Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna holds a lot of promise. It has a brilliant narrative, engaging puzzle gameplay and stunningly gorgeous graphics to boot. I was excited to see what it had to offer and had high hopes going in. It certainly met my expectations in many ways, but the game makes a critical misstep that unravels all of the goodwill it built up in my playtime.
Decades from now, Earth is in a bad way. Nearly 30% of its landmass has turned to desert and resources are running out. Thankfully, a discovery of how to harness Helium-3 on the Moon means that we can generate plenty of power. That power can then be beamed back to Earth through a microwave beam. Unfortunately, the moon colony went offline some time ago and nobody knows why.
I encountered a rough start with the occasional graphical hiccups anytime I transitioned between sections of the game; I managed to alleviate these issues by turning down the graphics quality. They still popped up now and again, but the severity was somewhat decreased. My gut told me that this game could have used another optimization pass, but alas.
Your adventure begins at a dilapidated spaceport on Earth. You've been selected as the sole person to head up to the Moon and get the juice flowing again. You'll get your feet wet by exploring the basic mechanics of scanning objects, checking your journal, and solving puzzles. One might be concerned that this is a walking simulator and I can assure you that it is not. Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna is assuredly an adventure game with quite few puzzles and action sections to play through.
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Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna is more than a simple (space)walking simulator. Launching your rocket is an entertaining puzzle, and docking with the orbital elevator requires care and some precision.
As you progress through the starting facility, you must clear the way by moving junk, powering up old systems, and actually making it to the shuttle. Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna has one of the most interesting box-pushing mechanics I've seen with the ability to rotate the item you're moving. This is really only used for wheeled staircases in a couple of instances, but I thought it was pretty cool.
Once you get the rocket back online, you must commence the launch sequence. This is accomplished by a bunch of quick-time events of a sort; you need to activate different controls and follow certain procedures in order to get the rocket off the ground. A short time skip saves you a boring journey and lets you dock with a space station at the top of an orbital elevator on the Moon.
The game proceeds with you getting the station back online so you can make it down to the moon colony, often under the pressure of running low on oxygen. Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna nicely balances time pressure and a relaxing atmosphere for exploring and uncovering more of the story. There are loads of things to see and read if you feel like it. If not, you can totally skip over most of this content without really missing anything. You shouldn't, though—the narrative is one of the best bits.
Partway through your exploration of the colony, you'll encounter an ACE unit. This little robot buddy is reminiscent of GLaDOS' cores and is decidedly less murderous. (Well, mostly.) ACE can be used to squeeze into small spaces, activate panels, and scout areas that you otherwise couldn't reach. It's a helpful companion and I quickly formed an attachment to the little guy. (I also fear for his future knowing the fate of the Companion Cube and similar companions in games.)
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The game features tons of future tech, all of which is very plausible. Holograms, a space elevator, microwave power transmission, and a plasma-cutting laser are all theoretical technology that we just might have by the 2050s. Also, the plasma cutter gave me flashbacks to Goldeneye.
Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna has you and ACE gradually bring more and more of the colony back online as you work towards your goal of bringing power back to Earth. It's pretty interesting to bring each important element of a complex power system back online (and all the trouble that entails). One of the more challenging bits was figuring out the logic of transferring power when an automatic lockdown will happen if power fails. You'll be doing a good bit of thinking in this game, that's for sure.
Graphically, Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna is absolutely stunning. The level of detail put into the game is fantastic. I encountered no noticeable graphical glitches or issues of the sort save for the aforementioned lag while transitioning between areas. There are tons of little notes and details that you could look into if you really wanted to get a feel for what the colonists were like. It's one of the better examples of worldbuilding I've seen in recent memory.
As for the sound, the music has got to be the highlight for me. Whoever put the music together must surely be a fan of Interstellar, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the like. The music in this game is appropriately epic for engaging in such a wondrous adventure.
That wondrous adventure is, unfortunately, cut painfully short. You see, Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna launched out of Early Access in September of 2018. Typically, this means that a game could be considered feature complete. Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna is not a complete game. Not by a long shot.
I reached the end of the story after less than two and a half hours. Don't get me wrong, it was a superb experience. But the story doesn't really end insomuch as it gives you a sort of "To Be Continued" kind of conclusion. I was quite puzzled—wasn't this a completed game? I searched around on the Steam Store page and found the information I needed buried at the very bottom of the description below the "Read More" fold:
CONTINUE YOUR JOURNEY IN NEW, FREE DLC Q1 2019In short, Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna is most certainly not finished. One could be charitable and classify it as an episodic game, but the only indication of the story's incomplete nature hides at the bottom of the game's store page.
It's not even necessarily a poor value prospect or anything like that, because it's a fantastic game. It's just unfinished and that state is handwaved away with the promise of "free upcoming Story DLC" (that is to say, the rest of the game). That's just not right.
I'm not quite sure why the devs launched Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna in an incomplete state. Whatever the reason, I find the entire situation troubling and unethical. What makes it worse is that this was otherwise a truly excellent game and it's disheartening to have that ripped away from you so suddenly. I had expected to transition to a new chapter only to be greeted with the ending.
I cannot in good conscience recommend Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna to anyone in its current state until the developers clarify the game's status on their store page or release the remainder of the story. Avoid this one until it's properly finished.
TechRaptor covered Deliver Us The Moon: Fortuna on PC via Steam with a code provided by the developer.