Death End re;Quest is a combination of Japanese Role Playing Game and visual novel. Created by Compile Heart and Idea Factory, Death End re;Quest turns a suspense thriller into a JRPG.
In the story you are Arata Mizunashi, a programmer on an MMORPG called World’s Odyssey. Production of the game was halted when the designer Shina mysteriously disappeared. A year later, the game suddenly comes back online and you find Shina in the game with no memory of what has occurred. What’s worse is that the game has become corrupted and Shina cannot log out. So, it’s up to you to put the pieces together to save Shina as you play through to reach the end game and release her from her prison.
The story of Death End re;Quest leans into the occult, a vast conspiracy, shadow figures, the supernatural, the concept of dying in the VR game causing death in real life, as well as the veil between the game and reality bleeding together. The overall concept of the game is compelling, but it, unfortunately, gets convoluted quickly and much gets buried underneath mountains of exposition along the way. At its core, it’s a visual novel with a combat system.
Unfortunately, that is the case as the combat system is the best part of the game. A few different systems are at play in the combat that makes it so rewarding. First is the skill system. You begin with the ability to attack, guard, use an item, and a few magic/action skills. Each turn you are allowed three actions to combine and use. By combining certain skills, you may trigger learning a new skill. This increases frequent use of different skills in the game in order to bolster your repertoire of actions in combat.
Second is (what I call) the “bounce” system. Using three attacks on your turn – or certain skills – you trigger a fourth action called “Knockback.” This pushes your opponents backward after you attack them. They can bounce back into other enemies causing damage, or into the walls causing damage, or into your allies who then use Knockback to hit them even farther. It completely changes the way you approach combat as you then can utilize your allies and enemies to your advantage.
Third, if you clear certain obstacles on the field of battle, you can call in Arata to shift the battle in your favor by affecting enemies, summoning monsters, or changing the “genre” of the battle to a shooter or a slot machine. Lastly, is when a character “glitches”. You acquire a certain amount of corruption as you play and when you hit a threshold, you transform into a powerful being and just wreck shop.
Death End re;Quest Review Final Thoughts:
Overall, Death End re;Quest has a solid combat system wrapped too tightly in a dense and convoluted visual novel. The beginning is too slow to keep many interested. I’m talking 3-4 battles in the first couple hours of the game. The battle system is what will keep you coming back, even with the story and the sudden Game Over choices and the usual fan service. This game is for the usual Idea Factory / Compile Heart fans, but it won’t bring many newcomers into the fold.
BRIAN BENTLEY is COIN-OP TV’s features writer/contributor. Brian hails from Chicago but now resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. He’s a huge fan of RPGs and especially loves Japanese RPGs. Brian has been writing about video games since 2009 and is proud that his wife enjoys the industry as well! When Brian needs a break from the console he enjoys playing board games and the classic ‘Adventure’ on the Atari 2600 is still one of his favorite games of all time!