For those who haven’t had the opportunity of attending E3 or any of the publicly open events such as PAX or Comic Con, publishers and developers hope to garner your attention with flashy booths and large demo stations. For this reason, many independent or smaller companies don’t receive the amount of press coverage they deserve. One of my goals at these events is to seek out the games that I would want to play at home, and usually that means not focusing on only AAA games or those based on name recognition alone. With so many appointments to attend at every event, I found the team from KeokeN Interactive dressed like astronauts, demoing Deliver Us The Moon inside the Microsoft ID@Xbox booth at E3 2016 to be my favorite time spent in LA.
Koen Deetman and Jordy Velasquez from the Dutch game developer KeokeN, are without a doubt the epitome of a small independent studio with a huge passion for games. As I chatted with Jordy, who happens to be originally from Long Island, I’ve realized that he was extremely appreciative and humble to simply be at the event. When it is all said and done, it’s these types of interactions and people you meet that make the job well worth the late nights, strict deadlines, and constant travel.
My journey to the Moon began already in space, with humanity’s last hope preparing to dock with the space station above to the Moon’s surface. After the depletion of all of Earth’s available resources, the fate of the planet rests on this one final do-or-die mission. Upon docking, it becomes apparent that something is not right. What should be a bustling station has become a quiet reminder that nothing is a sure thing, and anything that will go wrong, will. With that said, the visually impressive station, the game is being built with Unreal Engine 4, is eerily quiet with ambient music in the background as I slowly make my way through the different passage ways. Although barren at the time, I was told that the final product would contain hidden and some not so hidden collectibles, such as audio logs to provide some backstory on what exactly went wrong. Although depressurized areas require you to manage your oxygen levels, the demo was relatively easy to get lost in the maze of corridors.
While not using waypoints or arrows to direct you through the abandoned station, the game uses a subtle glow on interactive objects, such as elevators and levers. It’s just enough for those that don’t want to be to be running around in circles wasting precious time, and doesn’t feel like you are only trying to run from point A to point B. This is where those hidden collectibles will help flesh out the emptiness feeling of wondering alone. Journeying down the corridors, I attempted to activate the elevator to reach the Moon’s surface. It wasn’t a daunting task, but there was one moment where my heart leapt out of my chest. Out of nowhere, my slow trotting (there is a run button if you are in a hurry) astronaut was almost sucked out into the emptiness of space due to a break in pressure by an explosion of some kind. These type of moments will be scattered throughout the full game, but won’t happen too often.
Once I’ve reached the Moon’s surface the demo ended, but this won’t be the last time I journey to the Moon. There is so much more to Deliver Us The Moon that couldn’t be fit in one of the game’s early moments. Reaching the Moon is step one, and once you’ve taken your first step on the lunar surface, you’ll want to discover the lunar rover. Deliver Us The Moon won’t feature only one station to explore either. With the whole world invested in the Worldwide Space Agency (WSA), you will come across base camps for different nations.
Deliver Us The Moon is set to release later this year and will be available on PC and Xbox One.