I’ve said this once before, during the intro to my review of Portal 2, but I feel it is worth repeating for this game as well: Virtue’s Last Reward is in the awkward position of being a sequel to a game so fantastic that by design it becomes excruciatingly difficult to live up to expectations. Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward is a sequel to 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, one of the extremely few games to receive a grade of A from those of us writing reviews at Gaming Bus. The game was nearly perfect: the exposition and plot twists were flawlessly executed; in the end all loose ends were tied and holes covered, and there was a sense of ultimate closure regarding the events in the game.
There was no way that Virtue’s Last Reward could surpass 999 with the bar set so high to begin with. It just couldn’t happen. After having completed literally everything in this game, I can say I was right. However, the developers of Spike Chunsoft have definitely taken lessons learned from 999 and improved these things in VLR. As a direct result, the game comes very close to 999 in terms of excellence. I should note that while I could give a lot more detail to support my claims here, I intend to make this review as spoiler-free as possible. This means I will be rather vague when speaking about the plot in an effort to ensure that those reading this review will enjoy the same experience as I had when they play it. B+/A+