Deliver Us The Moon (DUTM from here on) is a first and third-person space adventure. Released back in 2020 on PlayStation and Xbox, it was later featured on Xbox Game Pass and picked up quite a fanbase. It features extremely realistic, smooth and detailed graphics and is set in the not-too-distant future.
After a colony is installed on the moon by the WSA (World Space Agency), a clever doohickey called the MPT (Microwave Power Transmission) is developed to generate power harvested from the Moon's vast Helium-3 reserves. The MPT mysteriously stopped working and there has been no contact with the Copernicus Moonhub support colony run by Isaac Johanson. In 2059, five years after the loss of transmission, with the Earth's climate worsening and power shortages rife, a rescue mission is launched. Playing as an initially unidentified character, your mission is to fly to the moon on a Taurus V rocket and fix the MPT. Sounds like a piece of cake! The rocket is a relic from the former WSA space program, and has been prepared for the mission by the Fortuna team, a ragtag group of former WSA staff working out of the abandoned Fesenkov Cosmodrome facility. Thankfully you are guided and advised by the Fortuna leader, Isaac's genius daughter Claire–who actually designed the Taurus V rocket on which the mission depends.
The interesting and emotional backstory is filled in with holographic recordings, audio files and notes left by the various crew members–like all good adventures, the more you look around, the more you'll discover. There are a few fun Easter eggs, most notably an Apollo lunar module on a movie set and the obelisk from 2001: A Space Odyssey.
As when walking around, when manoeuvring in zero gravity you control your direction with the left stick, but also need to press 'B' to go down and 'A' to go up which is exactly the opposite of what I'd call instinctive. Using the Left Trigger to sprint is a bit odd too, but all of the other controls are pretty standard.
Apart from normal movement and floating around in weightless conditions both within the space station and outer space, at times you will also have to control an 'ASE' (Alloway Systems and Engineering) robot, a small flying droid that reminded me a lot of 343 Guilty Spark from Halo–thankfully without the attitude or the murderous tendencies. ASE follows you like a faithful puppy, and can also be used via remote control to open locked doors and access areas inaccessible to a human.
DUTM may bear a passing resemblance to certain other sci-fi adventures but unlike say, Dead Space, there are no mutants or alien beasties to worry about. To accompany the exploration and simple puzzle solving that makes up most of the gameplay, there are a few platform adventure tropes thrown in that you'll most likely be familiar with; well-timed jumps, stealth sections, electrified surfaces, dodging energy blasts, running out of oxygen... are all done in a realistic way, that while never too taxing always manage to be exciting because of the constant threat of death. After all, space is an unforgiving place and no one can hear you scream, but in DUTM the checkpoints are generous and never force you to replay too much should you die, so that's a good thing.
The game has few sounds, but the voice acting and sound effects are good and the various pieces of haunting music couldn't be more appropriate.
There are some moon buggy driving sections that really show off the game's graphics and the stunning, if desolate lunar landscape. I can't help feeling that these sections could have been longer and more involved, but as I also feel that DUTM is the perfect length for a game I'm not sure what I would have cut out in order to accommodate them.
There are 5 main locations in DUTM; the launch site at the Fesenkov Cosmodrome which is located in Kazakhstan (where the game starts), the Pearson Space Station is located in tethered orbit above the moon, a space lift connecting it to the Copernicus Moonhub, the social and transportation centre for the moon colony. Copernicus houses crew quarters, a maintenance facility, a vehicle bay and a monorail station. The Reinhold Crater is the location of mining facility, and finally the Tombaugh Facility houses the Helium-3 reactor and provides power to the MPT network.
I really enjoyed the 5 or 6 hours it took me to complete Deliver Us The Moon. The game's atmosphere, sound, the fact-based science fiction plot all aided by superb graphics makes a pleasant change from fighting aliens and shooting zombies. Keokon Interactive have a sequel, Deliver Us Mars, is already in development and I cannot wait.