For both gamers and non-gamers alike, The Quarry is well worth playing thanks to its branching storylines, fascinating core mystery and a well realised cast that you’ll want to root for from beginning to end. It might not be as scary as some of the company’s previous games, but there’s still a lot to like and plenty of content worth coming back to.
- Engrossing story
- Well realised cast
- Stunning graphics and facial capture
- QTE are more forgiving
- Not quite as scary as Until Dawn
- A few cheap deaths
- Death Rewind needs fixing
- UKRRP: £64.99
- USARRP: $69.99
Multiple endings:Choose your own story narrative
Hollywood cast:Lots of recognisable actors
Movie mode:Sit back and let the game play itself
A spiritual successor to Until Dawn in almost every way, Supermassive Games’ The Quarry is an essential buy for horror fans.
Despite a fairly lengthy history of game development, it wasn’t until Until Dawn hit the scene in 2014 that Supermassive Games went from relative obscurity to becoming one of the most recognised developers in the realm of interactive entertainment. That game took a ton of inspiration from classic horror movies and presented a ‘choose your own adventure’ story that was terrifying to play but a great deal of fun nonetheless.
In time since Until Dawn’s release, Supermassive Games has tried to recreate its success with The Dark Pictures Anthology series, but those games lack the sense of scope and lofty production values that made Until Dawn so popular. For anyone feeling underwhelmed by The Dark Pictures Anthology, you’ll be glad to know that The Quarry is the true Until Dawn follow up we’ve been waiting for.
- Well realised cast
- Great central mystery drives the story forward
- One major suspension of disbelief
There’s a case to be made that The Quarry is almost a little too similar to Until Dawn. Stop me if you’ve heard this premise before: a group of teenagers are stuck in the woods, hunted by nightmarish creatures and have to fight to survive until morning.
To the game’s credit, the setting has changed somewhat – the teenagers in question this time around are camp counselors as opposed to old friends on a getaway, but it does make me wonder what it would have been like had Supermassive pushed itself to invest in a unique horror scenario.
Still, it’s a small gripe that quickly fades away once you get into the game itself. This time around there’s a solid amount of Hollywood talent staring in the game, with performances from David Arquette, Ted Raimi, Justice Smith and Ariel Winter, just to name a few.
One issue that I had with Until Dawn was its characterisation (or lack thereof), which saw only the briefest amount of time spent in fleshing out its characters before they were thrust into a night full of terror. Luckily, The Quarry – after an exciting prologue – spends a good amount of time letting you get to know its main cast before nightfall.
The game’s characters don’t feel like one-note creations designed for gory deaths either. Each of them have clear life ambitions and endearing personalities that, if not immediately apparent, reveal themselves as the game goes on.
Unlike Until Dawn, which was very much about the main characters facing off against the terrifying wendigos, The Quarry has a lot more intrigue at the centre of its narrative. And as the game progresses, it become clear that there are multiple factions and viewpoints contributing to the whole thing. It’s a story that had me gripped from beginning to end, and I already plan to return for multiple playthroughs in order to finish off the loose threads I missed along the way.
In a strange twist, The Quarry’s fascination with building a greater sense of mystery impairs the game’s ability to scare, with the fright factor feeling like more of an afterthought. This isn’t to say that the game doesn’t have its moments that’ll have you reaching for the back of the sofa, but it never terrified me to the same extent as Until Dawn.
Then again, given that Until Dawn’s narrative was driven by tragedy and a loss of life, that game benefitted from a much darker tone. This won’t be an issue for everyone, but it’s worth noting if you’re heading into The Quarry specifically for the scares.
Unfortunately, the one area that feels just as underwhelming as it was in Until Dawn is the game’s ending. This seems to be a bit of a recurring pattern in Supermassive’s games wherein once the big bad is dealt with, the story simply ends. There’s no epilogue to deal with the aftermath outside of a podcast playing during the game’s credits, which feels frustrating as some of the game’s characters feel forgotten about towards the end.
This is especially true for several characters who have large roles in the beginning of the game, but because they’re located in a different part of Hackett’s Quarry to where the climax is taking place, the game doesn’t seem particularly interested in offering them any closure. This could be a biproduct of how my playthrough went down, but if there is an alternative then the route to get there wasn’t made obvious.
There’s also one glaring plot hole right at the start of the game which sees one of the characters outright ask another camp counselor how they might go about sabotaging the car and forcing everyone to stay another night. Despite doing exactly that, the questioned counselor never puts two and two together as to why the car isn’t able to start properly just a few moments later. It’s particularly bizarre as it’s this single act that kicks the game’s event into motion, so I’m not sure how it was overlooked.
- QTE are more forgiving than Until Dawn
- Death Rewind is huge, but its implementation is flawed
- Movie Mode lets gamers take a hands-off approach
One issue I had with Until Dawn was the super-fast pace with which quick-time events were thrown at the player. I’ve been playing QTE-based games for years, but the game still managed to trip me up several times, and handing over the controller to a more casual gamer resulted in something of a bloodbath onscreen.
Thankfully for everyone involved, The Quarry is far more forgiving with its QTE inputs. Not only does the game warn you when a QTE is about to happen, but the time you have to complete the action is also noticeably longer. This isn’t the only change to make The Quarry more accessible however.
After plenty of accidental fails that emerged from Until Dawn’s ‘Don’t Move’ segments, which made use of the PS4 controller’s motion sensing and required players to sit perfectly still, Supermassive has swapped out the mechanic for ‘Don’t Breathe’ moments.
These scenes simply have you holding down a single button input as your character holds their breath to avoid detection. It’s then up to you to decide when it’s safe to release that button, but there are plenty of visual cues to let you know when you’re in the clear.
While these modifications are duly appreciated, it’s the new ‘Death Rewind’ feature that is easily the biggest shake up. In The Quarry. Death is no longer the end, as the game gives you three opportunities to go back and save a character if they’re killed off. For the most part it’s a great feature, and I found myself using all three chances to resurrect some of my favourite characters who I simply couldn’t be without, but it isn’t without its flaws.
On my second use of Death Rewind, the game sent me back a good 20 minutes within the story to a decision which, at the time, I had no idea would result in an impending death. I wouldn’t mind if the game had simply let me tweak that crucial decision before sending me back to the present, but that’s not what happened. Instead I had to sit through a load of scenes that I had just watched before I could get back to where I left off.
I also encountered a dead-end scenario later in the game that saw my character die n