muted ones as the case may be in the vacuum of space, the countdown to your oxygen running out, the sharp but shallow breathing by the character, it all helps create this incredibly tense atmosphere that elevates what could simply be a walk across the lunar surface into a harrowing chase for the nearest airlock.
The Final Frontier: I’ve wondered many times what it would be like to stand on the moon, to walk in low gravity, to see and be among the stars and Deliver us the Moon brought me the closest I’ve ever been to what that experience could be like and despite the pressure to complete objectives or the need to find shelter, many a time I ran or drove across the surface with pure and perhaps even child-like glee. Deliver us the Moon brought me to the moon and it was awesome.
The First truth is, the world is dark: The world in Deliver us the Moon is a frightening future where not 50 years from now the earth will have deteriorated to the point where we either drown from rising sea levels and tsunamis or become buried in constant sandstorms that transform the world into a post-apocalyptic setting. Worse still is that without the moon, the world has reached a point where it can’t sustain itself, can’t produce the energy it needs to power our cities and technology. And despite being fiction, it’s impossible to play this game and not ask yourself “What if?” The desperate state of the world adds to the intensity of the story and the characterisation, a bit of world-building that goes a long way.
Patience, We’re only human: Deliver us the Moon is a game about saving humanity, yet as you’d expect it’s also a story about people, about those on Earth and those on the Moon, whose lives revolve around feeding a dying world and the decisions taken to perhaps secure a better future for themselves. It’s a story of passion and desire vs duty and obligation, about families, the desire to protect what one loves, to ensure hopes and dreams remain alive, but also the question: what’s more important, your desires or those of billions? I found myself engrossed in the different stories running through it.
The Gravity of the Situation: It wouldn’t be a game set in outer space without Zero-G mechanics and movement and I loved how disconcerting it is at first and how slowly you get used to it, to the point where changing your axis of movement feels as natural as sprinting across the moon’s surface. The initial section, before reaching the moon when you’re moving along space debris is a wonderful example of everything this game does right, not only in the Zero-G movement but also on every other point I’ve mentioned, audio, atmosphere, stories, etc.
One small step for man, a short leap for players: Deliver us the Moon has enough variety in gameplay to save it from being a walking simulator (in which case it would still be a walking simulator IN SPAAAACE, which is awesome) but it makes the mistake many games make where their puzzles and challenges are too simplistic for too long, so by the time the complex challenges emerge and you’re dying to sink your teeth into the meaty part of the gameplay and story, the experience comes to an end, not with a bang but a whimper. The story ends beautifully, but I would’ve liked more in terms of the gameplay, more length, more complexity, some real challenges. Too many things have very simple solutions, very few of them force you to think and analyse the situations. The overuse of the “push heavy object to incline to break through wall,” was a severe disappointment.