Deliver Us The Moon Xbox One Preview: Lunar Walking Sim

Deliver Us The Moon Xbox One Preview: Lunar Walking Sim

The Earth is in ruins... and you're mankind's last hope.

Successfully Kickstarted earlier this month with €103,770 in total funding, Deliver Us The Moon is a third-person adventure game, or walking simulator if that's what you like to call them, created by Dutch developer KeokeN Interactive.

The game spins a narrative tale of a dystopian near-future in which the Earth's resources have all but been depleted. In a last-ditch attempt to save what's left of humanity, the Worldwide Space Agency has sent a team of astronauts to the Moon to conduct research to secure the future of mankind. However, things haven't gone as planned, and a miracle solution has yet to be found. This is where you come in; a rogue astronaut who's decided to take it upon himself to head to the Moon to find out what's going on, and hopefully help solve Earth's problems.

The demo of the game I played – essentially an Xbox One proof-of-concept – starts off in Kazakhstan, the launch location of the rocket that takes you to the Moon. A series of establishing shots showed a lifeless desert with the rocket pad in the distance, and then the game transitioned to the base itself, where the demo began proper.

The first order of business was to get into the rocket, which involved a fairly straightforward exploration of the base, and using a series of elevators to head to the top of the launch tower so I could enter the command capsule. What was immediately apparent is that this is a great-looking game that's beautifully rendered and lit. While the interior of the launch installation is simplistic in terms of its modular design, it's almost photo-realistic in detail.

Once I was safely ensconced inside the command capsule, I had to execute a launch sequence to lift off, which required pressing a series of buttons and pulling levers in the correct order. It was a fairly simple puzzle that didn't take long to solve, and once I'd correctly input the requisite commands, the rocket lifted off and I traveled to a space station above the Moon base – but not before having to solve a similar puzzle to separate the command capsule from the booster rockets once I'd left the atmosphere.

Inside the space station, there was no oxygen, and with my space suit's supply of air slowly dwindling, I had to find the means to reach the Moon base. This is where the game began to build a little tension, essentially presenting a timed puzzle to solve before the I ended up running out of oxygen. Fortunately I was successful, and with my supply nearly depleted, I found an elevator that took me down to the Moon base.

This essentially led to the last section of the demo, in which I had to activate a floating robot sidekick called ASE (all-seeing eye). This involved searching the base for an electric gun so I could short-circuit a series of doors to open them, and then find the correct machinery to get ASE up and running. Again, this was presented as a straightforward series of puzzles that were fun to figure out.

And that was it – demo completed. While it was a short experience at around 20 minutes or so, what struck me about Deliver Us The Moon was its sense of atmosphere and mystery. The moon base is deserted, and wandering around its dimly lit interior with a flashlight was a really compelling experience to me. That's probably because I'm a big sci-fi fan, and was very much drawn in by its premise. I particularly liked the game's interior design, much of which feels like the base from the Moon movie (which I loved) – lots of white metallic surfaces, and modular rooms filled with mysterious gear and equipment. Apparently, the base is split into sections that represent different nations' experiments, and it's down to you to figure out which of them presents the right answer to Earth's problems.

Most of the puzzles and challenges in the demo were pretty easy to solve, requiring the astronaut to interact with machinery and items to make things function, and moving objects from place to place. In that sense, it felt like typical walking simulator fare, and while it wasn't exactly taxing and didn't bring anything particularly new to the genre in terms of novel game mechanics, I'm nevertheless intrigued by its story and setting.

According to KeokeN Interactive, the Xbox One version of the game will play out across five episodes, which will all be released simultaneously, and there's also a PC version in the works. So far, Deliver Us The Moon looks very promising, and I'm looking forward to playing the finished product when it's released this summer. Hopefully it'll live up to the potential shown in the demo.

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