Deliver Us Mars

Posted:  Mar 17, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
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Review

Deliver Us Mars was provided by Frontier Foundry for review. Thank you!

Deliver Us Mars is a third-person adventure where story takes center stage. Taking place after Deliver Us the Moon, you receive a mysterious distress call from Mars. Kathy Johanson, Earth's youngest astronaut, joins one last mission to recover the ARK colony ships that hold the key to the survival of the human race. Now, it is up to you to travel across unforgiving terrain to overcome the challenges of Mars in the hopes you can find the ARKs and uncover the secrets left behind. Will you be able to complete your mission and save humanity from extinction?

Deliver Us Mars started off a little slow for me, but I started to really get into the story the more I played it. As Kathy, you will primarily be solving puzzles and uncovering collectables that will help further the world building and push the narrative forward. The story, music, and atmosphere all work together really well and I got quite invested into what happened on Mars. I also enjoyed the puzzles for the most part, but it was really the story that sold it for me.

I also loved climbing walls, something so small and sometimes tedious was something I oddly enjoyed. I expected something similar to Tomb Raider's climbing, but this one felt more thought out. I really enjoyed it and loved trying to jump onto it and hopefully hang on for dear life, or die trying!

On the other hand, the game doesn't really hold your hand much. Some of the time they would, but others would just ask you to do something but not tell you where to go. For example, I was on an ARK and was told to activate the MPT, but there was no indication where to go. I backtracked way more than I needed to multiple times due to unspecific directions like that. I don't personally mind a little hands-off, but not when I could easily get lost. I also hated the puzzle to open holograms, moving around to make sure everything fit perfectly was horrid.

Overall, even with the knocks against it, I enjoyed the story a lot and it made the experience worthwhile. I loved discovering and traveling through Mars and the spaceships, which all looked visually appealing. If you enjoyed Deliver Us the Moon, enjoy puzzle games, or just want a good Sci-Fi story, this is the game for you! And with a little bit of tweaking, and compromise, this will be one you can enjoy on the Steam Deck.

Deliver Us Mars - Optimizing For Another Planet

Deliver Us Mars is a little bit of a beast and will require some compromise to run effectively. After some testing, I realized a couple things. First, cutscenes hit HARD. For whatever reasons, the cutscenes in the game are much more intensive than gameplay where you can control Kathy, even if its looking at the same scene. Second, shadows and post processing seem to make the most visual impact. With this in mind, I decided to create 2 builds, a 30 FPS Quality+Battery and 40 FPS Framerate build.

The game will also pretty heavily fluctuate battery drain and performance depending on what you are looking at. I optimized for the harder performing spots, but in more closed off areas, you will most likely get less drain and more stable framerates.

For the 30, I kept all the graphical settings at Medium except for Groom, which I kept off. Turning on Groom tanks performance and made the game almost impossible to hit 30. I also coupled this with TAAU upscaling and an 80% render scale. The game still looked quite nice and sharp while keeping 30 FPS at a TDP limit of 9. There are some minor spots where the framerate can dip to 28, but these were far and few.

From there, I tried to hit 40 FPS without needing to change resolution, but unfortunately, even with no caps and lowest possible visual settings, the game couldn't hit it.

Deliver Us Mars

To fix this, I had to force a 800x500 resolution and keep most of the settings on low to hit a pretty stable 40 FPS. This does have a pretty big reduction in quality and still needs a bit more battery to run, but it does work and I would consider it playable. It does have some ghosting (a small ripple of your character when you move), so that is something you will probably see.

If you look closely at the character and see some ripples around her, that is ghosting!

No matter what settings, Deliver Us Mars will always have a spike in battery usage during cutscenes. Both of these builds have that drop that will happen in most scenes, but it doesn't affect gameplay so I pushed it through.

I didn't have any controller issues, but I did notice some visual pop-in while playing. The game looked nice, but if you move around too quickly, you can see white flashes of models and the environment quickly loading in. No matter what I set view distance to, this happened regardless. I am sure this is a measure to help performance, and it doesn't happen when moving around slowly, but turning your camera too fast will make it much more noticeable.

Conclusion

Deliver Us Mars is a mixed-bag game. I personally enjoyed the story and felt most of the puzzles were good, but the lack of clearer direction at times and some of the other puzzles brought it down. I really did enjoy my time playing though. I am a sucker for Sci-Fi tales and this scratched that itch wonderfully. On top of that, the game can run well with the settings adjusted and still look quite nice. I would say getting this game on sale is definitely justified!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Deliver Us Mars is a story-driven Sci-Fi adventure filled with puzzles and, with some tweaking, it can be very playable on Steam Deck!

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Community Rating

Let us know what level of playability you consider Deliver Us Mars to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$29.99
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Proton DB Rating

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Other Builds
40 FPS Build
SteamOS

Limit

40

Refresh Rate

40

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

10

Scaling Filter

FSR Sharpness 0

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Steam Settings:

Force Resolution to 800x500

 

Display Settings:

Upscaling: TAAU

Render Resolution Scale: 70

Anti-Aliasing: TAA-High

Vsync: Off

Renderer: DX11

 

Graphics Settings:

Shadow Quality: Low

View Distance: Low

Post Processing Quality: Low

Texture Quality: Medium

Grooms: Off

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

12W - 18W

63c - 70c

~2.5 hours

related Settings

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