Since Supermassive Games launched The Quarry in 2015, Till Dawn has become a cult favourite in many communities. Lovers of slasher films, choice-based stories, Hayden Panettiere, and Rami Malek had plenty to enjoy in Till Dawn, which established its place in the annals of horror gaming. The Dark Pictures Anthology, which is Supermassive Games’ response to Till Dawn, has, like the other sequels to cult classic horror movies, divided critics and fans. Many claim that the subsequent games haven’t improved upon the original’s achievements or created a solid basis.
The opening sequence with foreboding vistas of the woods and Ariana Grande’s ethereal song “Moonlight” playing in the background should have been enough to give you all the clues you needed. The Quarry is basically an adolescent horror movie that you inject yourself into. There will be recognisable themes; should you heed the overbearing cop’s advice not to arrive to camp early? Who is presented with the ideal amount of weirdness you’d expect from Ted Raimi? No way! There’s a spooky, sealed basement that makes unsettling noises, right? Of course, you’ll wander in there (all while referencing The Evil Dead). It is instantly apparent that The Quarry has perfected the quirky tone that campy slashers frequently use, and fans of the genre will undoubtedly like it.
The first few chapters offer a chance to get to know each character, discover the camp, and take part in several gaming lessons. These chapters have a slow-burning atmosphere as the sun sets and the party starts, yet they occasionally feel rather sluggish. The most you can do in these chapters, while you aren’t viewing cut scenes or interacting with the environment’s items, is engage in meaningless QTEs (quickTime events) to the point of catching something that another counsellor has thrown to you, or make unimportant dialogue options. This part of the game may feel tedious if you don’t click with the counsellors because there doesn’t seem to be any danger.
After a gripping prologue that leaves the destiny of two unfortunate camp counsellors in limbo, the story’s premise is both well-known and novel. Three months later, you go outside to meet the rest of the cast. Seven counsellors have one final celebration on the night they’re scheduled to depart Hackett’s Quarry Summer Camp after the lovelorn jock Jacob wrecks the camp van to spend more time with social media influenced Emma. The story takes place at the end of the summer.
The level of terror in The Quarry was about average for me. There are some really horrific killings (one is among the goriest kills I’ve seen in horror media) and some dramatic pursuit sequences, but I found it more suspenseful than anything else. It works well for a general audience. There are a few scenes in The Quarry that will undoubtedly satisfy horror fans, and if you’re a little less comfortable to be so terrified that you’ll pass out, the film never crosses the line into being truly horrific. I realised I was more interested in learning more about what actually occurred at the camp than I was afraid to explore the woods.
Giving nothing away, The Quarry includes intricate plot aspects that raise the stakes beyond merely who survives and who perishes. As you discover Hackett’s Quarry’s mystery, begin considering the night’s immediate and long-term objectives. There’s a whole flock of counsellors, and if you want them all to succeed, you’re going to need a lot of luck and smart thought. Although it won’t be accessible until July, an online co-op multiplayer option will make it an even more dramatic game of decision and strategy because it wasn’t available at launch.
The phantom Eliza Torez (Grace Zabriskie) now appears with a crystal ball and provides players information after each chapter if they can find her tarot cards dispersed about camp in place of Peter Stormare’s therapist character, who would appear between chapters in Till Dawn. For the more casual gamer, Supermassive Games also added a few quality-of-life enhancements. The QTEs are significantly simpler to accomplish, and if you’d like a hands-off experience, you can choose the specific replay you want to witness (everyone lives, everyone dies, etc.) and then just sit back and watch it all happen in cinematic mode.
Ultimately, I have a hunch that The Quarry will be treated similarly to Till Dawn. The funny one-liners, the variety of outcomes, the brutal deaths, and the gripping account of what happened at Hackett’s Quarry will become well-known tropes and elements in horror games. I don’t think it’s fully better than the original, but I do like how Supermassive Games changed the model, especially considering how they used what they learnt from The Dark Pictures Anthology. I’d compare The Quarry to Halloween III in that while it might not connect with everyone, those who do will probably turn it into a cult favourite.
The Quarry is now available on most platforms, including PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One, and PC.