Lifeless Moon Preview: One Giant Leap

The space race rages. Its dramatic events race across the screen, highlighting the triumphs and, most importantly, the sacrifices made in the pursuit of the moon landing. While intense, all of this is history. But as Lifeless Moon progresses, things take an unexpected turn in the blink of an eye.

I’m one of the first people to make it to the surface of the moon. Or so I think. At the moment of my gravity defying victory lap, I discover a shimmering aura. And like an idiot, I touch it. Because what could go wrong playing around with an unexplained light show in space?

Instantly, I’m teleported to a solitary crater, and it’s here the development team really shows off its sound design chops. My ears are filled with the drumming of a mix between a helicopter and a beating heart. It’s intense and tension-filled, making simply walking in a barren landscape feel fraught with danger.

Then it gets weirder. After turning a corner, I stand face-to-face with a town. Its central diner sports a neon sign, with cars fit for the ’60s neatly parked in the nearby lot. Living spaces, schools, a workshop, all sit impossibly intact on the lunar sphere. But it’s a ghost town.

The mystery begins to unravel as I spot a long yellow cable that leads me to a strange underground facility housing a vacuum chamber. Finding notes scattered throughout this building, I piece together something has gone badly wrong. A suspicion I later confirm when I, following a series of clues, stumble my way into the school which now serves only as a tomb.

And a handful of ambiguous passages in these discovered messages also point to something even more terrifying going on. A phenomenon that makes my own mind an enemy.

The setup is intriguing, to say the least, though Lifeless Moon has a little jank to contend with at this point of development. Stiff character models, abrupt camera shifts, and some awkward physics all make an appearance in my early demo. However, these don’t take too much away from the narrative and, hopefully, the team will sand down the rough edges before the game releases on August 10.

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