I would describe this game as an advanced walking simulator with average difficulty puzzles and arcade moments thrown in for good measure. You will spend a lot of your time walking around examining objects, reading documents, watching holographic reenactments and listening to recorded conversations of past events. The story gradually builds and we get to learn what actually happened and why the lunar base suddenly lost all communication.
There are quite a few puzzle elements to the game. Mostly these will involve you trying to find combination codes for locked doors, using your laser cutting gear to access areas or utilizing your ASE, a floating robot ball which can reach lofted areas and travel through tight spaces.
The puzzles weren’t that challenging and I didn’t really have too much difficulty solving them. Some puzzles are timed, due to the fact that you have an air supply that will run out. This is where you will die the most trying to figure out the puzzle within the time constraints. There are canisters of O2 scattered around the area however and picking up one of these will increase your oxygen levels a little. The one annoying thing about this game was that certain canisters and objects were very difficult to pick up unless you situated yourself in the exact location. Canisters in lockers and boxes were particularly troublesome to collect. In a timed and weightless environment this became frustrating at times but it didn’t happen enough to become defeating. Dying takes you back to your last checkpoint. It is never a frustrating experience due to the plentiful checkpoints on larger sequences.
Occasionally you will be thrown into an arcade sequence. This might be quick time reaction sequences or a desperate race to get to a destination before your oxygen levels deplete. These were very exciting, and although not plentiful, added a welcome injection of pace. You can also drive machinery on the moon to reach out stations where you will need to perform repairs following the story arc. I think they have improved the mechanics of the moon buggies. Before the last chapter they seemed a little out of place from the otherwise excellent atmospheric experience. Now, they appear and feel quite realistic bouncing around on the baron landscape.
The mood and sound effects were genuinely incredible. I want the soundtrack. It felt especially awesome wearing headphones and I would certainly recommend this from the start. The game succeeded in convincing you that you were on the moon and the story was strategically revealed to create tension.
I was mesmerised by this game and am glad it is now complete for other people to enjoy in its entirety.
If you are a fan of slower, atmospheric games with a good story then you will enjoy this. The puzzles and action sequences are not too difficult to complete but they do take a bit of thinking, especially in the last chapter where difficulty seemed to increase.
You can expect 10+ hours of gameplay and more if you like achievements so I could comfortably recommend this at full price.
A moon colony was set up by the World Space Association to provide power to an Earth devoid of resources and blighted by environmental disasters, worryingly enough depicted in the 2040s. By the means of a microwave power transmitter (MPT), a fusion reactor generates power and sends it wirelessly to Earth, fueled by helium-3 harvested on the Moon. In the year 2054 the colony lost power and all communication stopped.
The WSA collapsed and with it the Earth lost hope. Out of the ashes of the WSA a group of scientists secretly engineered a way to get back up to the moon building a rocket called Fortuna One.
You are humanity’s last hope. It is your mission to reach the moon and investigate why the colony has gone dark.
What has happened up there?
The story was satisfying and told extremely well through the medium of holographic sequences, logs, memos, diaries etc. The more you explore, the more the story is revealed. That is not to say you need to explore every nook and cranny, but if you do you will be rewarded with a more enriched experience and have some of finer details explained.
After the story finished, I must say I had a lump in my throat. It was quite emotional and very well told. The last chapter certainly increased the excitement levels with a few more mechanics added in to give it a more arcade feel. It all built up to a climactic ending and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. There is one Marvelesque extra ending after the credits roll so keep watching for that.
Gameplay involves you investigating what has happened to the colony. Why has the MPT stopped transmitting and why has all communication been lost?
You arrive on the space station where you are thrown into a weightless environment where you need to use your thrusters to maneuver around. You have an oxygen level and need to top this up by collecting cannisters strewn across the station. If your oxygen level reaches zero you will need to start again.
The level design is such that even if you do die, it’s not such a big deal as the levels are quite short and it isn’t any hassle to repeat the process again and learn from your mistakes. Whilst your oxygen is depleting you will need to solve small puzzles to gain access to further levels and continue the investigation.
In fact, the puzzles were reasonably easy to work out. There aren’t that many different mechanics to learn. You’ll either cut a hole through a door using your laser cutter, use your ASE which is a flying robot ball designed to access lofty areas or tight spaces, find hidden passwords in documents to gain access to restricted areas or move around power cells to open different doors. You’ll also have to fix a lot of broken machinery throughout the station.
There are occasions where you will play out arcade sequences like quick time movement where you’ll need to press a certain direction on your controller when instructed, or a sequence where you are timed to reach a certain area and will need to collect oxygen cells along the way whilst avoiding debris. The quick time movement sequences are rare and are only there for a bit of titillation between events. The timed sequences are more plentiful and do add drama and tension to the proceedings. They are fun to play and apart from the odd canister being difficult to pick up the levels are designed well.
You can also drive machinery outside on the Moon. The Rover is easy to navigate around and controls well. The scenery looks amazing outside.
I loved the way the space man moved. Even going up and down ladders was a joy to see as so many games get this wrong. Leaping in a weightless environment, spinning around and walking all felt realistic and a pleasure to watch. Even watching him dying looked realistic!
You’ll get notifications through your PDA which informs you of your objectives and records all the documents and clues you have found during your investigation, including hologram reenactments and voice recordings. You can read or listen to these at your leisure.
The sound is instrumental in creating an amazing sci-fi vibe. Synth and classical tracks play throughout adding drama and tension to the proceedings. A chilling soundtrack accompanies some professional sounding effects including some great voice acting. Wear headphones! It enhances the experience immensely.
Graphics are superb. Everything just looks impressive and how you would imagine it in space. The developers have nailed the atmosphere, and locations on the baron Earth to places on the Moon all look and feel futuristic and desperate.
I would highly recommend this game now it has been completed. I would say it has been one of the most enjoyable games I have played in a while.
The game excels at creating a futuristic and atmospheric experience with incredible soundtracks and effects. You will feel immersed in the story and invested in the characters.
I could happily recommend this at full price considering the experience I received and the 10+ hour game play. Very well done.
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