Diving in, you're put into a campaign type mode where you go from hospital to hospital with different scenarios and challenges to work on. As you move from one to the next, you start to notice that you're in a living tutorial that never really feels too heavy or confusing. All the introductions of game mechanics gently trickle in, giving you plenty of time to learn as goals urge you to implement them as you go along. This is something that I'm absolutely raving about--the rate at which you learn how to run new equipment and gather unlockables is at a fantastically thorough pace. Have you unlocked something later down the line but wish to use it in a previous hospital? No problem! Just go back to whichever hospital at any time and you can drop whatever you've earned back into it. All the unlockables and research span across the whole account, which is brilliant and makes going back into your first hospitals so much fun.
On top of the fantastic experience of simply making your way through the game hunched over in sneak mode (literally my entire time in Skyrim in any playthrough, so I was hungry for it), the lush environments and levels really are a thing of beauty. The detail of this torn world really sets the game up to run a chill down your spine, even in the best of situations. The character models are ridiculously well done to the point where you think you're going to laugh at the fact that you're toting around Howard the Duck in a post apocalyptic world--but it never really seems to cross your mind as everything about them is so convincing and immersive that it's hard not to take it seriously. The enemies are foul and deranged--a real threat. Five minutes with the mutant hunters in your midst and you're guaranteed to know what they're all about without a massive context behind them.
An interesting idea in Mage's Initiation is to have the ability to learn and grow through XP and a really smart gem system. You can equip a limited amount of gems at any time, and these gems give you individual buffs that are really useful, especially in battle. The hybrid nature of Mage's Initiation being that of a point and click and RPG, gives us these really cool opportunities to duel and battle throughout the adventure. It's engaging, fun and really adds to the whole thing, giving it a spin on a classic genre.
Each level does take a bit of thinking, and they do increase in the amount of time that you'll have to use your brain for. What sounds like a good idea, might not be, but that's the beauty with a game like this--plenty of trial and error. There's enough variety in the puzzles and different types of levels that if you're anything like me--you'll find yourself glued to the monitor for hours. The music is the right amount of soothing, the graphics the right amount of simple and the physics...the right amount of hilarity.
Unfortunately there's a few hangups I have about the overall game, but rest assured nothing in the way of not recommending it to you! Deliver Us The Moon is a graphical powerhouse, one that if you intend on running it in all it's glory, will require a bit of clever hardware on your computer. There's some inconsistencies with the playable parts graphically as well--incidental cutscenes litter the storyline here and there, and these tend to be of a different, lower quality to the rest of the game's design. Heavy noise filters are good at masking a bit of these lapses in quality, and whilst they don't ruin the game itself in any way, are still there.
Let's talk about building! With the career mode, you'll have a pre-built zoo for the first couple of levels whilst you learn the ropes. Slowly, you'll be made to build habitats for your animals, how to fill said habitats with animals, and how to keep them happy behind the glass. There is also small exhibits--things such as spiders and snakes to take care of in the very same fashion. It's not straightforward and there's many factors to consider when bringing the animals in and getting them settled it, but to me that was the fun of it. I loved reading guest comments about how my hippos looked particularly content, or how my tigers appeared well fed as they sat belly up to the Sun.
Desperately searching for fun, we hung out in the starting zone, hoping to interact with a few players. In the starting zone itself is a safety bubble--like a force field protecting the new players. This is great, but the moment you stepped out--it was curtains for you. Mid to high, and even some braver low level players camped out at the edge of the bubble, waiting for some daft adventurer to cross its threshold. It became very clear that ambushing unsuspecting new players was the fun to be had in Citadel: Forged with Fire. You could make it past one of these malicious players, but once in the wild, you face enemies that never lose aggro, unclear or no instruction as to what to do or build and strange bugs that begged to be squashed.
Outbuddies nautical depths have a colour palette that reflects the despair and loneliness of the deep. Blues and purples are put to stark contrast on your character's reds and pinks. The understanding to have a subtle, yet striking palatte coupled with the pixelated graphics is no doubt a visual recipe for success.