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-over
- Clever brainteasing 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 in 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. 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, expertly going from a creepy horror premise to an interpersonal character drama to mind-blowing sci-fi concepts. 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?--keeps 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.
For this reason, I'm glad there are GOTY awards, it highlights amazing games that might've otherwise been overlooked by the general public. If it wasn't for the 2010 awards, I would've never heard of the brilliant Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, also another amazing story driven game.
loved 999 and loved this one - currently replaying it - wanna get all endings and know it alllll:D
this one is better than the first due to the flowchart - more endings and the fact that u dont need to replay rooms u done - after u finish the game u just jump in the flowchart to where u wanna continue and make another choice - wish the first had it like that too
Woohoo, this game is out in Australia and I'm playing it right now! I'll escape the nonary game once again!
Be careful on the 3DS version. There's a bug that can corrupt your save if you save in the PEC room. I did the left and right path first so I was 22 hours in when I got the room and lost everything. Apparently the bug can happen if you save in other puzzle rooms but it's pretty much mainly the PEC.
@skelly1331 I have this tic that forces me to save obsessively, impulsively, and instinctively. Even after reading about the horror that is the save glitch, I'd accidentally save in every single room, but have had no problems with save corruption. That said, I only got my game a week back, so some of the newer copies may not have this glitch, fortunately.
@skelly1331 thanks for notifying me
I loved this game from start to finish. 999 was a great game and this one is a very worthy sequel to it. I can't wait for the next game in the series and it's a definite pre order from me without question. I'm with PFS1337 on this, I do hope this does very well on the 3ds because I want more of these games on the 3ds! The story telling is amazing so if you haven't played it and like puzzle type games this one is a good pick.
ARRRGH! THIS GAME IS STILL NOT OUT IN AUSTRALIA!. I am dying to play this game. I actually bought my 3DS mainly for this game! Lucky you guys got it first. I envy you!
This game is amazing, sadly I haven't seen too many users talking about the 3DS version, and a lot talking about it for the Vita version which is odd because 999 was originally DS exclusive. I sure hope it does well on 3DS because I love it on 3DS and can't wait for volume 3.