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Awards

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You Might Like

  • Making decisions that matter
  • Great story
  • 80s aesthetic
  • Iconic horror stars
  • A superb soundtrack

Might Not Like

  • Collectibles not carrying over
  • Some decisions not turning out how you expect
  • There’s no way to stop those pesky teens from splitting into groups!

Have you tried?

Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

The Quarry Review

The Quarry Review Feature

Supermassive Games gives us another bunch of teenagers and puts their fates in our hands. But is it the right decision? Supermassive Games’ spiritual successor to Until Dawn is finally here. Sure, they’ve given us shorter stories with The Dark Pictures Anthology series. But The Quarry sees the studio return with a new feature-length horror game that sticks closely to the formula. One that Supermassive Games have become masters in and which made Until Dawn such a success.

Come On, What’s the Worst That Can Happen?

Things start off strong with a spine-chilling prologue. It eases players into the game’s mechanics, while simultaneously throwing you into the deep end with scares. The first chapter then starts off with the last day of summer camp - the children have all gone home and only the counsellors & camp owner remain shut up shop. But thanks to one horny teen not thinking with his brain the minivan breakdown, forcing all the teens to stay one more night. Much to the annoyance of the camp owner (played by David Arquette), who tells the group to stay indoors and not to do anything stupid while he’s gone. He leaves and stupidity ensues. From here, you’ll spend the night, and the game's ten chapters, taking control of all nine counsellors and attempting to survive the night. And that’s about as far as I’m going into the story to avoid spoilers. You’ll get some hints early on about what you’re up against, but the story has several mysteries to unravel right up until the grand finale.

From the Friday the 13th set-up with teens at a summer camp to the smile-inducing, self-awareness of the Scream franchise. The Quarry relishes in its horror movie references., which is all wrapped up in a lovely 80s aesthetic. The cast of supporting actors brings in some horror icons. Lin Shaye (the Insidious franchise), Lance Henriksen (Aliens and Pumpkinhead), and Ted Raimi (Twin Peaks and brother of horror director Sam Raimi) add even more pedigree to proceedings.

That’s not to say that the main cast of victims... I mean teens, don’t stand out, far from it. Each one has well-rounded characteristics and motivations, and they all fit beautifully into classic horror archetypes. Jacob is the jock, Emma is the popular girl and Dylan is the comic relief, (thankfully he doesn’t overdo it and become annoying). Each member of the cast, much like in Until Dawn, is likeable and becomes much more than their horror stereotype as the game progresses.

Did You Hear Something?

Conversations between characters feel natural, with some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments that break up the scarefest. And even with the multiple branches of the narrative nothing ever feels out of character, unnatural or jarring. Which speaks volumes for the quality of the writing.

As with other Supermassive Games’ titles, your decisions ultimately decide who lives and who dies. These come in a few variations. First off there are dialogue options. These either strengthen or weaken relationships, causing characters to gain or lose friends and allies. Then there are sections where your character (armed with a shotgun if you play your cards right) will either have to pull the trigger or hold fire. These sections play out in a standard third-person shooter style, so even if you choose to shoot, you’ll still have to aim correctly. In many cases, it doesn’t become clear what impact your choices have until a few chapters later. This isn’t new for a Supermassive Game, but The Quarry is absolutely chock full of these little, seemingly inconsequential decisions. Meaning that you’ll be thinking long and hard about every little choice.

As well as choices, Quick-Time Events, or QTEs are also a Supermassive Game mainstay. But unlike previous titles they don’t require split-second timing, meaning your story won’t veer off in an unwanted direction. Here the QTEs give you plenty of warning they’re about to happen, with the action slowing down and the games giving you a clear visual and audio cue. These QTEs feel more like making decisions. This is helped in no small part by the revamped prompts. These are clean, crisp and larger than the Dark Pictures anthology games, meaning they never get lost or missed in the action. They’ve also done away with the need to hold the controller still at certain points like in Until Dawn (I lost Samantha one too many times because of that particular mechanic). Now to hold your breath, you simply hold down the X button. It does take away some of the tension, but it’s a welcome change.

I’ll be Right Back

In between the life and death situations you get to explore your surroundings in third-person and search for several collectables. This is punctuated with occasional switches to static camera angles, which are reminiscent of the classic Resident Evil days. The collectables come in three flavours: Evidence, Clues, and Tarot cards. Evidence can be collected to prove the events of the night. Clues help unravel the many mysteries of Hacketts Quarry and Tarot Cards give you a glimpse of a possible future, which you may or may not want to avoid.

There are several trophies attached to finding these collectables, but annoyingly, the game doesn’t track and carry over the ones you collect from each playthrough. Meaning, that if you want to collect entire sets, it must be done in one playthrough while making specific choices to get to certain areas. This becomes more annoying as there’s one instance early on when you must choose which direction to go. One will take you to two clues, and the other takes you to a Tarot card (you won’t know this at the time). Making it impossible to get all collectables in one playthrough. Thankfully, The Quarry has huge amounts of replayability what with it’s huge branching narrative and many gruesome death scenes to witness.

We Should Stick Together

But if you get tired of being a puppet-master you can always kick back with Movie Mode. Here you simply choose if everyone lives or dies and press play to watch everything unfold. You can also mix up the narrative in Director Mode and choose each counsellor's behaviour and see where that leads. And, if you’re too scared to play alone you can play couch co-op with friends. You’ll choose which counsellor(s) each person will control and take things from there. It’s not ground-breaking, but it can be fun having different people’s decisions battle yours.

Final Thoughts

Nothing much has changed across each title in Supermassive Game’s back catalogue. Each game is, in essence, an interactive movie. But The Quarry embraces this and takes players on a wild ride. Everything in The Quarry is better than the games that came before it.

The writing is excellent. Characters are well realised with great performances from the entire cast. The story fantastic story has plenty of twists and turns. The entire game looks gorgeous, with some scenes looking completely real. And it’s all wrapped up in a lovely 80s aesthetic, complete with “video nasty” VHS cassettes for each narrative branch. Ultimately, if you’re not a fan of the previous games you won’t like this one either. But if, like me, you’re a fan of Until Dawn and the Dark Pictures Anthology then get ready for the Supermassive Game’s best horror game yet!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You might like

  • Making decisions that matter
  • Great story
  • 80s aesthetic
  • Iconic horror stars
  • A superb soundtrack

Might not like

  • Collectibles not carrying over
  • Some decisions not turning out how you expect
  • Theres no way to stop those pesky teens from splitting into groups!

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Find out more about our blog & how to become a member of the blogging team by clicking here

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