The latest Supermassive title has landed on multi-platform consoles, underlining the horror trail that distinguishes the English studio. The Quarry is finally available and we want to tell you about it in our review
Like many of the previous Supermassive games, The Quarry it is clearly made by and for people who love horror movies. From the start, the game slowly builds the mood, engaging the user and constantly asking them to make small decisions that will guide the cast of teens to survival or death. When the blood starts flowing, putting the pad down becomes really difficult. But will he have convinced us completely? Let’s find out together The Quarrry in our review!
The location of The Quarry is a summer camp north of New York, Hackett’s Quarry, that is slowly falling apart. It was initially designed to look like the more postcard-worthy version of itself, a bit like the Hollywood version of the perfect summer experience. But when the sun goes down, the forest becomes dangerously silent and rot emerges from the darkness.
In The Quarry You play as each of the nine camp counselors, controlling one at a time at various points in the campaign (approximately 10 total hours). It is possible to influence the unfolding of events through exploration scenes, conversation choices, quick time events and stealth. In The Quarry there are numerous accessibility options that allow you to adjust the difficulty of all these actions, or even to change some of them so that they always succeed automatically. There is also a “movie” mode that allows the story to unfold without any interactivitytowards one of several pre-set conclusions.
While the movie mode allows you to see most of what there is to see, you will miss a couple of important events, many optional events, and a lot of story context that can only be achieved by playing manually. In short, less game than the game already is.
The first (very evident) thing that jumps to our attention after a few hours god goco, is that The Quarry it is not so much a game as an interactive filmor most of the time. It can go on for surprisingly long periods without having to make a meaningful choice or take direct control of a character. All that is asked of you is to watch. In general, my favorite part of Until Dawn, as well as the games in Supermassive’s Dark Pictures anthology, was that it was at least as much a mystery as a horror movie. During the adventure game-style exploration sequences, you had the chance to try to uncover crucial details about what was happening by uncovering clues, reading files, solving puzzles, and occasionally falling into what (in hindsight) was a really obvious trap.
Unfortunately, there is none of this in The Quarry. There is a chance to unravel the strange history of the camp and the surrounding area, but the matter leaves very little room for surprises. Also, in The Quarry it is not possible to skip cutscenes or the dialogues already seen during the repetitions. It’s a lot of fun instead to go back and deliberately make different decisions, or even fail on purpose just to see what happens. The problem is always not being able to jump or speed up the scenes, leaving a slight aura of frustration. As it stands, any attempt to replay The Quarry it involves hours of downtimewhere all you can do is sit and watch the game repeat itself.
Compared to previous Supermassive titles, The Quarry is deliberately meant to have a lighter tone. Not for nothing, the art director compared him to Scream (David Arquette’s casting as Hackett Quarry chief consultant is clearly a tribute to the saga). Despite some time management issues, The Quarry’s plot gives the impression that Supermassive has learned a lot from his previous projects and is putting this experience to good use. The product seems safer, with a more solid and coherent plot structure. There are still many twists, but they are carefully calculated and some even take you by surprise.
All this is enriched by an excellent use of mo-caps and animation in general. The cast of motion-capture actors is a particular strength, as well as the characterization of the characters and the space dedicated to each of them. We would have hoped to see more of Lance Hendriksen’s creepy woodland hunter, but that’s okay. Ariel Winter, Siobhan Williams and Justice Smith, respectively in the roles of Abigail, Laura and Ryan, are all particularly appreciable. Honorable mention a Brenda Songas Kaitlyn, who somehow manages to become the “villain” the cast needed.
The most out of tune note of the game, unfortunately, concerns the attitude of the cast towards the deadly dangers of the camp. The characters of The Quarry they don’t act like they’re in a horror movie. Many of them operate with a level of ironic detachment that sometimes borders on self-parody, especially considering the very high level of danger of the situations in which they find themselves. We ran into several sequences where the characters were still talking about their little relationship dramas despite being covered in someone else’s blood. No scene is dramatic enough that it can’t be ruined by a half-line, and the atmosphere it often ends up being brutally dampened.
In terms of horror, if Supermassive Games was aiming for Scream, it went too far and ended up with The Cabin in the Woods. We understand that we are dealing with a group of guys, some of them even armed and therefore confident enough of their means to underestimate the situation, but go from taking something lightly to a cabaret show it’s really overkill.
Net of this review of The Quarry, we find ourselves, as always, to draw conclusions. The title deserves to be played at least once, but compared to Until Dawn or other previous Supermassive experiences it is a step forward and a step back. On the one hand, the game features a solid script played by a great cast, with a slow-fire story that can lead you to several satisfying (or anti-climatic) conclusions. On the other hand, however, it is not as interactive as we would have liked and this makes it difficult to replay as expected. It is still a fun experience, especially on the first try, but the Supermassive Games formula could be improved in terms of “quality of life”. If you are a fan of the horror genre, however, we advise you to give it a chance.
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