A new terror awaits in the woods of Supermassive Games’ latest slasher, The Quarry. Picking up classic horror elements of summer camps and teen victims, The Quarry feels like a nostalgic ’80s B-horror movie you’d find on the shelf at your local video store. Does that reference date me? Absolutely! But that lovable cult movie vibe will win over any horror movie fan, and The Quarry fits right at home with Supermassive Games’ storytelling lineup, like Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures Anthology (Man of Medan, Little Hope, and House of Ashes). It’s a spine-tingling spooky adventure filled with thrills and jump scares, but there are a few bumps along the way. Minor story spoilers ahead.
The Quarry follows a similar style closer to Until Dawn than The Dark Pictures Anthology. Both types are story-based games that change due to the player’s decisions; every choice matters as it affects who lives or dies. This format also involves dialogue, items you might find, and scenes that happen throughout the story. If a character dies, you won’t get to a certain room or an item needed for a fight because that character is gone. The Butterfly Effect mechanic is a great set-up that offers plenty of replayability and makes each choice feel like it matters. Additionally, you can use the “Movie Mode” and multiplayer to make your experience different every time.
Where the style differs from TDPA is that The Quarry has significant overarching chapters with multiple character perspectives within each. For example, in Man of Medan, you may play as one or two characters per chapter from the main cast of five people, but in The Quarry, it will be about 3-4 from a cast of nine depending on the chapter’s story beats. It’s a clear divide where one game feels like a movie while the other goes for a short story aesthetic. You can feel the difference in how The Quarry approaches its large setting, the dialogue of its characters, and how packed full of plot points each chapter gets through before moving on to the next one.
The premonition mechanic has also changed this time around. As with the style, players can search for items that give an instant look to an upcoming event–it will either be a good or bad outcome. In The Quarry’s case, you can find items for to achieve premonitions, but you’ll have to wait until the chapter’s end to view any of them, unlocked by collectibles players can find in the form of tarot cards. At the end of the chapter, the psychic claims the cards and offers a short, vague clip of something that could happen. I found these scenes to be less helpful than those in Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures Anthology since the scenes were so short and half-covered by a crystal ball. However, as you get deeper into the game, you’ll have to choose which future you want to see between cards. This added tension to help make each card and choice more valuable than the last.
Supermassive has also implemented a new feature in The Quarry with the “interrupt” system. During specific scenes, the player will be given a chance to change the scene by making a different action than leaving a characters action as passive. Think of it like throwing a wrench in the plans of fate, regardless of whether it goes good or bad. An interrupt could be shouting out for help, acting on instinct, attacking, or even something more sinister. Just like shooting the gun, interrupts aren’t mandatory; it’s up to the player when or if they’re used. The interrupts are a great addition because you never truly knew if interrupting would come back to haunt you; the interrupts felt more intense since they were reactionary.
Typically of all Supermassive games, The Quarry’s story is one of its biggest draws. As summer nears its end, the story focuses on a group of counselors stranded at their camp overnight in Hackett’s Quarry. The counselors ignore all warnings to stay inside, and instead party at a midnight bonfire under the full moon. What unleashes is a bloody night filled with death, hidden terrors in the woods, and a mystery connected to the camp’s history. You’ll get great horror elements of a teen slasher mixed in with supernatural horror and creature feature mayhem.
Plus, The Quarry boasts a strong main cast of teen victims and a great supporting cast of characters. True to horror movie logic, each teen has a classic archetype: we have Jacob, the lovelorn meathead, Emma, the brash queen bee, Abigail the alternative artist, Nick the Australian hunk, Dylan the class clown, Ryan the captivating loner, Kaitlyn, the witty best friend, Laura the determined Final Girl, and Max the bumbling boyfriend. Rounding out the cast is a creepy sheriff, a mysterious group of hunters in the woods, a psychic, and their head camp counselor (played by Scream’s David Arquette). Each character is distinct with their personality and vibe; you get a real good sense of their motivations and how they handle a situation. Though, the tropes shine through as the teens never feel fleshed out enough. Some characters got more development than others, making the cast feel unbalanced. Beyond simple flirting and backstories, the teens mainly stayed within the bounds of their archetypes and didn’t deliver much else.
Where The Quarry needed some help was separating itself from Until Dawn. Look, I love Until Dawn! It’s an amazing game, and it was ranked #15 in our top video games of the decade. We’ve been asking for a sequel for years, and The Quarry hit all those marks to deliver a bloody good time, even though it’s not a sequel. The issue is that some aspects of this game follow too much in the former’s shadow. A group of teens trapped at a location while being hunted down is a classic horror trope; regardless if it’s a snowy cabin or a summer camp, the set-up always works. However, the enemies in both games blended too much together in their visual and attack styles. At times, it felt like they were copied and reskinned from Until Dawn, and it keeps The Quarry from feeling like it can stand apart as its own thing. For new players, the enemies will feel fresh and terrifying. However, if you’ve played Until Dawn a couple times, you’ll see a lot of similarities.
The Quarry would’ve benefitted from more finetuning with its bugs and tech. Most of the game runs smoothly, and you’ll have a great time, but you’ll notice slight errors in a few instances. For example, dialogue may be said twice when the camera shifts to a new angle, some scenes don’t load as fast, or the trigger on the gun isn’t as precise as it should be. One of my characters unjustly died even though I pointed the marker at the right spot and fired in time. The game may have perceived this as a miss, but it was a frustrating moment since I had worked hard to keep them alive up until that point.
Also, make sure you read everything and have a good brightness set. The Quarry loves to play off the nightly horrors of the forest and camp. There were a few instances that would’ve helped to have the screen be brighter and formatted in a specific way. Especially when searching through the dark for a staircase. The interruptions text is a tad small, so be on the lookout for them whenever the red bar appears as there is a time limit.
The Quarry is a bloody, fun B-horror movie captured in a video game. The game utilizes many elements inspired by Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures Anthology to create a thrilling new game that both stands apart and matches the spirit of the previous titles. Thanks to a great cast of characters and a spooky mystery, the story hooks you. However, a few light issues and similarities to Until Dawn could impact your experience. You may feel a case of déjà vu that won’t quit, even when you’ve survived camp to see the sunrise.
Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S
Release Date: June 10, 2022
Copy Purchased By Author.