Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward is a game that follows a group of people trapped in a mysterious facility. To escape, you need to solve a variety of puzzles and try not to be killed first.
Virtue’s Last Reward is a visual novel style game and the spiritual sequel to 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors. You are a group of 9 people trapped within a mysterious facility being forced to play the Nonary Game. You all have a bracelet and this bracelet determines what you will do – who you would pair up with to solve puzzles, if you can escape, or it could even be the cause of your death should your “BP” hit 0. To escape, you need to get 9 “BP.” You get this “BP” by voting in the “AB” Game. Depending on what you and your opponent choose, you either gain or lose BP – or perhaps it would even stay the same.
As far as Vita games go, Virtue’s Last Reward actually looks quite good. It manages to pull off the art style well. You can often make out what you need to do for puzzles, though other times you might be struggling. Of course, part of this comes down to the controls which can be a bit overly sensitive at times. The game makes use of the touch screen, though you don’t need to use it (in most cases) if you don’t want to. There are a few mini-game puzzles that require it, but that’s it.
The puzzles themselves can be quite challenging. If you bring the difficulty down to Easy (it resets back to Hard after each puzzle), the people with you in the room will give you hints as to what to do. I left the difficulty on Hard, partly to try and figure it out myself and partly because there’s a trophy to do so. While most puzzles can be figured out with some serious thinking, others really just didn’t make much sense to me. Perhaps with even more thinking one could have solved them, but I did end up looking up a few solutions.
The game has a large amount of endings you can aim for, though some are gated behind other requirements. The biggest gate to me, and probably the most annoying one, came in the form of a password you were required to enter. Well, an ID and password. To get these you need to find them in other endings, or if you search hard enough, you can find them online. Fair warning though – beyond this gate lies major spoilers for other endings. Look up the solution at your own risk. I know I gave up the search and went to do other endings upon finding this information out.
Of course, with the large amount of endings this game has available, this comes with multiple paths you can take. During the “novel” sections, after you’ve solved a puzzle, you’ll be faced with a choice. These choices determine your path through the flow chart. You can jump around it thankfully, so should you come upon a dead end (be it in the form of a “Game Over” ending or a character ending), you can jump back and go down another path. Of course though, because of the multiple paths, you’ll often find yourself seeing the same cutscene bits over and over. This gets very irritating as there’s no cutscene skip, and you don’t really have any idea (usually) when it’ll jump into a scene unique to that path. An ability to skip over parts of scenes you’ve already seen would’ve been fantastic.
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward is a great game if you’re looking for an adventure game style puzzle title. Take note though, the game is very story heavy and you’ll be in cutscenes much longer than you’ll be in puzzles. That said, the game is still very good and it didn’t take long for me to get hooked. It has it’s issues, but Virtue’s Last Reward is still a title worth playing.
Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward Review Score
This review is based off the PlayStation Vita version though the title is also available for Nintendo 3DS. You can find the Vita version on PSN, Amazon, and Gamestop. The 3DS version is available on Amazon and Gamestop.