The Quarry, the latest horror adventure by Supermassive Games, is like a second attempt at making Until Dawn. See here, whether it can reach the heights of its predecessor.
Quite early on while playing The Quarry, I felt like it was impossible to look at this game without comparing it to Until Dawn. Supermassive Games' first attempt at turning a slasher-movie into an adventure game surprised and delighted audiences in 2015, becoming a cult classic since then. Now, a whole seven years and several similar games (they also made The Dark Pictures Anthology) later, it feels like the developers are taking another crack at making an Until Dawn, a playable horror movie with all the cringy delights of the genre.
Has this attempt been successful, is The Quarry the new Until Dawn? Or is it a tired rehash that didn't charm us like its predecessor? Find out in our (spoiler free) review.
The Quarry Review | The Teens Are Back, Baby
The Quarry is set in Hackett's Quarry (yes, the titular place), a fictional summer camp somewhere in the US. Because this is a B-Movie type of horror story, we, of course, have a group of very lively and vocal teens, who worked at the camp as counselors and are now stuck there. And of course, they are hunted by a deadly force that is trying to kill them all. So far, so predictable and known. The Quarry is completely steeped in clichés and genre archetypes, just like Until Dawn was. And this, again, works wonderfully.
The writers at Supermassive are so good at using this kind of material, having fun with it and subverting our expectations and prejudices. They arguably got even better at it with the years.
I'm in the camp of people who thought that Until Dawn kind of overdid it, making the characters just too annoying. I still sometimes think of "Let's party like pornstars" and roll my eyes into the back of my skull. The Quarry feels much finer in its writing and presentation. Obviously, there is cringe galore. Unbearable frat boy who has an obsessive crush and is an absolute pain about it? Check. Two characters who like each other but are too shy to admit it? Check. All the cheesy teen drama is here, folks. But it never feels overdone or annoying.
The Quarry often manages to be genuinely funny, the characters quickly become charming and relatable. Yes, one of the characters is an influencer and I immediately disliked her. By the ending though, I exclaimed a big sigh of relief when she survived. The feeling of caring about them and trying to keep them alive works even more strongly than in Until Dawn.
Except for Jacob. Screw Jacob.
The Quarry Review | This Face Looks Totally Real, Bro
Another major reason for the successful characterization in the game is the fantastic presentation and overall graphical quality. The Quarry is not just a truly beautiful game, it has some of the most impressive performance capture I have ever seen in a game. Ok, I have to admit that not every character looks fantastic (the game really struggles with long straight hair, sadly), but most of the characters look straight up real. Especially impressive in this regard are the portrayals of characters like Ryan (Justice Smith) and Kaitlyn (Brenda Song). I'm telling you, they look straight up like real people. Wow. The massively improved facial animations make The Quarry feel even more like an interactive show or movie than Until Dawn already did.
The Quarry Review | Choose Your Own Adventure
Another staple of its predecessors found its way to The Quarry: the choices and quick time events. You will constantly have to make decisions, either big or small, that completely change the outcome of a specific scene or the entire story. And believe me, there are a ton of different choices and outcomes. With a cast of over a dozen characters and a story full of twists and turns, there are tons of different possibilities.
Developer Supermassive Games are touting the ridiculously high number of 186 different endings for The Quarry. I'm sorry to have to disappoint you, but no... I haven't checked every single one of them out. However, I can confirm, that there is a huge amount of variety in the ways that the story can play out. This creates huge replay value. I immediately wanted to jump back in and try to save everyone (except Jacob) or to kill everyone (especially Jacob).
Talking about the story and replaying it again, I have to voice my one major criticism of the game. Even though I greatly enjoyed my time with The Quarry, I thought the game dragged quite a bit in the last third. Again, no spoilers, but just before the story (brilliantly) accelerates and wraps up at the end, there is a major slump that kills most of the momentum that the story built until this point. With a playtime of 8-10 hours, The Quarry is a bit longer than Until Dawn and I would argue that you can feel it. And while I'm here, I have to admit that I didn't love every twist and plot device at the end. But still, even while writing this, I can feel my desire to get up, go home, and kill Jacob all over again... ehm, I mean, save all the kids and fight off the evil monsters, of course...
The Quarry Review | Verdict
The Quarry is a very good "one of these", meaning an interactive horror show that is exhilarating and super fun to experience. For me personally, I enjoyed it more than Until Dawn: the performance quality is much better, the writing is stronger and, at least parts of, the story is more enjoyable. It doesn't completely stick the landing, and it's missing the surprise factor of Until Dawn. But it's still a wonderfully cheesy, deliciously over-the-top and genuinely super fun game to play, and I highly recommend it. And yes, you should play it with friends. There's even a proper Co-Op mode! Just do me one favor and f-up Jacob for me, okay? Thank you.
- Rating: 8/10
- Release Date: June 10, 2022
- Developer: Supermassive Games
- Publisher: 2K Games
- Genre: Narrative Adventure Game, Interactive Show
- Players: Single Player & Co-op Multiplayer
- Time to beat: 8-10 Hours
- Platform(s): PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC