Deliver Us Mars Preview – On a mission to the Red Planet

It looks pretty grim for humanity in the future of KeokeN’s Deliver Us series. Earth has been ravaged by climate change, ties to abundant energy sources have been untied, and advanced efforts to significantly expand humanity to other planets have been stolen. The events of Deliver Us The Moon’s desperate last-ditch mission gave us hope, but in Deliver Us Mars, Earth’s goal is to reclaim more vital resources that have been hurled through the stratosphere.

Deliver Us Mars is set a decade after the Fortuna mission to the Moon, but its mission is nonetheless vital to Earth’s hopes. Back in our energy-rich heyday, the shadowy self-invested organization Outward set out to colonize Mars, stealing and tearing apart starships known as ARKs to fuel their efforts. It’s time to understand what happened during this privateer mission to our red neighbor and try to recover this potential savior.

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It’s a more upbeat tone than Deliver us the Moon, with creative director Raynor Arkenbout saying, “We’re assuming there’s a way to reverse this damage, I think it’s good that we start there.” ‘hope. […] What I love about the first game is that it had a problematic world situation and the ending solved a symptom, right? He solved the energy crisis, he didn’t solve the root of climate change which is still a problem. So that left us with a huge world to deal with, and this time we really wanted to capture the main issue, which is that the environment is always deteriorating whether or not we have energy in the mix. […]

“We start there, but we definitely go to more complex terrains. The narrative, thematically, will certainly go further than just being a space mission, save the world, everyone wins. We want it to be more complex.

So yes, retrieving the ARKs is Mission Opera’s only primary goal, but Kathy Johanson has an ulterior motive for going to Mars. Her father, Isaac, went to Mars with Outward, was complicit in their crimes, but also left her behind with little explanation. It’s an interesting juxtaposition to the relatively realistic sci-fi tone of many parts of the mission.

Raynor explained to us, “We like to have a storyline that captures more and has something in this dramatic space about humans. So we’re going to create a game that may not be like other action adventures, where morality is just good-evil. We’re definitely more on the side of genres where you expose a bit more drama and subtlety, and I think a personal story helps us do that.

“I think we’re really excited to have a cast of characters that you can really latch onto and feel very human. None of the characters we have in the game are an archetype of anything good or bad, they all have flaws, they all have something great about them. You can see them as your friends, you can see them as terrible people, but I think every player will have a different reaction because all of these characters have something to love and hate about them.

Much like Deliver Us The Moon, there’s a particular blend and tone to the storytelling and gameplay of Deliver Us Mars. On the one hand, Mission Opera doesn’t go exactly as planned, the crew of space shuttle Zephyr sent to Mars split up upon landing and, in the relatively early section we worked with, trying to band together and combine their efforts.

Give us the career of Mars Herschell

Kathy is a character who is quite capable of traversing the surface of the red planet. As you pass through the Herschel Quarry, which has been transformed with large man-made structures for digging into the Martian soil, you must pass from one side to the other. Mars’ gravity being about 1/3 that of Earth means you can (within reason) “Skyrim” descend some steep inclines and drops, but falling too far will still result in Kathy’s untimely demise.

So it’s handy that Kathy packed her climbing picks to help get around the place. Similar to the recent Tomb Raider trilogy, you can spot areas where you can use these choices to log in and move around. It’s an intuitive setup, with each hand attaching to the wall controlled with the gamepad’s triggers, guiding the next chop with an analog stick. If you want you can try to speed things up, using Mars’ gravity to potentially jump off a ledge, or just let go when you want to get down, then double pickaxe into a piece of soft rock to reattach and arrest your fall. It’s really quite satisfying, and the checkpoints are generous enough that you won’t feel punished if you mess up a bit.

It’s part of what feels like a more dynamic and engaging journey across the world. One particular segment required me to jump and pick on a moving fabricated wall, while the trailers show Kathy leaping from one precarious platform to another.

in general, there’s a semi-realistic tone to the adventure, from the lower movement speed and gravity to the mix of futuristic science technology used. “It’s such a balancing act,” Raynor said, “and we’ve had so many discussions about where we want to be on that line. We definitely want to stay with grounded sci-fi, a type of harder sci-fi, but we’re taking some liberties in some ways. For example, the machines we call ARKs are definitely bigger than humans probably can build in a long time. We definitely took the liberty of going a bit further with science fiction, but it’s all to serve the purpose of the story, which for us is the most important thing.

Accompanying Kathy is hovering robot buddy AYLA, much like in the previous game. AYLA performs several functions, letting you scout an inaccessible area and helping you solve environmental puzzles, most notably allowing replay of key conversations and events from the Outward Project.

Deliver us the buttocks of Mars

As you enter certain rooms, you’ll have to move AYLA around in a light environmental puzzle to find the sweet spots for a holographic replay of events, filling in the backstory of what happened. It’s a story delivery that’s exactly like Deliver Us The Moon, although I don’t recall the holographic butts being done that well in that game – Raynor laughed when I asked him about it , responding, “Well, I mean the highest god has got something, right? You gotta have something to look at.

These will also play well with full flashbacks to Kathy’s childhood and her path through the space program, adding another layer to the story and developing her character through play.

And then, as you make your way through the colony’s abandoned infrastructure, you’ll need to manipulate environments and solve puzzles to enable your progress. Getting up on the other side required supplying power to the lift, with a bit of a headache found when having to redirect power beams, pass them through power reduction fields and provide the right amount of energy to the conduits to open the doors and activate the dish controls.

Deliver Us Mars promises to be a worthy successor to Deliver Us The Moon, building on that game’s engaging style of space mystery with broader action gameplay, more layers and engaging characters in the story and generally raising the ambitions of what this game can try to do. That’s especially true for those who enjoyed the first game, but Deliver Us Mars is one to watch for early 2023.

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