Fight to save the camp attendants from a deadly monster in this summer’s best horror game
If you’re looking for a summer fright then look no further than The Quarry, a shiny new video game that offers horrors as satisfying as any horror movie. It’s billed as the spiritual successor to Supermassive Games’ 2015 hit. Until dawn. This game won over audiences with its compelling monster story, fun cast of characters, and intense moments of horror. After its release, the studio released several horror titles under its Anthology of Dark Pictures Series, but none has quite reached the high bar Until dawn set to. However, The Quarry comes incredibly close.
The Quarry follows a group of camp counselors as they try to survive an extra night at Hackett’s Quarry. Ryan, Dylan, Emma, Abi, Nick, Kaitlyn and Jacob are preparing to leave when their car breaks down (as is genre tradition).
Soon after, her manager, Chris Hackett, urges the counselors to stay at the lodge until the next morning when he returns with help. But since this is a horror game, it doesn’t take long for the counselors to disobey and try to make the most of their last night at Hackett’s Quarry. This decision has frightening consequences.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
As the night progresses, a mysterious monster stalks and hunts the hapless campers. The group at first mistakes it for a bear, but it is much more deadly and faster. As a player, your goal is to keep them alive until the sun comes up, and maybe even defeat the monster and discover its origins along the way.
Characters live or die based on your decisions and your ability to respond to prompts in a timely manner. Consider this: a shortcut might bring you closer to rescuing a troubled character, but you might also encounter more of these fast-paced events along the way, giving you more chances of screwing it up and getting an early death. You’re never sure if you made the “right” choice or not until it’s too late. Should you fire your shotgun at the rustling bush? What if it’s one of your friends hiding? What if it’s the monster instead?
You also have to hold your breath. Not really. When the monster approaches, the game forces you to press a button until it disappears. Releasing the pressure causes your character to exhale – and that breath may be their last. It’s just another way The Quarry does a great job of instilling guilt in you and making you feel like this is what happens when a character dies your Mistake. Conversely, when you manage to get out of a difficult situation, the relief is exquisite.
Campy and fast paced
The game’s excellent presentation also increases its appeal. The developers have taken care to include actors such as Brenda song (Kaitlyn), David Arquette (Chris Hackett) and Ted Raimi (Travis) with eerie details. The entire cast delivers unforgettable performances – it really feels like a charming B-movie.
While The Quarry feels shorter than Until dawn, the pace of the game is impeccable – none of its 10 chapters exceed their welcome. The twists in the story in the second half of the game made me want to learn more about Hackett’s Quarry. That’s because the monster isn’t just scary — it also has an intriguing backstory. During the game you will find clues and evidence related to the history of the place. I was so intrigued by the lore that I searched every area for evidence.
Customizable and repeatable
The collector’s itch doesn’t stop there. You can also collect hidden tarot cards to see snippets of possible futures, including how certain characters might die. This knowledge can help you avoid a cruel fate, but without context, it can also mislead you.
Depending on who manages to stay alive, each of the advisors gets relatively equal screen time and moments to shine. While they start out as mere work friends, you can instill a real sense of camaraderie in them as they realize they must work together to survive the night. If there’s one thing I’ve had to be finicky about, it’s this The Quarry‘s finale doesn’t pack the same punch as Until dawn‘s done. Regardless, the game’s narrative and pacing is remarkably consistent.
The Quarry also has settings that make the game more accessible and approachable. You can customize subtitles, text size and color blind options. You can set all breath-hold segments, quick-time events, and combat encounters to automatically succeed when they occur. They can also increase the time you have to make difficult decisions to ease your anxiety. The game even has a “Death Rewind” feature that lets you replay a selection that killed a beloved character.
After completing the game, Chapter Select will open up, giving you the option to go back and get any collectibles and achievements you missed the first time. However, it lacks a scene skip or fast forward feature. I had to grit my teeth and get through scenes if I just wanted to hurry and get to a certain section of the game.
Despite these minor complaints, I had a fantastic time with The Quarry. Its captivating story and lore held my attention to the end. While horror protagonists specialize in annoying behavior, none of them are the quarryThat really bothered me – I was shocked to realize I didn’t hate any of them! For everyone who wanted a decent successor Until dawn, The Quarry is as good as it gets – the best horror game I’ve played all year.
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