As you know, I only recently completed Deliver Us The Moon and was satisfied with the game. This is really good science fiction with a social background. Therefore, I waited with interest for the release of the sequel, Deliver Us Mars. Well, it’s pure sci-fi, and once again I enjoyed the story and setting of the game, but… I have a lot of questions to the developers. What’s wrong with Deliver Us Mars?

Game Deliver Us Mars
Genre action/adventure
Platforms Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Language English
Developer KeokeN Interactive
Publisher Frontier Developments
Epic Games Store, Steam

Familiar faces

The events of Deliver Us Mars take place 10 years after the end of Deliver Us The Moon, although the prologue almost coincides with the ending of the previous game, you will even see some of the events of the first part from a different angle. And most of the characters migrated to Deliver Us Mars from the first game.

There is Sarah Baker whose footsteps you follow throughout Deliver Us The Moon. There is Isaac Johanson, who played an important role in the events on the Moon. There’s Claire Johanson, Maria Gonzalez, William McArthur and Rosa Laverde. And yes, that does mean you’ll find the same Outward that left Earth to fend for itself in the first part.

But you will play as the youngest of the Johansons, Kathy, who was still a child during the events on the Moon and who actually was on the Moon. Now Katie is a young woman who misses her father very much and tries to understand what motivated him to do what he did on the Moon.

And, by the way, it seemed to me that the authors had some time glitch here. Because if Kathy saw Claire’s arrival on the Moon, then there is no gap between the events of the games at all, although it seems that in Deliver Us The Moon the main character (something is not clear here, because it simply cannot be Rolf) lands on the moon after five years after the blackout. It is unclear.

We are moving on

Anyway, the Fortuna mission and the restoration of power supply from the Moon did not help humanity. Ten years later, conditions on the planet become even worse, and after the WSA (Worldwide Space Agency) receives a mysterious signal from Mars, the agency decides to send a new mission to the Red Planet, the purpose of which is to return the stolen Arks to Earth, like three or so large and advanced ships will be able to save the entire planet.

Who should be sent to Mars? Sarah Baker, of course, who spent five years in cryosleep and still suffers from PTSD; Claire Johanson, of course; another character whose name you will immediately forget, and barely out of her teens Kathy Johanson, who is not very good at following orders, and besides, wants to get to Mars for her own reasons.

This is just sci-fi

As in Deliver Us The Moon, everything related to sci-fi technologies, space vehicles, stations, in general, all mechanisms in Deliver Us Mars are excellently made. Going into space to repair the engine, carrying out long pre-launch procedures, docking with the orbital station, and moving around the surface of Mars is very cool. It is immediately clear that the authors love the space theme.

This part of the game has a little more fiction elements that the colonists created on Mars, but in general, it is still the same pure science fiction, no monsters, aliens, rebellious AI, etc.

The choice we make

On the other hand, all the sci-fi background of Deliver Us Mars are just scenery to talk about humanity and individuals. About where good intentions lead. About why the choice between the good of the majority and the good of one is not as simple as it seems. And also about the fact that people do not change, do not know how to learn from their own mistakes, and do not know how to predict the consequences of their actions.

In fact, the story that the writers of Deliver Us Mars are telling is pretty much the same story that Ken Levine told us throughout the three parts of BioShock. Any attempt to build an ideal society of the chosen ends in collapse and great bloodshed. Deliver Us Mars even has a part about a father-daughter relationship, just like in BioShock Infinite (and actually in BioShock 2), but here the main role is played not by the father Isaac Johanson, but his youngest daughter, who finally understands what choices must be made.

The horrors of deep space

Deliver Us Mars is made on the Unreal Engine, but I can’t say that the authors use its power at 100%. The game looks good, but not much more… and this only applies to the technology and Martian landscapes (everything is a little worse on Earth). But as soon as it comes to people… Deliver Us Mars turns into a real horror.

In the previous game, Deliver Us The Moon, the authors deliberately did not show people to the player. Everyone on the Moon wore spacesuits, the holograms were not detailed at all, that is, we did not see the faces of the characters. And thank God! Because in Deliver Us Mars, the authors decided to show people… and got right into the center of the “uncanny valley”.

The faces of the characters of Deliver Us Mars look so unnatural that at the beginning of any cutscene, there is an unbearable desire to close your eyes. Unnatural animation, staring eyes, very low lighting… And if Kathy Johanson in some scenes (for example, after finding the rover) looks more or less decent, the other characters looks are real trouble.

The general animation of the movements is a little better, but not much, sometimes the characters move like broken robots.

Kathy Croft

Like its predecessor, Deliver Us Mars is mostly a walking simulator with simple puzzles and platforming. Here you have to press a lot of buttons, cut a lot of locks, balance energy emitters. Thank God, in this part, there are no QTEs that spoiled the gameplay of Deliver Us The Moon. And once again, thank God, the developers increased the ridiculous amount of oxygen in the space suit of the character. But, there is another problem… rock climbing.

I don’t understand who told the authors that climbing is cool and must be included in the game. Maybe it’s really cool in Tomb Raider, though it’s done a little differently there. In Deliver Us Mars, climbing feels unnatural, awkward, and just plain unnecessary. It seems that the authors themselves understand that in general, climbing in space and on Mars is stupid, because in one of the scenes on Earth, Isaac Johanson tries to explain to Kathy why she should learn mountaineering … and can’t.

The problem is that Deliver Us Mars has a lot to do with climbing…and it’s terrible.

What’s next

You might get the impression that I didn’t like Deliver Us Mars at all from the last few chapters. It’s not the case. I loved the plot, the fantastic setting, Mars, Kathy’s character, and the social interaction between the characters. And in general, the main message of the game is very noble and correct.

Moreover, I will definitely be waiting for the next part of the series, if of course it will be released. Some Deliver Us Io, or Deliver Us Ceres. But I really hope that next time the developers will find a good 3D modeler and animator, after all, it’s 2023 and you have to pay attention to such things.