Deliver Us Mars, the sequel to Deliver Us The Moon, is an atmospheric sci-fi adventure that takes you to the Red Planet itself. If you’re acquainted with the first game, Deliver Us Mars delivers some familiar gameplay while adding a robust, if short, story, a new setting, and well-done character development but finds some faults in the mechanics and animations. However, despite some flaws, developer KeokeN Interactive has managed to create a sequel that continues the fascinating story of Deliver Us The Moon.
Deliver Us Mars is set ten years after the Fortuna mission in Deliver Us The Moon. The story follows Kathy Johanson, Earth’s youngest astronaut but also the daughter of one of the people who stole the ARK colony ships—humanity’s last hope of survival. After a mysterious distress call from Mars, Kathy joins the mission to investigate the missing ARKs and hopefully find her dad.
From spaceships to the rocky terrain of Mars to a lush geodesic dome, there are a lot of new settings to take in. While many of these settings are very impressive graphically, unfortunately, for as much as you may want to explore them, Deliver Us Mars is highly linear. There are several side hallways and rooms to investigate to find collectibles or reveal more background information. Still, for the most part, the focus is on the storyline because even the gameplay feels relatively shallow in comparison.
The gameplay primarily consists of Kathy making her way across Mars while encountering jumping and climbing puzzles along with familiar puzzles like directing lasers to open locked doors. Although relatively easy, I enjoyed the hologram puzzles that required you to find just the right point on the X, Y, and Z axes to view recordings. Kathy has a pair of climbing axes that allow her to, you guessed it, climb various walls. At first, these sections were rather tedious because they were so straightforward. But as time went on, they became more and more complicated and required some skill to complete. Overall, the puzzles offered a decent challenge at times and were generally enjoyable. My only complaint is that there just weren’t enough of them. There were large sections of time spent roaming around or in cut scenes, so the puzzles felt a little too sparse. Of course, part of this could be due to the game’s length coming in at around five hours. Nevertheless, Deliver Us Mars left me wanting more.
Thankfully, where Deliver Us Mars excels is with its main focus—the story and characters. Much like the first game, Deliver Us Mars revolves around humanity’s primary failure—the Earth’s rapid extinction rate. The narrative of trying to save humanity and Earth itself is interwoven into a failing family dynamic between Kathy, her father, and her sister. The story feels particularly personal and emotive, given that Kathy is at the center of the conflict and is frequently torn between the greater good and family. The entire story is poignant and thoughtful and effortlessly unfolds between the holograms you find, showing you what happened in the past and the interactions between Kathy and the mission crew.
Many of the same characters players heard voice recordings from in Deliver Us The Moon make an appearance in this sequel. Even Kathy, our main character, was mentioned a time or two in the first game. It’s nice to see and hear from the characters again, and there’s plenty of character development to be had with this story-focused game. However, for players that aren’t familiar with Deliver Us The Moon, there’s definitely some background and story missing in this one. Although Deliver Us Mars can be played and enjoyed without this context, some emotive moments won’t hit as hard.
The graphics are, unfortunately, a mixed bag. The environments are fascinating, and the details are crisp. But, on the other hand, the characters’ facial expressions and animations leave much to be desired. The characters’ faces are stiff and look off, so much so that it takes away from the passionate points in the story. However, the voice acting is phenomenal and helps soften the oddness and tad bit of uncanny valley you might get from the characters. And while I didn’t have any large bugs, there were quite a few graphic glitches that were distracting enough to detract from the cutscenes or gameplay.
Deliver Us Mars delivers a thoughtful, poignant story with deep characters, pretty landscapes, and well-working puzzles. However, there are always two sides to every coin. The linearity didn’t do the environments justice, the puzzles felt too sparse and easy at times, and the character animations were much too odd. Nevertheless, I would still recommend this game if you enjoyed Deliver Us The Moon just to experience the evolution of the story from one game to the next.
Deliver Us Mars is available now for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Deliver Us Mars
- Rating - 6/106/10
Deliver Us Mars delivers a thoughtful, poignant story with deep characters, pretty landscapes, and well-done puzzles. However, there are always two sides to every coin. The linearity didn’t do the environments justice, the puzzles felt too sparse and easy, and the character animations were much too odd.