Deliver Us Mars is the follow-up to the excellent 2018 hit Deliver Us The Moon. KeokeN Interactive are a dutch developer and both titles run using the impressive Unreal Engine 4. Deliver Us Mars is out now on PC via Steam and Epic Game Store. Consoles will also see a release of the title and that is what we are checking out today.
Boldly Go Where No-one Has Gone Before
I really enjoyed Deliver Us The Moon, so when this was announced it went straight on my Playstation Wishlist. The thought of being an astronaut was just too much to pass up.
In spite of the fact that Deliver Us Mars takes place 10 years after the events on the moon, the game isn’t a direct sequel. Due to this, gamers can experience it as a standalone title. Personally, I strongly recommend playing the original; since you’ll get much more out of it being influenced by the previous title.
As rookie astronaut Kathy Johanson (Kat for short), working with the WSA, you will embark on the mission to recover the ARK colonisation ship. Previously stolen at the hands of your errant father (who calls her Moonbear). As part of the Zephyr space shuttle crew, you’re sent towards the Red Planet, where things soon take a bad turn. Your sister Claire and a crew of others are tasked with saving the ARK, which represents a last hope for a ruined Earth that has been turned uninhabitable by climate change. Naturally, complicated family drama ensues.
You would think that if these people would have seen at least one movie (The Martian featuring Matt Damon springs to mind). They would be more prepared for problems!
One of the many things that KeokeN has done well is adding a voice to Kat. I feel that voicing your protagonist gives you a better connection with them as a gamer. In several sections you will remember aspects of your past, this helps to fill in the gaps like learning to scuba dive or climb cliffs. It is a nice touch that helps you understand more of the relationship with your father Issac.
Ups and Downs
I found Kat quite annoying at times, how she ended up working with the WSA is beyond me. There is an inability to follow even the most basic of tasks and I shared the crew’s frustration when she had her own agenda.
Sadly it is not without its flaws. There are times characters move like robots especially when running. experienced a few sections where I could see right through the map. This did slightly taint my enjoyment of the game especially as the game was delayed from its initial September 2022 slot.
My favourite section in the game was being able to take off from the WSA and go into orbit. The experience of sliding controls, flicking switches and engaging engines, is about as close to being an astronaut as I’m going to get.
Graphics & Audio
Playing on the PlayStation 5, there are areas in the game that show real quality. The texture and details that go into the character models show why Unreal Engine 4 is so widely used still. I can’t help but wonder what these experiences would be like in Unreal Engine 5. Especially as we are starting to see some upcoming titles move over to the new engine.
I previously mentioned a few problems with the graphics whereby you can see through maps, and the characters run and turn like robots. This should have been ironed out for release considering the game had been delayed.
The ambient music and voice acting are on point. Sections in the game when the nothingness of space is broken only by radio communication from the crew.
At 9 hours for full completion, it feels right for this title, it doesn’t drag on too long even with the epilogue. There are several collectables in the game which can be missed. These can be obtained using Chapter Select from the main menu. This will show you which chapters you are missing items.
Deliver Us Mars is an ambitious follow-up to its predecessor. For the most part, KeokeN Interactive has done a fantastic job. The atmosphere is often tense and shows a dysfunctional family dynamic. There are lots for fans of the original to enjoy and even as a standalone title it appeals to everyone. Some areas let the game down and I hope that these can be patched at a later date. However, based on the current version I award Deliver Us Mars the Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.