• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
New to Pocket Gamer? Start here!
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
PlayStation Vita  header logo

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

For: PS Vita   Also on: 3DS

Rewarding excellence

Product: Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward | Developer: Chunsoft | Publisher: Aksys Games | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: US
 
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward PS Vita, thumbnail 1
In a nutshell, Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward is fantastic. I think this might just be my favourite game of the year so far.

That's not to say it's for everyone - far from it. In reality, this is destined to be another cult classic, just as previous entry in the series 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors was.

However, if you've any interest in visual novels, room escape games, or just a game that excels at portraying tension, you need to check out Virtue's Last Reward.

Escapism

You play Sigma, a college student whisked away in the middle of the night by a masked villain and dumped in a large warehouse. From there you meet eight other characters with very different backgrounds from your own, and you're pitted against them in a game where the first prize is freedom and all of the other prizes are death.

You have a watch-like device strapped around your wrist, and it keeps track of how much BP you have - a currency awarded for participation in a game of trust and betrayal. Should you reach nine points, you're free to escape (potentially leaving your compatriots behind), but if you hit zero then it's Game Over by way of lethal injection.

It's essentially a video game version of The Prisoner's Dilemma. You enter a room with a terminal and are asked to vote to Trust or Betray your opponent, who is sealed away in another room. Points are then awarded based on how your vote tallies up with theirs.

If you both choose to trust one another, you get two points. However, pick Betray instead while they pick Trust, and you'll get three points, and they'll lose some. 

You'll need to carefully think through whether you can put your life in their hands, and consider their potential reasons for betraying you. It creates this fantastic tension throughout the entirety of the game's discussion-driven narrative - a level of paranoia rarely experienced in interactive entertainment.

The pièce de résistance to this setup is that one of the nine characters is also Zero, the mastermind behind the entire game, and a serial killer. There are different endings based on your actions, and there are some truly chilling twists in the tale to discover.

Ambidextrous

When not attempting to figure out who's out to get you, you're solving puzzles in individual rooms. Finding objects, combining them with one another, working out what riddles mean, interacting with the environment around you - it's structurally basic fare, but executed well and very playable on a touchscreen.

Though the puzzles can be complicated and elaborate, there's an Easy mode available that helps give you a nudge in the right direction should you need it, or should you just want to get back to the main visual novel gameplay.

You may be assuming at this point that it's all a bit Saw-inspired. While the premise is the same, it's nowhere near as gory. There's a bit of the red stuff, sure, but the oppressive atmosphere emanates from exquisite dialogue, brilliant voice acting, and a deliciously desperate situation.

This is a gripping, deep story combined with smart brain teasers that can leave you scratching your head for hours. It's a slow and methodically paced title, and aside from the room escape sequences there isn't much in the way of traditional gameplay.

But that really doesn't matter - you'll be far too tangled in Zero's web of deceit to care.
 
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 20 November 2012
Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward is a mature, sophisticated, and delightfully dark whodunnit adventure
 
Have Your Say
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
May 2013
Post count:
6
gselfish | 12:19 - 19 May 2013
No spoiler there, it's Zero jr. (the funny rabbit) himself that reveals that Zero is one of the characters, as soon as he explains the basic rules of the game. You should have read that probably within 15 minutes after escaping the elevator.
It's never quite clear if it's true until the very end of the story, but it's supposed to be the main cause of mistrust between the characters, so it's a very important detail that you shouldn't have missed.
Joined:
May 2013
Post count:
3
James White | 23:01 - 18 May 2013
Thanks for that. That's a pretty big spoiler, saying that one of the characters is Zero. Hmm, I wonder which one. Of course I've had my suspicions about K from the beginning, but I've seen two endings now and neither revealed who he really was, so it's not as if it's something you'll find out early on in the story. Careful next time eh fella?
 
POPULAR REVIEWS
LATEST COMMENTS LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS