If you have been paying attention to the line-up of indie games on the horizon, you might be aware of the laundry list of upcoming games set in space.
Games like the Dead Space Remake, Calisto Protocol from the makers of Dead Space, and ROUTINE, to name a few. It may seem a little overzealous of these developers to collectively make a bunch of space-based horror games, but you can see why that setting is so appealing.
An endless black vacuum of space where no one can hear you scream, and a single pin-sized breach in your ship can have devastating consequences; what’s not terrifying about that?
Well, what if we dialed back the horror but kept the mystery, the intrigue, the compelling narrative hook, and a buttload of tension. Well, then you would have something that looks like the subject of this Deliver Us The Moon PS5 Review.
Initially released back in 2018 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Deliver Us The Moon introduced us to a world on the brink of collapse, with depleted resources becoming a pressing issue, and destructive sandstorms turning the earth into a huge, barren desert.
The solution is as clear as day; the only problem is that it resides hundreds of miles above the earth’s atmosphere. With what little resources are available, the earth’s space program WSO has managed to put together one last gasp attempt to save the earth, restore power, and give humanity a lifeline. That last attempt lies in your hands. You, a solitary astronaut, must save the world. No pressure.
It’s an incredible narrative premise, and the game does an excellent job of following through on this premise with killer storytelling throughout and gripping gameplay; and with the new next-gen update, the game looks better than ever.
But hey, don’t just take my word for it; let’s break this game down and show you all that Deliver Us The Moon has to offer. Without further delay, here is our Deliver Us The Moon review on PS5.
Everybody’s Gone to the Space Station
So let’s talk about the narrative here, as it is the main attraction of this game, despite the sublime visuals. This game takes a narrative approach that is not unlike the popular walking simulator; Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
As you make your way through the game, you will piece together the mystery of the MPT blackout, and do so by collecting hologram logs with your trusty ASE companion, which looks suspiciously like Wheatley from Portal 2.
The game manages to create an unsettling pseudo-horror environment through eerie silences and swelling audio, which only adds to the sense of mystery and the building narrative suspense, much like EGTTR’s quaint Shropshire setting. All of which makes the player more and more desperate to find a friendly face in this potentially hostile and desolate setting.
Thanks to this world-building, strong premise, the constant sense of urgency, and the promise of answers. The game pushes players along, drop-feeding exposition and clues as they go, sinking its hooks in and never letting go, right up to the eventual dramatic ending.
Without spoiling the plot, the writing is superb, the vocal performances are delivered perfectly by all involved, and the twists and turns that the story takes and how deep this lunar rabbit hole goes will surprise a few.
The only small criticisms I had were that the game rams the central premise down your throat at the beginning of the game when it doesn’t have to, and I would have probably liked more reading material to add lore throughout the title than what was present. Overall though, this game is a triumph where storytelling is concerned.
Interstellar Puzzles and Platforming
Now let’s move on to the gameplay of this title, an area I was pleasantly surprised by for the most part, and occasionally frustrated by. This game aims to be more than just a simple walking simulator and opts to provide an action-puzzle adventure that marries exploration, puzzle-solving, and platforming.
Regarding the exploration side of things, the game was very rewarding, offering tonnes of easter eggs, journal entries, and fun secrets that added to the overall experience.
Then, regarding the platforming, I was impressed with how tight it was and how much control I had over my little spaceman. However, the main game comprises a series of puzzles to overcome, and truthfully, it was a bit of a mixed bag.
Some genuinely cerebrally engaging puzzles had me mildly perplexed in the best of ways, some puzzles implemented fun gimmicks to immerse the player and make them truly feel like part of the action, and some puzzles weren’t all that challenging but still gave me that satisfying ‘A-ha’ moment.
However, for every great puzzle, there was a stale ‘align the MPT beam’ puzzle or a completely out-of-place stealth section that killed the game’s flow for an extended period.
Oh, and don’t get me started on the moveable platforms and objects that would often collide with nothing, making you question your method, even though your gut was right all along.
These lack-luster puzzles weren’t dealbreakers that ruined the experience, but they certainly did break immersion and, in my case, had me consulting a guide so I could move on to the next fun activity. Work smart, not hard.
However, what I will say about the gameplay here, is that the developer clearly tried to throw a lot at the wall here in an attempt to keep things fresh throughout Deliver Us The Moon’s 5-6 hour run, and for the most part, it was a smart move.
This game could have easily been a simple 3rd-person puzzle title, but to the game’s credit, it also includes 1st-person zero-gravity sections, Low gravity platforming, lunar vehicle sections, mechanical engineering puzzles, and out-of-airlock sections as seen in Dead Space, complete with muffled audio.
While not all of these mechanics are top of their respective classes in terms of refinement, they all serve their purpose and make this game a multifaceted and exponentially more engaging experience than a one-dimensional puzzle game.
Performance Isn’t Out of This World
So let’s talk about the bump-up to next-gen, as, after all, this game isn’t brand spanking new. In terms of the visuals, when compared to the PS4 version, it is quite a vast improvement, with noticeably nicer textures, smoother frame rates and animations, and improved lighting as well.
This is most apparent when you step out onto the surface of the moon and see that incredible greyscale hunk of rock for the first time. It genuinely is breathtaking at times, and when you couple this with the exceptional score and the superb voice acting, you get an overall presentation that is fit for the ninth generation of gaming.
Plus, I should also mention the Dualsense functionality here too, which was a little underwhelming as it wasn’t utilized all that much. In fact, the only feature I noted was the adaptive triggers when you scanned an object of interest. I suppose it’s better than nothing, but if you are going to release an older title, you have to offer something new for the fans.
There was also one standout drawback, that being the semi-regular crashes that occurred throughout my playthrough. Most of these occurred during the first half of the game and only served to frustrate me, taking me out of the otherwise gripping adventure.
Now, to the game’s credit, the step-up visually probably does justify the odd crash here and there, and the generous checkpoints do a lot to soften the blow if this does occur. However, I would have obviously preferred a seamless playthrough without restarts.
Clumsy UI Keeps Us Grounded
Deliver Us The Moon also falls short on a few occasions when it comes to clarity, functionality, and accessibility of the UI. The key issues I encountered were related to the journal entries, and the connect the beam puzzles, respectively.
The journal entries had two key faults. One was that the text popped up on screen often against a white backdrop, depending on the item you picked up, which would lead to some tricky to-read entries for me, let alone someone that is visually impaired.
Then to add insult to injury, some of these entries have a broken slider, meaning that the player would only be able to read the top of the document as scrolling was not an option.
Then with regards to the connect the beams sections, especially the time-critical ones like at the very end of the game. Why does the game not offer some sort of reticle that shows where you are supposed to aim your beam.
Instead, you have to guess what the game wants, and when the task is time-critical, this is far from ideal. These are minor issues but are things that could be easily adjusted to offer a richer, more accessible experience.
Then before we wrap things up and allow you to re-enter the atmosphere, we thought it would be best to give you some close alternatives related to Deliver Us The Moon, to either give you a flavor of what this game has to offer, or to give you some ideas for further gaming after you complete this short but sweet space epic. So here are a few close alternatives listed below:
- Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
- Moons of Madness
- Outer Wilds
- The Station
- Gone Home
Question: When Did Deliver Us The Moon First Release?
Answer: Deliver Us The Moon was a crowd-funded title developed by Dutch developer KeokeN that would initially launch on PC in September 2018 under the name Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna.
However, this game would get an expanded release under the helm of Wired Productions in 2019 and would then get console releases in April 2020. Then, of course, the game would get a PS5/Xbox Series X/S upgrade in June of 2022.
Question: Does Deliver Us The Moon Have a Sequel?
Answer: Not yet, but that is all set to change pretty soon, which is probably why we got the next-gen upgrade when we did. Deliver Us Mars is the direct sequel that will tell a new story that will see you try and recover the ships stolen by Outward in their attempt to colonize Mars.
From what we have seen so far, the gameplay looks like a much more action-based romp, the story will focus on Sarah, Claire, and Kathy, and visually, the game looks even more spectacular than its predecessor. All in all, a very promising title indeed, and I hope to see you return for my inevitable review then.
Question: When Does Deliver Us Mars Launch?
Answer: Deliver Us Mars isn’t far away at all. This game is set for release on the 27th of September 2022, and as far as we know, everything seems to be on schedule. We would urge you to keep checking in on the game’s official website for further clarification.
Deliver Us The Moon PS5 Review: The Verdict
Overall, this is a game that exceeded my expectations, offering more than just your typical indie title. I expected a decent story, and I knew going in that the visuals would be striking, but I had no idea how compelling the narrative would be, how fun and varied the gameplay would be, and how rewarding exploration would be within this space epic. Was it perfect?
No, as the game did stutter in terms of performance, the gameplay was needlessly obtuse at times, and I did have some minor hang-ups with the UI and accessibility of this title. However, for what this game is, it is a staggering achievement that keeps you engaged from start to end, and I don’t say that as a cliche.
I sat down with light beaming through my window to play for an hour, and before I knew it, I had delivered the moon, and it was dark enough outside that I could gaze out at the moon and gaze upon all I had accomplished. Pure poetry, am I right? Long story short, play this game. You won’t be disappointed.