If you’ve been waiting for a sequel to Supermassive Games’ 2016 hit Until Dawn, The Quarry is essentially it.
With a star-studded cast that includes the likes of David Arquette, Lin Shaye and Lance Henrikson, The Quarry finds a group of summer camp counsellors spending one last night at the picturesque Hackett’s Quarry hoping to have a bit of fun before heading their separate ways. But they’ll soon regret it, as the area has a dangerous secret.
As far as the premise goes, it’s horror movie 101, just like Until Dawn which saw friends getting together at a remote cabin. And once again, the fate of all of these characters is in your hands. Make the wrong choice or fail to perform an action adequately or in time, and chances are they’ll meet a gory end.
Anyone that has played Until Dawn will be familiar with what’s on offer here. Across ten chapters, it’s up to you to guide the counsellors through a number of scenes. Sometimes there’s not much to do other than choose dialogue options, this-or-that style. You do occasionally get direct control of a counsellor though, and get to explore the wonderfully atmospheric environments that Supermassive Games has created.
The choices you make will not only determine the counsellors’ relationships with each other, but also where the story goes. Hearing a scream in the distance, for example, do you choose to investigate, leaving your girlfriend all alone? Or do you stick with her, presuming that it’s nothing to worry about? Your choice will have repercussions, though they’re not always obvious.
The Quarry also has numerous action scenes; this isn’t just the story of some counsellors having a relaxing evening, after all. When in peril, you’ll be forced to make snap decisions, complete quick time events under pressure, and sometimes aim and shoot with a firearm. Fail at a quick time event and death may or may not be inevitable – such is the unpredictability of the whole experience. Hell, sometimes even doing nothing is a valid option.
After a fantastic opening, The Quarry takes its time getting everything set up. It’s here where some of the foundations are laid for the future of the counsellors under your control. It feels a little dragged out, but just as your attention begins to wane, The Quarry well and truly kicks off. From then on, there are twists and turns, keeping you on your toes just as you think you’ve figured out what’s going on. Some scenes are incredibly tense, others hideously gory. But there’s one thing for sure: you’ll be seriously entertained.
Some may be disappointed with the abrupt way The Quarry ends, but with so many variables at play, it’s perhaps not all that surprising. More could have been done to make the final scenes for each group of characters more climactic, though. Still, as the credits roll, you’ll perhaps wonder what could have been if you’d made different decisions or performed better in quick time events, and so there’s the draw of another playthrough or two.
Coming after a number of entries in Supermassive Games’ Dark Pictures Anthology, some of the features of those games have made their way into The Quarry. There’s a couch co-op mode, for example, which lets players take control of one or more characters with the controller being passed around. An online co-op mode is set to be added post launch, too. It’s the new Movie Mode that’s the most intriguing, though, allowing you to simply sit back and watch The Quarry play out without you even having to touch a button.
Jump into Movie Mode and you can choose to watch a playthrough where everybody dies, everybody lives or every option in-between. If you buy the Deluxe Edition of the game, you can even choose to watch the goriest outcome. The Deluxe Edition also grants early access to an arcade-style life system, allowing you to try to prevent up to three deaths in a playthrough. Handy if you’re trying to save everyone.
Playing The Quarry on PC for review, we’ve been impressed by its visuals, which are almost photo-realistic at the highest settings. Only the occasional awkward animation lets it down. Playing with a Ryzen 5 3600 processor paired with an NVIDIA RTX 3070, we were able to play with everything maxed out at 1440p at a steady 60fps. Even better, we encountered no technical issues whatsoever.
Is The Quarry Supermassive Games’ best game yet? It’s bloody close. In many ways it outshines Until Dawn, but it’s a shame its final chapter doesn’t feel quite as eventful as we’d have liked. The visuals the great, the characters are brilliantly acted, and the horrors you face truly are terrifying. Combine that with impactful decisions to be made, which will encourage you to play through The Quarry multiple times, and you have a horror experience that’s not to be missed.