You’re the last astronaut on Earth, but as you go through the pre-flight routine, flipping switches, pushing and pulling levers, that’s about to change. You’re blasting off into space on a do or die trying mission to try and save the human race.
How did we get here? Well, we probably continued roughly on the path we’re currently heading down for a bit too long. Set within the next few decades, Deliver Us The Moon tells a tale where this planet of ours has had its resources bled dry. We had a good thing going for a little while, when Helium-3 was discovered on the Moon and we were able to use it to feed the voracious energy consumption of the planet below, but then catastrophe struck: the Moon went dark, our lifeline was lost, sending a seismic shock through the precarious balance of civilisation below.
So yeah, you’re the last real hope for humanity, the last possible mission to space being sent from a decaying cosmonaut facility to the ESA, rushing to depart in the small window of clear weather before a dust storm blows through and wipes everything out.
There’s very little fanfare to this. There’s no band of Bruce Willis-looking oil rig drillers being sent off with you (because you can’t teach astronauts how to drill, apparently), there’s no grand plan involving wormholes and colony ships, it’s just you in a dusty old cosmodrome. It’s an initial setting that reminds me a bit of Destiny, for quite obvious reasons, just without getting harassed by the Fallen and with no Space Wizard powers.
You suit up, step out from your room and head up to the control centre. Again, it’s just you, but you’re being guided over comms and urged on as the dust storm races toward you. Predictably, when there’s already so much dust here, it’s not smooth sailing. You’ve got broken ladders to bypass, there’s manual override valves that you need to get to, all before you can race to the actual rocket and settle into the cockpit.
All of this is explored in third person, but as soon as you strap into your spaceship in waiting, you’re looking around the cockpit in first person, having to run through the pre-flight checklist so that you can engage the engines, kick off the service structure and rocket up into space. At this point, I’m wishing that Deliver Us The Moon was a game in VR. There’s something potentially so immersive about being an astronaut going through the motions for space flight.
As the demo fades to black at this point, the rest of the game sounds like it would fit in VR as well. You’ll first head to the ESA, uncovering more of how previous missions failed at completing the same task, engaging in environmental puzzles, and I’m certain there’ll be some bombastic zero-G set pieces as you carry on to the Moon.
If you’ve got a gaming PC, you can already play this game – it came out in October last year – but for those on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, it’s heading to console on 24th April. This is a game that wears its inspirations on its sleeve, from the struggling future world and last ditch attempt at survival of Interstellar, to elements of the explosive survival tale of Gravity and beyond. Deliver Us The Moon feels like it’s right on the button of near future sci-fi and, quite simply, I can’t wait to play more.