Spoilers, and a little cursing…
I really wanted to like this one, but there were two astronomical obstacles to overcome that consistently prevented me from enjoying it.
- The game seriously lacks polish in many areas
- My nerd brain couldn’t get past the science-y inaccuracies
However, despite those misgivings, I don’t want to just write about my complaints. I complain too much, so I’ll at least sprinkle in some positivity. The story is pretty neat.
That’s about the jist of it. I like the sci-fi setting, with the whole “Earth is doomed” thing. Even if it’s getting a little worn as a setting, at least Deliver Us The Moon did something interesting by having a relatively cool narrative. Even if it’s easily telegraphed…
I swear; just ask my wife Jennifer. I nailed the reason why everything went to hell right about the time I got to the moon.
Be Positive… Be Positive…
Like a battery, I’m both positive and negative…
Oh, by the way, there are going to be spoilers, because you probably don’t really need to waste your time with this one. It’s a shame too, because I generally like and recommend games of this nature, like Firewatch or even The Turing Test (which I was even a little iffy on to be honest). The puzzles are far too simple to really be considered puzzles, with the majority of the time I spent not solving the puzzles being just trying to find the one object I could interact with to move forward with the next task. It made the game less of a mental challenge, and more just me stumbling around until I found the highlighted thingy I needed to press a button next to.
The rest of the experience is basically like Tacoma, which I apparently forgot to write about. You wander around and find some glowy, ghost people who repeat things they said. Those glowy, ghost people basically spell out what happened, which is cool, because it was just about the only reason I kept playing other than I just was a little bored and wanted to waste some time.
Wow, I’m really laying into the negativity. Maybe I should say something nice?
Some of the acting bits are legitimately good. Especially once you get to the fusion reactor complex itself. I almost got chills.
Hngh… I can’t. I can’t do it. I honestly don’t have anything else I can think of.
Why is it that they have one astronaut going to the Moon to figure out what happened? An astronaut who evidently doesn’t have a damn clue what happened to Earth, which is weird because… he’s an astronaut. Why did the handful of people who decided to go to the Moon pick some dude at random to go? Did they just throw a rock into a crowd and find Rolf (that’s the main character’s name, which I didn’t even know until pretty much the very end of the game)? That’s what it feels like, because the beginning of the game is Rolf having everything explained to him over the radio, while he then goes about doing everything necessary to launch the giant rocket that they… did they just find it sitting on the launchpad? I don’t know, because it’s never explained.
And why did they just decide to let Rolf do literally everything to launch the rocket? Where the hell are they? Did they just put everything in place, then dump Rolf (whom I’m assuming they knocked out with that rock they threw to find him) in a camper near the launchpad, and leave him there until he woke up? Why weren’t they there to do anything at all? Why is only one person ever talking to Rolf at all?
I Have Questions Damn It!
Forget all that. Rolf eventually gets to the Moon and stuff starts happening. He find some glowy, ghost people who tell him why they suck (and they really suck). Rolf pushes some buttons and a few things blow up. He breaks things, clumsily sneaks around some robots.
Yeah, you heard me. There’s sneaking… Clumsy sneaking.
I can’t get over how floaty and robotic Rolf feels when you’re trying to control him. He feels like he’s sliding around on a giant block of ice, which makes the platforming sections that much more infuriating. Oh, but I mentioned sneaking, which thankfully is only a single point in the game, because it sucked so hard. Why in the world (or the Moon I guess) would a developer combine floaty controls with sneaking and platforming? I don’t know, but apparently these devs thought it was worth a shot. I can’t say much, because I’ve never made a game before.
But if I did, I wouldn’t choose to combine ice skating with stealth sections. Just saying.
Hoo boy. Okay. I’m losing steam, but that’s because I’m up past my bedtime. Where do I go now?
Right, so the story just kinda leaves a bunch of things unanswered. Rolf eventually restores power to the reactor, and gets the big power laser system running again. Wireless microwave power transmission (referred to as MPT in the game) is actually a theoretical possibility, so I love this nerdy stuff, even if you wouldn’t see a microwave power transmission, and it would travel at the speed of light anyway. So the way the beam is portrayed as a big line of blue, illuminated electric Jell-O is wrong for a few reasons that you probably don’t care about.
But I care…
What’s infuriating is that Rolf restores power to the fusion reactor by inserting a Helium-3 Twinkie into it, and all is good I guess. He realigns the MPT to deliver power to Earth again, which was the whole point in the first place. But what is just hand-waved away and ignored, is that the smart ones on the Moon found out that the power usage of Earth was completely unsustainable despite the unsmart political types saying the Moon could solve the energy crisis alone. That whole bit was added in by the writers, then completely ignored by the end of the game. Instead, Rolf restores power with a single Helium-3 suppository and everything is good!
Nevermind the fact that the single thing of Helium-3 won’t last forever, and an entire power infrastructure operating without maintenance after basically being blown to hell is dangerously stupid. Or that Rolf was somehow able to get everything back up and running despite an entire team of scientists and engineers not being able to figure it out. Either the people who ran the show on the Moon were literally the biggest pieces of shit, or the writers intended there to be a sequel, because nothing makes sense by the end.
Ah yes… The “stealth” section
Like I said. I really wish I could recommend this game, because I was super interested in playing it. I originally downloaded it on the PC because I heard it has some cool raytracing tech built into it, and I wanted to play around with it, but I could never get the game to actually run. It just always crashed to desktop, so I set it aside until I decided I was bored enough after playing Ghost of Tsushima to download Deliver Us The Moon on my Xbox One X and give it a shot finally. Obviously, without the raytracing stuff, because the Xbox One doesn’t have any of that fancy shenanigans, and I wasn’t a quick-draw with the purchasing to be able to preorder the Xbox Series X.
The joke’s on you though, scalpers! I got an RTX 3080 for my PC, so suck it!
That’s beside the point though. Unfortunately, my tech woes with Deliver Us The Moon carried over to the Xbox, where I got to a platforming section that was wigging out bad. Bad as in the textures and lighting were going completely haywire, and I was on the verge of just giving up. Instead, I loaded a save and got through it, but I came very close to that being my final impression.
Not that this turned out much better at all, even with the little snippet after the credits.
So what’s my feel on the game? It’s on Xbox Game Pass, and even available through the same service on PC. If you can play it for free, check it out. On PC it’s basically a raytracing tech demo, even though many other games do that much better, and they often work too. On Xbox, it’s playable at least.
I don’t know, I can’t tell you what to do. Half the time, I think I’m just writing this all just for shits and giggles.
Deliver Us The Moon sure has a moon in it all right, because it’s kinda ass. Get it? It’s a butt joke…
Nevermind. I’m going to bed. Thanks for reading? (I didn’t mean that as a question, but I’m leaving it because…Why not?)
Have you played Deliver Us The Moon? What’s your feeling on Moon-based games? Do you like them? What’s your favorite?