The Quarry takes the classic teenage camp horror story giving it an interactive flair. In terms of production, this is certainly Supermassive’s best-looking game yet, creating classic campsite horror fleshed out with modern technology and bright red blood gore. Add that with an engaging mystery and likable characters it’s a good time for any horror fan.
Welcome to Hackett’s Quarry
The game takes players to Hackett’s Quarry, where a group of teenagers has spent the last couple of months as Summer Camp Counselors. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the kids need to spend one more night at The Quarry. Despite being warned to stay in the lodge for the whole night, the teens being teens decide to have one last party outside with a campfire. This is where the horror strikes.
The hunters are out to hunt the “animal” and the kids are caught in the crossfire. The group must survive the night, investigate the mystery about Hackett’s Quarry, and figure out why this gruesome “animal” has decided it wants to hunt them.
With such a story-oriented game, it’s hard to say much without spoilers but to me, while the game may seem like a teen slasher movie, it is also a bit of a psychological thriller with a heavy focus on family drama. The characters, while starting off as stock archetypes, end up being more than they seem. It was fun to learn about them and I felt invested in keeping them alive, more so than I was with any of the Dark Pictures Anthology casts.
Also, for anyone who feels like this game is basically a movie and would prefer to watch it as such, that is actually possible in the game’s Movie Mode. There are three options available in movie mode: ‘Everyone Lives’, ‘Everyone Dies’ and ‘Director’s Chair’. The first two are pretty self-explanatory but in the Director’s Chair, you can decide the actions of each character under certain situations. Pretty neat for a narrative game.
If you played Until Dawn or The Dark Pictures Anthology, you will be familiar with the mechanics of The Quarry. With this being such a narrative-heavy title, the gameplay is simple but accessible. You control one of the playable characters and explore different areas, pick up items, get through the occasional quick-time event and make a few life-changing choices.
All the choices you made during the game have the potential to impact the outcomes and relationships between characters. Larger choices will be followed by an indicator saying that you have opened a new path. There are also moments when you can interrupt another character mid-sentence which might give you a good scene but of course, unwanted consequences might also come along as well.
Finding items can give you more information about the Quarry’s situation and its history. The evidence found also can impact the ending of the story you played. You will also come across tarot cards too which act similar to “premonitions” in Supermassive’s previous games. After finding the card you will meet with Eliza, a witch that will show you the future events giving the player an idea of what is to come and what they could do to stop it.
Facing Danger Together
If you’re too afraid to experience The Quarry alone, you could always ask your family or friends to join in for local co-op mode with up to seven players. Each player will control one character with one controller. It’s pretty fun although it does take the fear out of the game when you and your buddies are together. There is also online play available as a post-launch update. We didn’t get a chance to check it out before publishing this review but as long as it runs smoothly, it should work just as well as the offline version.
Supermassive Games have done well to raise the bar for motion capture in games and that continues in The Quarry. The visuals feel incredibly realistic with a great amount of detail in the settings and the character models right down to the pores of their faces. Tears, scratches, and bruises likewise look like they could appear on a real person.
The game does suffer a little with some of the animations though. Certain movements and body language from the character can come across as a little awkward and uncanny where its developers may have issues rigging the model properly for certain actions.
In classic horror game fashion, The Quarry also makes use of fixed and moving camera angles in order to disorient the player and add some flair to the gameplay. It’s a cool effect although it can make it a bit too difficult to see.
If you’re a big horror movie film buff, you may also be interesting to know that there are some filters available in the game such as Indie Horror, ‘80s Horror, or Classic Horror to boost the cinematic experience. These filters are available for both gameplay and movie mode. So if you’d prefer to play the game in classic black and white and pretend you’re being chased by Dracula, you have that option.
The Quarry is yet another hit for Supermassive bringing both scares and a good mystery story that was fun to piece together. The gameplay is easy to grasp and the visuals are great especially with the high amount of detail in the character’s faces even if the animation might need some polish to make it less awkward at times.
Speaking of story, I really appreciate the movie mode, since it lets you relive The Quarry again with a bowl of popcorn without worrying about QTE moments for a second play through to see the other endings.
Overall if you’re a fan of classic slasher horror movies, and enjoyed the world and atmosphere of Until Dawn, you owe yourself to take a trip down to The Quarry.
The Quarry score
|Great visuals for the setting and performance from the actors.||Some of the animations can look a little awkward.|
|Movie Mode makes for a good horror movie to watch||Co-op can make the game feel less scary.|
|Controls are accessible and easy to understand|