Until Dawn was one of the biggest surprises in 2015 and is one of the most underrated of the PS4’s many exclusives and while developer Supermassive Games has released no shortage of thrillers since then, from Hidden Agenda to The Dark Pictures Anthology, nothing has actually come close to the riveting experience Until Dawn was.
With a new publishing partner in 2K, Supermassive has come out with The Quarry, and it looks like they’ve found their touch again with what’s the true successor to Until Dawn.
What Is It?
If you haven’t played Until Dawn, think of watching your typical teenage horror flick like “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” Many of those characters died because of all the stupid decisions they’ve made, and you can do better, right? Well, games like Until Dawn and now The Quarry are all about giving you the power to make decisions that affect the course of the story.
How much smarter are you than these campers? Can you keep them all alive? Or you can just be even more dumb and kill everyone. There’s no wrong way to play this game, as it’s always fun talking to other people about how your playthrough went.
After a creepy introduction at the beginning of the game to get players into how the game’s mechanics, we’re fast forwarded a few months later to the end of camp where we meet seven camp counselors preparing to leave the Hackett’s Quarry. It’s been a heck of a summer, and it appears that some counselors are less willing to leave than others, so after an “accident” prevents the group from leaving camp, the counselors are advised to stay indoors against their will. Of course, they’re teenagers, so after the camp head leaves for the night, the teen counselors get into a little debauchery and little do they know that staying in the quarry longer than they should would result in a night of unnecessary horror.
Why Should I Care?
If you haven’t played any of Supermassive’s games, it isn’t your typical survival-horror game. Games like Resident Evil are a little bit more skill-based in that you really have to think about your weapons, items, and whatever you can do to keep your characters alive. The Quarry is more decision-based, and most things you do will have an impact as the story moves on. Again, there’s no right or wrong way to play it. If one person dies, or everyone dies, it’s all good. That’s the beauty about this game.
So if you’re someone who isn’t akin to playing a game like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, save for a few jump scares, this is hardly the same thing. The Quarry even features sort of a movie mode to really keep actual gameplay minimal, making it a great choice to either stream online or even play in parties so that the people watching with you can get in on the action. Let’s put it this way: I don’t play horror games, but I’ll play this.
That said, the traditional mode of play is what I’d recommend the most at least for your first playthrough. The game plays like a glorified walking simulator with a linear path, with some semi-open areas for you to explore and pickup collectibles along the way–and if you’re an achievement or trophy hunter, it’s worth noting that pretty much everything is missable, and even if you decide to go back to the Chapter Select after completing the story, the game locks there and you have to beat it again from that point.
Decisions in the game are fairly general. There’s always a this-or-that approach. Sometimes, they’ll be as juvenile as making a choice in Truth or Dare, while others carry heavier repercussions, like choosing whether or not to pull a knife out of your character’s sternum, or choosing to chop or shoot someone’s hand off with a chainsaw or shotgun (yes). In typical Telltale-style, not only do these affect what’s happening in the moment, but decisions made in front of other people will influence how he or she will act later in the game, so it’s always something to take note of.`
I also have to mention this every time I talk about a Supermassive game, while it pays to explore every nook and cranny of your surroundings, you could be best served to not over-explore. One time in Until Dawn, I opened a cupboard only for a monster to eat my character’s face off, immediately ending that chapter. Luckily, The Quarry offers Death Rewinds in this sort of instance, but I was also fortunate to not kill any of the main characters in my initial playthrough, but it was definitely worth noting.
As I continually make comparisons to Until Dawn, the one major thing that The Quarry does different is its “Don’t Breathe” moments. Until Dawn had “Don’t Move” moments where any slight movement of the DualShock 4 would lead to a failed QTE. Obviously, with The Quarry being a multiplatform title, we can’t use the DualShock 4’s light, so they remedy this by having you hold down a button to not breathe when you’re being hunted or sought after. You then can let go when the coast is clear, at your own risk. They don’t quite have the suspense that Until Dawn‘s QTEs did, but they still work.
Like past Supermassive Games before it, The Quarry is headlined by a cast featuring some Hollywood talent including David Arquette (“Scream,” “Ready to Rumble“) as Chris Hackett the head of Hackett’s Quarry camp; Justice Smith (“Jurassic World,” “Detective Pikachu“) as Ryan, a counselor who’s been with Hackett’s Quarry longer than everybody else; and Brenda Song (“The Suite Life of Zack and Cody,” “The Social Network“) as Kaitlyn, a know-it-all yet headstrong counselor to name a few. As cool as it is to have to have such acting talent, only Brenda Song’s really comes off as a likable character and that’s really stretching the description. A lot of people will likely find a lot of pleasure with killing as many of these characters as possible — and again, there’s nothing wrong with that. Heck, you even get a trophy for it.
What Makes It Worth My Time And Money?
As cringy as the characters and plot make it out to be, The Quarry is a lot of fun and is really the perfect summer game, whether you choose to play it alone in the dark or in the company of others looking to waste some time. The experience should roughly take around 9 hours so it’ll take more than a day to play socially, but I do think there’s enough in here to stay engaged for at least a couple days.
The Quarry is a fantastic time and I definitely wouldn’t mind some more, so even though people have said The Dark Picture games don’t hold a candle, I think I wanna give them a try anyway.