The Quarry Review - Who Will Survive The Night?
The spiritual successor to Until Dawn is finally here!
Supermassive Games’ Until Dawn was a fan-favorite on the PlayStation 4 for its choose-your-own-adventure style narrative that allowed for multiple playthroughs, and now it is getting a true spiritual sequel from the same developer known as The Quarry.
While they have worked on other games like LittleBigPlanet DLC and the PSVR exclusive Bravo Team, Supermassive Games has definitely found their niche in the horror department ever since the release of Until Dawn in 2015.
This even led to them working on an annual anthology series known as The Dark Pictures Anthology, with a release coming each of the last three years and another set to release later this year with The Devil In Me. These games have strayed away from the more campy ’80s style horror found in Until Dawn, but that is right where The Quarry picks up.
- MORE: Find out why some players are not happy with PlayStation’s latest State of Play.
The Quarry starts off like many slasher films with two teens that are supposed to be counselors driving through the woods trying to get to summer camp one night early. After something causes the two teens, Laura and Max, to swerve and go off the main road, everything goes to hell and gives players a first glimpse at what is happening at Hackett’s Quarry summer camp.
After this prologue, the game jumps forward to the end of camp where all the kids get sent home. All we know that happened to the two we met in the prologue at this time is that they were supposed to also be at camp that summer and never showed up, but everything seems just fine for the counselors that are ready to get their phones back for the first time in a month and head home.
We are introduced to the group of seven teens as they are wrapping up their summer together and quickly learn about the relationships among them. This includes a will they or won’t they with Abigail and Nick, as well as the recently ended summer fling between Emma and Jacob. However, Jacob saw it as more than a summer fling and thinks that one more night together at camp could change things. This leads him to sabotage their exit vehicle and forces them to stay an extra night.
The only non-adult we see at the camp is Chris Hackett, who runs the camp and gets very frantic after he finds out the vehicle isn’t working. It isn’t clear why exactly he’s so concerned, but he drives off and warns everyone to stay inside for the entire night no matter what. Telling seven teenagers to all stay inside when they could be enjoying the perks of the camp like a bonfire or the lake was never going to work, which sets into motion the events of the rest of the game.
Going too much further into the story would be severe spoiler territory, but the seven campers start to cross paths and be attacked by mysterious creatures in the woods that clearly aren’t the bears they first think that they are.
Features a cast full of slasher film archetypes
As for the characters themselves, The Quarry features a cast full of slasher film archetypes and each fills their role very well. This includes the flirty Emma, the artsy Abigail, the athletic Jacob, the jokester Dylan, the Australian charmer Nick, the headstrong Kaitlyn, and the brooding Ryan.
These characters are more than just what they appear on the surface though, as many of the characters prove to have many more attributes that keep you invested. Jacob proves to be a very sensitive guy who is very hurt by Emma’s view of their relationship as just a summer fling. The always joking Dylan ends up actually being much more than he seems, using the joking nature as a front because people seemed to like him for it at the start of camp. Adding complexities to each of these characters, as well as some others that play a big part in the story, add a lot to the overall experience and are one of the major reasons you will want to play through the game multiple times.
As a spiritual successor to Until Dawn, The Quarry features very similar gameplay to it and The Dark Pictures Anthology as well. The game has you rotating between each of the counselors at camp in different gameplay segments, which include a mix of walking around and exploring, as well as some segments where you are just answering questions. There is even the occasional combat section with a gun as well, but those are very rare in the game.
While walking around, you should be looking at everything you can find to collect Clues, Evidence, and Tarot Cards. These serve as the game’s main collectibles and can be found throughout each chapter. The Tarot Cards specifically come into play at the end of each chapter where you are introduced to a mysterious undead-looking woman named Eliza that serves as a narrator of sorts in these segments. If you have found any Tarot Cards within that chapter, she will allow you to get a quick peek at something to come, typically related to someone’s death. This is similar to the paintings in Man of Medan and other similar usages in Supermassive’s other games. The Clues and Evidence are less important overall but can play into the game’s epilogue sequence a bit, even though I was hoping they would play a larger role in the end.
Like Supermassive’s other similar games, no one is safe in The Quarry. The game provides you with several decisions throughout your playthrough that can prove to be life or death in some instances. This can be the difference in choosing to run or hide in some circumstances, while others are reliant on you shooting someone or not. The game does a good job at not making it obvious which choice is the correct one to keep everyone alive, so do be prepared to lose some people along the way without some luck.
Thankfully, The Quarry introduces something known as Death Rewinds that come into play when one of the main cast of playable characters gets killed. You are given three of these at the beginning of the playthrough and have the opportunity to use one whenever you choose.
While Death Rewinds seem like a great idea, it also introduced a major problem that could really frustrate some players in some circumstances. The problem is that choosing to rewind a character’s death may send you back multiple chapters to where you made a decision that later led to their death. You don’t just get to undo that decision and move back to where you were though, but rather have to start back right at that point.
In my one usage, Jacob died in my playthrough and I chose to use a Death Rewind, which took me back to the previous chapter and had to replay multiple sequences again just to get back. In the two other instances that I used the Death Rewind though, it merely went back a minute or two so it really does depend on the situation. The good news is that Supermassive has already confirmed they are working on this issue and either disabling the ones that send players back too far or at least giving more information in regards to how far back they will go by using the Death Rewind. The latter would not be coming until after launch though, so be careful when playing through the game and using the Death Rewinds.
It wouldn’t be a game like this without Quick Time Events and The Quarry actually utilizes a pretty simplistic one. When there are basic QTEs, they are handled in one of two ways, moving either analog stick in one of the four directions as shown in time or smashing the A/X button rapidly until the QTE is over.
The Quarry also introduces what are known as Don’t Breathe segments that come about when you choose to hide at times throughout the game. At this point, you are instructed to hold down the A/X button until the coast is clear to breathe again. If you let go of the button too early, you may be found and that is not good when you are going up against some of the monsters and enemies you come across in this game.
The level of care taken with the motion capture is exemplified with the in-game performances
While you have to select most of these from a menu to watch them all, the game does feature a unique tutorial system that is worth checking out. Rather than just showing you in-game how mechanics like Don’t Breathe work, they instead have these comedic animated segments that are designed like a PSA that would be shown to you when you arrive at camp. This was a nice inclusion to add some additional campiness to the game.
Graphically, The Quarry is a very beautiful game throughout most of it, with the scenery looking really nice and the character animations being top-notch. The latter is incredibly important due to how much of the game is just characters talking to one another and the level of care taken with the motion capture is exemplified with the in-game performances. There is really only one area of the game that was disappointing visually, which was the look of splashing water. The water itself looked fine, but when characters are swimming in it or splashing, the textures look almost unfinished and blocky for some reason. Considering how great everything else looked, this just felt extremely out of place.
Some of Supermassive’s games in the past have been known to be a little glitchy in regards to the walking mechanics or in other areas, but The Quarry was pretty solid most of the time. There were some freezing issues upon startup while reviewing the game on PC, as well as one moment in an Eliza scene between Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 when the game started to lag and the lip-sync got off track for about 30 seconds, but it quickly fixed itself. The game itself surprisingly doesn’t feature a run button, but the basic walking works quite well most of the time and only got a little frustrating when the camera would move after interacting with an object.
The game also has a very strong voice cast all around, even with only a few major names included like David Arquette as Chris Hackett, as well as Lance Henriksen and Ethan Suplee as hunters we are introduced to early on. Ted Raimi brings a creepy and mysterious performance as the sheriff alongside Siobhan Williams’ Laura that really stand out. The main counselors include a number of relatively well-known actors like Justice Smith as Ryan, Ariel Winter as Abigail, and Brenda Song as Kaitlyn, with the not as well-known ones doing a great job as well. Overall, there are really no weak links in this voice cast and they all bounce really well off of one another.
Beyond the voice cast, The Quarry also features a very eclectic soundtrack that kicks off right away with an Ariana Grande song and later includes songs from The Monkees and others. The songs themselves fit perfectly with the overall theme of the game, which you will understand later in the game.
One of the few flaws people had with Until Dawn was that it was a single-player game only, even though people would pass the controller around to emulate it being multiplayer. Supermassive learned from that mistake and includes a local couch co-op mode for players, as well as an online option that was delayed till July. The most important part to have at launch was the local play, so we can just wait for the online option to come soon. In addition, there is also Movie Mode, which lets you experience the game in a more curated environment than a regular playthrough.
Fans have been waiting for a follow-up with the tone of Until Dawn and it has finally arrived with The Quarry. The very likable cast and the enthralling story will keep players entertained in what is one of the most fully fleshed-out games of this genre to date, but the only question remaining is will you survive the night?
|Genres:||Survival Horror, Interactive Drama|