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Walking through the dark forest, Abigail hears Nick call out for her. I, as Abigail, choose to respond, and the two characters sit down with one another to share a conversation in this secluded spot. As the two share a romantically charged moment, it’s hard not to feel as though something is stalking them from the eerie foliage. Before I have time to look around, Nick is violently assaulted by a monstrous humanoid creature, and we’re left with two choices: Help him or run back to camp.
Supermassive Games’ The Quarry is full of such decisive moments. Playing as multiple characters, in a classic horror setup of young adults alone at an isolated camp, how things progress is entirely on you, the player. Decisions range from who kisses who, to how you evade enemies, all the while pushing the story in a direction seemingly of your choosing.
See the game in action here:
That’s not to say this game is entirely in your control, as there are plenty of scenes that occur with you as a bit-part player, which is odd given that you control basically everybody at one point or another. That being said, The Quarry, similar to Supermassive Games’ Dark Anthology titles Little Hope and House of Ashes, still gives the impression that multiple playthroughs will be worthwhile.
The similarities to other Supermassive titles are numerous, from both game mechanics to the cast. In terms of the former, you spend your playtime picking different dialogue and directional choices, investigating set areas, using a firearm and engaging in QTEs. It’s the same gaming experience this developer has excelled at before, something fans of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead series will know all about.
As for the cast, you’ll find many recognisable faces on show: There’s Justice Smith, who we of course know from Detective Pikachu; Brenda Song, from such shows as Dollface; and Ariel Winter, from the likes of Modern Family. These identifiable faces, and more, are our heroes in a rural setting filled with hostile locals and a demonic ghoul thing that loves to bite people.
While the preview was only around 45 minutes long, it’s already clear that The Quarry is a classic Supermassive Games horror experience. The time-honoured premise of mostly vulnerable youngsters out for a romp in an area that is obviously dangerous to everyone except them is nothing new, and neither is the manner in which you access it.
This is a textbook experience from the Until Dawn developer, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, it’s a new cast and a new story from Supermassive Games, even if it feels instantly familiar from the outset.
The thing about Supermassive Games is they produce titles in a similar vein to horror movie studios. You pretty much know what you’re going to get from the moment you see the title screen and, for many, that’s the charm. It’s the same level of enjoyment on offer from one of the later Alien/Predator movies, where it’s about suspending disbelief and embracing the cheese.
Fans of existing horror movie-like titles from Supermassive Games won’t want to miss out on The Quarry. It’s more of the same in a good way, from its classic horror premise and setting, to its gameplay mechanics and acting quality. While it may sound like a shallow thrill, The Quarry is well worth digging into.
Game tested on PC with preview code provided by the publisher. The Quarry releases June 10, 2022 for PC, Xbox consoles, PlayStation 5 and PS4.
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