I love science fiction stories and while I very much love stuff like Star Wars and Firefly, I also enjoy the more grounded science fiction that either revolves around current Earth or near future Earth. Stories about space stations and moon colonies that seem within the realm of possibility someday really grab me. So when I saw the Xbox Game Pass announcement for Deliver Us the Moon, a game that has been out on PC for a couple years now, I knew I wanted to play it.
The premise is farfetched but within the realm of reason. Earth has become a desolate place, plagued by dust storms as the climate has changed drastically. We’ve exhausted our fossil fuels and the dust storms make solar energy less viable so humanity’s best and brightest discovered a means of powering much of Earth via a concentrated microwave energy beam that we send from the moon. But a tragedy strikes and the power shuts down unexpectedly. The space station that works as the send point for the energy has to evacuate back to Earth and years go by without consistent power generation. The climate has gotten worse and there is little time for humans unless the power can be restored. Thus, a desperate, one man mission to the space station is enacted to restore power from the moon and ultimately save humanity on Earth.
Things kick off in grand fashion, with you having to prep mission control for launch and then the rocket itself. It’s a cool sequence that can be failed but it did rub me the wrong way for a couple reasons. Who preps a rocket launch solo? You have a handler the entire time through this sequence and you’d think that even if this is unsanctioned that they could have put a small team together to help you on your way. Because of this I felt my character was crazy for much of the beginning portions of the game, hearing a voice telling me what to do but no evidence of other humans seemed… off. The other thing that rubbed me wrong was during the launch sequence, your character is told up front this is just like what we trained for but I didn’t get any training. All I got was a poster running through the steps, those steps were easy enough to perform in the time limit but it was stressful and even a test run would have helped make it seem less crazy.
Anyway, lift off and space from the cockpit of the shuttle was awesome. I wouldn’t say this game is amazing looking but it has some spots where it really is pretty.
The largest portion of the game takes place on the space station and the moon surface at the lunar colony. You are there to turn the power back on and ultimately deliver control of the moon and its power source back to earth. From here the game plays out like a walking sim and adventure puzzle game. There aren’t any enemies to fight or overcome, it’s about uncovering what happened and turning the power back on. There are audio logs and holograms to watch, similar to something like Tacoma. And there are simple, yet fun puzzles to solve.
Joining all this together is some action adventure and platforming elements that I really enjoyed. Being blown out of an airlock and having to find a way back to safety, while your oxegyn quickly disappears is thrilling and being able to drive a rover on the moon surface is a ton of fun (you can even go visit the moon landing site).
For the most part, the game is pretty easy. Even the timed sequences are generally able to be done with plenty of time to spare. But the ending portion of the game may give some people fits and that’s a shame. The difficulty ramps up in the final sequence requiring some timed platforming and pattern recognition. I think most gamers won’t have a problem with it but for a game that is pretty chill in its difficulty to ramp up like that was a bit of a shock.
Overall though, it’s a blast of a time. I loved the underlying story of the events that caused the tragedy and the active mission of turning the power back on was varied and fun.
Played on: XB1
Time to finish: 6 hours
Personal Score: 8/10
Ranked Score: 851.63 points
Current All-Time Ranking: 316 (below Madden NFL 25, ahead of Demon Attack)