Following its original release back in 2020, sci-fi narrative puzzler Deliver Us The Moon has just had a ‘next-gen’ release on PS5 and Xbox Series X. And if you’re yet to play this space-bound adventure, you’re in for a treat.
Set in a not-so-distant future, Deliver Us The Moon tells the story of a ground-breaking project designed to draw energy from the moon and remotely send it back to Earth. You see, Earth and its inhabitants are in danger, and so the moon’s energy resources may be its last chance. Except… the events of Deliver Us The Moon take place five years after the project has already failed.
As a lone astronaut, you’re sent on a “do or die” mission to the moon-based headquarters of the failed project. Your goal? To find out what happened to the project and the people behind it. And maybe – just maybe – get it up and running again to save Earth. Providing you can survive, of course.
Deliver Us The Moon describes itself as a thriller, but there’s no real edge-of-your-seat scares here. No Dead Space-style monster is going to crawl out from underneath a command console, and nothing’s going to be waiting for you behind an airlock. Well, almost nothing. There may be the odd wayward drone you need to avoid.
But despite the lack of any real threat, Deliver Us The Moon manages to be incredibly tense from start to finish. Being alone in space is – rightfully – terrifying, and the game does a fantastic job of capturing that suffocating feeling. Even when you’re not running out of oxygen.
It helps that everything is so wonderfully designed, down to the minute detail. The task at hand may be pressing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a moment or two to snoop around the crew’s quarters, musing over personal belongings, eyeing a note that’s been left behind or witnessing a holographic recording that will tell you more about the incident. It really is worth paying attention to your surroundings, because that’s where you’ll find the majority of Deliver Us The Moon‘s narrative.
Don’t expect to be spoon-fed the story here; you’re going to have to work for it and piece most of it together yourself via the snippets of information you find. You might still be left with a few blanks even when the credits roll, but that’s part of Deliver Us The Moon‘s charm. It keeps its cards close to its chest. The vastness of space is mysterious, after all. And the activities that go on there largely remain so, too. But the more poking around you do, the better grasp you’ll have of the events that led you there.
You’ll not simply be exploring in Deliver Us The Moon. While it plays a large part of it, you’ll have numerous puzzles to solve, too. This is a very hands-on game, and everything from launching a rocket to repairing your companion droid is down to you. It may be a case of simply pushing the right buttons at the right time, but it feels good to have so much control.
None of the puzzles you’ll face here are too tricky; most simply involve scouring your immediate environment to find a switch, access hatch, or something else you or your droid can interact with. Between you, you have a reasonable set of skills, dished out to you piecemeal as you play. Eventually, you’ll have access to a laser cutting beam, and your droid can interact with doors and accessways that you can’t.
If you’ve already played Deliver Us The Moon, there’s nothing new in the Xbox Series X and PS5 port to draw you back. This is exactly the same game, simply with a 4K facelift. It looks absolutely stunning, with environments looking almost photorealistic at times. So if it’s your first time play, this is by far the best way to play. Is it worth jumping into for a second time, though? Well, since there’s a free upgrade on both consoles, why not? But don’t expect anything new other than shinier visuals.
It’s a shame that the PS5 version – which we’ve played for review – doesn’t have any noteworthy DualSense implementation. There are many scenes here that would benefit from feedback; tense, against-the-clock journeys from A to B where we’re at risk of running out of oxygen, for example. Even being able to feel the launch of the rocket with rumble would be nice. Instead, the stillness of the controller leaves such grand events feeling a bit lifeless. It hardly ruins the game, but we’ve perhaps been spoiled by games that do DualSense implementation well. It really could have elevated Deliver Us The Moon to the next level.
There’s no denying that Deliver Us The Moon is an excellent sci-fi adventure. It gets the balance of puzzles, exploration and storytelling just right, and the narrative running through it is one that will keep you invested until the credits roll. It’s a great-looking game, too, and on the latest hardware, it looks even better than ever. DualSense features would have been nice for the PS5 version, but it’s hardly a dealbreaker. Go on: go deliver the moon. You won’t regret it.