They’ve nonetheless bought it
Whereas we watch for the subsequent entry within the Darkish Footage Anthology, Supermassive Video games is shelling out much more choice-based horror in its acquainted cinematic model. And this time, it’s the massive one — the second followers have been ready for since Till Daybreak. From the outset, The Quarry tries to recapture that lightning in a bottle when it comes to scope, story, and execution, and this supernatural end-of-summer-camp journey hits the mark.
Evil is afoot, and your selections will as soon as once more dictate who makes it to dawn.
The Quarry (PC [reviewed], PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Sequence X/S)
Developer: Supermassive Video games
Writer: 2K Video games
Launched: June 10, 2022
MSRP: $59.99 / $69.99
The Quarry is a standalone new IP — it doesn’t belong to Bandai Namco’s Darkish Footage sequence — however there are such a lot of shared traits. And the refinements are stacking up.
In case you’ve been on any of Supermassive’s wild rides earlier than, you realize what to anticipate by now — acquainted faces from movie and TV, numerous chatting, quieter clue-finding moments, loads of frantic quick-time occasions, a guiding pressure in between chapters, and a few gut-feeling life-or-death calls. The Quarry covers all of these bases, and it covers them nicely.
These video games are at their finest after they leverage traditional horror whereas additionally infusing some trendy touches, meta moments, and well-timed laughs, which is usually a powerful act to maintain. The most effective ones know when to fluctuate between pressure, drama, and levity, whereas additionally seeding sufficient thriller to maintain you speculating about the place the story’s headed subsequent. The Quarry hit these marks for me. It has among the best-written Supermassive characters but — a bunch of disobedient, however succesful (!), teenage camp counselors trapped in a single day — and some main story threads that collide in an attention-grabbing means.
I already mentioned the magic phrase (supernatural), and I’ll simply add that The Quarry has its personal recent spin on a horror trope that I’m not spoiling. You’ll work out what it’s earlier than it’s totally proven, however the means it occurs is thrilling, and there are extra layers to wrap your head round earlier than the night time is over. The sport does a superb job of splitting up the protagonists into sub-groups and bouncing throughout, chapter after chapter, to maintain the vitality up till the tip. And I used to be shocked by how among the NPCs match into the larger image. All the things ended up being linked in an at occasions unpredictable, but satisfying, means.
You’ll absolutely acknowledge at the least a few of The Quarry‘s prolonged solid, which incorporates Ariel Winter, Justice Smith, Skyler Gisondo, and Ted Raimi, in addition to smaller appearances from David Arquette, Lance Henriksen, and Lin Shaye. As a Twin Peaks fan, I notably loved Grace Zabriskie’s (collectible) tarot card readings — she’s my favourite fourth-wall-breaker but — and in addition Siobhan Williams, who actually comes into her personal later within the story.
Whereas a lot of The Quarry‘s components may be traced again to Supermassive’s prior video games, I believe this streamlined presentation is a step up, whether or not it’s hazy “right here’s the way you would possibly die!” premonitions, additional touches like morbidly humorous animated tutorial sequences, and new prompts. You may tone down the QTEs so that you by no means actually have to fret about failing them, and there are barely extra thought-provoking moments when you’ll be able to optionally interrupt somebody (however perhaps shouldn’t…) or maintain your breath in hiding (till the precise proper second when the coast is evident). The dialogue flows nicely, and I chuckled a bunch.
As for the branching story, after I hit the credit, I instantly puzzled how issues may’ve gone off the rails in a completely totally different means primarily based on any singular choice. All through the sport, you’ll see “Path Chosen” pop-ups after vital (and seemingly insignificant) occasions, which you’ll monitor in a pleasant visible means within the pause menu, although it’s usually difficult to suss out what’s subsequent. When making selections, determining whether or not or to not belief your intestine is a giant a part of the enjoyable. Typically, the protected alternative is tremendous harmful.
My most anxious second concerned dropping an essential merchandise in a lake at night time with razor wire swaying below the floor. I’m shuddering simply desirous about it.
Not everybody will need to pay the complete premium value at launch for a cinematic horror sport like this, and I really feel like that’s value acknowledging — it’s honest to convey up. The worth will range from one individual to the subsequent, particularly in case you’re not enjoying in a bunch, which is commonly the best method to go. One of many primary questions is undoubtedly going to be “how lengthy is it?”
Taking part in alone, The Quarry took me round 9 hours, although I missed fairly a number of world-building collectibles, and spent some additional time replaying sequences with the Loss of life Rewind characteristic, which may kick you fairly far again relying on the circumstances. Your runtime will rely in your selections, your thoroughness throughout exploration, and the sport mode. There’s solo, sofa co-op, a streamlined sit-back-and-watch Film Mode, and on-line multiplayer (which is popping out after launch attributable to a last-minute delay).
To provide a greater sense of the sport’s scope, there’s a decently lengthy prologue and ten chapters. You’ll need to get cozy, as a result of The Quarry is probably going a three-sitting sport. I initially deliberate to squeeze it into two nights, however I’m so glad I unfold it out. A number of scenes would’ve been an excessive amount of of a gradual burn for me with out a breather, although your endurance — or group setting — would possibly make a marathon session extra possible.
I don’t need to say many specifics concerning the setting, however Hackett’s Quarry has a pleasant unfold, with loads of selection, so don’t assume it’s “only a campsite.” Regardless that it is a linear sport that funnels you from scene to scene, it has an appropriately large presence.
Regardless of the Darkish Footage Anthology‘s unevenness and a few irritating tonal selections (sorry to open that may of worms once more), I’ve been down for each Supermassive horror sport up to now. Even after they don’t blow me away, they’re nonetheless pleasurable. I’m completely satisfied to say that The Quarry is well at or above Till Daybreak, and whereas it doesn’t have fairly the identical impression — the components isn’t as recent at this level — it’s a way more refined sport. It faucets into cozy ’80s horror nostalgia whereas feeling trendy and standing by itself two ft.
There are extra methods than ever to regulate the problem to your liking with granular accessibility settings, and the story has enjoyable methods up its sleeve for horror followers to untangle as they attempt to snap collectively the totally different story items in play. I’m additionally shocked by simply how good these manufacturing values have gotten — relying on the framing and lighting situations, sure photographs strategy photo-realism for me. I wasn’t positive I’d mesh nicely with all 9 of the teenage protagonists, they usually did have to develop on me (and one by no means did), however all of them ended up being memorable in their very own means. Although there’s numerous upfront banter, a few of which lands nicely, and a few of which is groan-worthy, the advisors are layered, and it’s attention-grabbing to assume via the alternatives that dictate their future.
Whereas I can’t say I’m dying to do one other full playthrough instantly — this isn’t a brief sport! — I’ll say I used to be into The Quarry nearly each step of the way in which. I’m stoked to see some alternate pathways and gnarly deaths after they pop up on YouTube, and I’ll do a second run prior to later. I’ll be within the temper once more by Halloween for positive.
The Quarry is simply nearly as good as I hoped it might be, and that’s a nice shock.
[This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the author.]