Boldly go

In my many years as a gamer and reviewer, few games have managed to surprise me as much as Deliver Us The Moon, the previous title from Keoken Interactive and the Deetman brothers. A great atmospheric experience and an ode to space and sci-fi fans. So as you can see Deliver Us Mars has the difficult task of proving itself worthy of a truly mesmerising first title. Let's see if the journey to the red planet is as interesting as the one to the moon!

The game's environments have a certain scenic beauty.

The story of Deliver Us Mars begins some years after the events of the first game and continues the overall story. If you haven't played Deliver Us The Moon (and I suggest you do as it's excellent), here's the deal: Earth is sadly on the verge of collapse due to man's negligence to prevent environmental destruction, and our species' only hope lies in the stars. The protagonist becomes part of a space mission to recover valuable resources that may give our planet one last chance for salvation. However, this particular mission has a personal nature for our heroine as it involves both her sister and her father. I won't say more to avoid spoilers, but I will say that like the previous game in the series, the plot and the progression of events is clearly the strong point of the game. The developers are clearly very good at storytelling and equally good at presentation. The curiosity to find out what happens next kept my interest undiminished for the eight or so hours it took me to complete it.

Unlike the nearly total isolation of the first game, Deliver Us Mars features other characters who are well written and with quality voice acting but with underwhelming character models and facial expressions.

In fact, while Deliver Us The Moon based its amazing atmosphere almost entirely on the feeling of complete isolation in a strange and hostile environment, Deliver Us Mars manages to integrate the presence and stories of other characters in an organic way and with a quality almost comparable to the other elements of the game. Both the broader story and the protagonist's personal one are very interesting, especially if you're a fan of so-called grounded sci-fi, i.e. "realistic" science fiction. The only thing that hurts the otherwise excellent work that has been done in the field of narrative are the mediocre character models of the characters, specifically the faces and their expressions that can in no way visually convey the very good effort of the voice actors and sometimes remind us of twenty-years-old games.

Our planet may be doomed but it is still beautiful, especially from above.

And it's a real shame that such a technical flaw somewhat undermines the quality of the narration and the technical aspect because otherwise Deliver Us Mars is very beautiful, both visually and aurally. Although the graphics aren't particularly cutting edge from a strictly technological standpoint, the landscape design, the scale of the scenery, the wonderful soundtrack and the skillful direction often manage to create scenes of incredible beauty and majesty. The same would apply to the cutscenes but unfortunately, as already mentioned, the character models and facial expressions cannot rise up to the challenge. I hope for a big improvement in a possible sequel.

The direction and soundtrack blend harmoniously to create the right atmosphere reminiscent of sci-fi films such as 2001 A Space Odyssey and Gravity.

You might have noticed that I haven't said anything about the gameplay so far, and the reason is simple: it's almost... non-existent. Deliver Us Mars, like Deliver Us The Moon, belongs to the genre of narrative games or, if you prefer the term used derisively for them, "walking simulators". In practice, this means that beyond some simplistic puzzles or elementary platforming, there is no gameplay other than exploring linear maps and collecting certain collectibles. The sporadic gameplay sequences are mainly used to change the pace of the narrative and enhance immersion, they are therefore brief "hurdles" that you have to overcome to continue the story. If you're looking for more than a quality narrative game you'll have to look elsewhere.

The sparse gameplay includes ray redirection puzzles to open doors...
...and climbing towards hard-to-reach places.

As for the more mundane issues of stability and performance of the game, on the system I used for the review (laptop with AMD 5800H processor, 16GB RAM and Nvidia mobile RTX 3060 with 6GB VRAM) and using DX12 renderer I had very good performance in 90% of the game with epic details and ray tracing shadows and reflections enabled, but there were some cases where (I guess due to running out of available VRAM) some cutscenes and 1-2 real-time scenes had very serious framerate drops (below 10 fps). On DX11, without ray tracing of course, the game ran seamlessly at 60 fps throughout the campaign, in 1080p with DLSS in quality mode. I also didn't encounter any stability issues or crashes at all, however I must point out that I solved one puzzle in a way that didn't allow me to continue (I locked myself out of one door while another opened) and had to load a previous save. I didn't notice another such phenomenon until the end of the game.

Lighting is skilfully used to set up imposing scenes.

In reaching the conclusion, I'm trying to determine whether Deliver Us Mars managed to match or exceed the quality of the first game. I'd say it starts off weaker, largely due to the problem with the character models in the cutscenes, but picks up a lot as it goes on. I'd probably give Deliver Us The Moon an edge because the whole package was more solid, what it chose to do was executed almost to perfection. Deliver Us Mars is definitely more ambitious as a sequel and doesn't do everything perfectly, but it's still a very interesting experience that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to all fans of narrative games.

Go to discussion...

RATING - 87%


A worthy sequel to Deliver Us The Moon and a genuinely atmospheric experience. Some technical problems are not enough to tarnish the very positive overall impression.

Αλέξανδρος Γκέκας

A dedicated PC gamer, Alexandros plays everything depending on the mood of the moment, but shows a preference for turn-based strategy, RPGs and considers UFO: Enemy Unknown as the best game of all time. Otherwise, he tries to hide his turtle-like reflexes by avoiding competitive multiplayer because, as he says, "it doesn't suit him" and is looking for ways to get the "Church of Gaben" recognized as an official religion in his country.

data-trpgettextoriginal=5 comments

Related Articles

Check Also
Back to top button