Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward is a memorable and enthralling sci-fi/horror adventure that will have you glued to the small screen.
- Riveting sci-fi/horror story
- Memorable characters with excellent dialogue and voice acting
- Clever brain-teasing puzzles
- Much-improved interface over its predecessor.
- No voice acting during escape sequences
- Some puzzles are considerably more tedious than others
- Obtaining the extra archive files can be a pain.
Adventure games are making something of a resurgence lately, thanks in part to the new input methods appearing on consoles and handhelds. Interest in adventure games has also been driven by a number of somewhat less traditional entries in the genre, such as the heavily text-and-image-driven visual-novel-style adventure games from Japan. In 2010, Aksys Games released Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors for the DS, a horror-themed adventure game mixing visual-novel-type storytelling scenes and character interaction with puzzle-laden rooms that you needed to escape. The warm reception of that game has now yielded a sequel in Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward--and it's just as enthralling as its predecessor.
Virtue's Last Reward begins with the protagonist, a college student named Sigma, waking up in an elevator next to a strange woman who seems to know more about him than she's letting on. A strange rabbit creature appears on a monitor near them, telling them that they must figure out how to escape the car before it falls. Once they do, they find themselves in an abandoned warehouse with seven other abducted individuals. The creature appears again, telling them that they must all play the Ambidex game to escape their industrial prison. The Ambidex game involves puzzles, traps, and important decisions to either trust or betray your fellow players. The penalty for losing or failing to comply is death, or possibly an even worse fate.
The game is divided into two distinct sections. As Sigma, you team up with groups of your fellow captives and explore various rooms of this mysterious facility. These rooms are the escape portion of the game: you investigate a room for items, clues, and puzzles to solve, piecing things together until you are finally able to unlock a safe containing an item to allow you to exit.
The story- and dialogue-heavy portions of the game are the novel portions, which appear in between the escape sections and elaborate on the various mysteries the game presents. You also have the opportunity to make choices that influence the path the game's plot takes. The game's use of the term "novel" to refer to these sections is apt: there's a massive amount of text in Virtue's Last Reward, but because the writing is superb and the voice-over work for the supporting cast (available in both English and Japanese) is excellent, the hours upon hours of dialogue you page through are a pleasure to experience.
The quality of storytelling is a key factor in an adventure game, and Virtue's Last Reward passes that test with flying colors. The game's plot immediately grabs you and rarely lets go, going from a creepy horror premise to interpersonal character drama to mind-blowing sci-fi concepts expertly. The promise of unraveling the many mysteries--Why are we here? Who are these other people? What purpose do the Ambidex game and the room puzzles serve? What is this facility?--keep you engaged, and the many new mysteries that appear throughout give you even more reasons to keep playing for hours on end as solutions dangle tantalizingly in front of you, just beyond the reach of the next puzzle.
Lol!!!! As if 'virtue' could be found in mainstream games these days! Whatever, with the texting-addicted foul-mouthed reckless brain-washed Liberalism-deluded Generation-Y'er-rejects that get handed the development positions because they can impress the interviewer with their Justin Bieber impersonation (the interviewer is a she, and she's 12 years old) on these projects, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS VIRTUE in games!! Get the facts straight!
I feel like I might like it but as I understand it is a sequel? do I really need to play the first one? am I missing much if I didn't?
Jeezus gamespot could you at least put this on the front page or something, dont seem to give a flying shit for the Vita. Though...from here to march we are getting some killer titles. AC3 Liberation , P4 Golden, Souls , Warriors Lair. Can't wait.
Can anyone here convince me that this is any different from that awful demo?
The voice acting was squeaky and annoying, the female characters are all extremely sexualized, and the controls during escape sequences are unbearably oversensitive.
To top it all off, the game doesn't even hold up graphically.
The way I see it, it seems to make a better adventure book than video game.
@Granpire It's the kind of game that really shows just how good a visual novel can be, and not only that, but show why the game should exist as a visual novel instead of a TV series, movie or novel. The demo doesn't do the story telling justice, as the beauty of the game is unravelling the mystery from playing all the different timelines.All it showed was how an escape sequences play out.
When playing the first game, 999 (which I am doing so now), the first ending I received only added so many questions as to what was happening, my second playthough, which they allow to be a lot shorter by skipping scenes you've already played, unveiled a lot of interesting questions and backstory, only leaving more and more questions. basically each playthrough showed how your different choices would alter the overall story telling, a choice wouldn't just change the overall ending, but how the rest of the game plays out leading up to that ending. Each playthrough will involve different interactions with different characters resulting in different plot elements and ending. There is no one ending that shows all. This game also seems to extend what the first game has done and added a lot more depth into all the routes and endings, and it's fair to say it's done a damn good job at that
@Granpire Theres a japenese dub option if you prefer. The females while wearing skimpy clothes are never really exploited though. Theres no panty shots or suggestive posing etc and they also have personality aside from the typical bumbling airhead. The game takes itself seriously while being able to have fun and joke as well. The controls may take getting used to though but there are two methods of controls most of the time. Touch and buttons. Its a Visual novel game. Its text heavy and plot focused. If you don't like those type of games obviously this game isn't for you. Also yes this is still a video game. Although if anything I'd call it more of an experience then game. Also the demo doesn't really set the tone for the game. They should of gone with the first puzzle and dialogue scene.
Between this and the MGS Collection (since I don't have PS3 and 360), I now probably have an excuse to get the Vita now. Not to mention Disgaea.
@5529319 MGS collection is lame. get it in PS3 dude u have 3 games and not 2, Also disgaea 4 >>Disgaea 3 vita. Is Not enough excuse men. Gravity rush is good but is just 1 game. whatever i guess is ur money, u can do what u want.
Don't forget Gravity Rush, Dokuro and Ragnarok Odyssey
@Strathmore yeah, I know. I was looking forward to this till I played the demo. It must be much better than the demo to get this kind of score. Gravity Rush only got a 6.5 and that was awesome
Picked this up on a reflex action since I loved 999 so much, awesome to hear it holds up. Cannot wait to really get into it.
I tried the demo, while I agree that graphics aren't everything, VLR's graphics can be rather underwhelming.. I think the textures can be upped a notch or two, considering Vita's capability. But then again, to be fair, perhaps game devs are still tinkering on how much graphics Vita can actually handle -- I've seen how New Little King's Story suffers from poor frame-rate drops. The rest of the game looks excellent though. I like the 'notes' feature the most.
This game was made for both the 3DS and Vita. I actually didn't eve know they were making it for the Vita so Vita owners should be happy since 999 was only on the DS.
This is game of the year material because of how unique it is. Hopefully it will turn out that way in other websites.