The review of The Quarry, a new adventure from Supermassive Games that will make you tremble with fear.
The review of The Quarry , the new title of Supermassive Games and spiritual sequel to Until Dawn, makes us take a break from the adventures of the Dark Picture Anthology to let us discover a horror story close to the cult b-movies, this time dedicated to young boys but with a lot of callbacks that fans of vintage horror movies will love.
Before starting our journey to discover this new adventure, let’s take stock of the situation on Supermassive Games, a company that over the years has specialized and experienced what it means to tell a dynamic horror adventure. However, if all the work done on The Dark Pictures Anthology , a collection of horror games released in recent years, has allowed the company to make progress on the segment, Until Dawn is perhaps the work from which The Quarry takes the most inspiration in terms conceptual.
A quiet night of horror
The pillar that supports the whole game is undoubtedly the plot , a story that unravels between choices made by the player and corresponding consequences, and it would be a real shame to ruin every single part of this, even the opening words. In the game, however, we will find ourselves managing a group of kids who, once the season is over as a counselor at a summer camp at the Hackett quarry (the work of the counselor would be halfway between animator and manager), are ready to go home but to a series of unfortunate events, they will have to face something terribly scary.
As already mentioned, the choices made during the game will change the implications of the plot, and even success or failure in any Quick Time Event will give different results. The game does not create too many choices in the situations mentioned above, but almost always offers a crossroads, a double possibility that depending on what you do could decree the death or survival of one or more characters. To help, however, we will think about the possibility of being able to rewind time 3 times during the adventure, giving the player 3 chances to be able to “take back” a choice.
Even if the game shows young characters, The Quarry pays homage and celebrates the American horror b-movies that have made school and that are still hailed as cult: as happened with Until Dawn, the various characters embody the classic stereotypes, starting from the famous sportsman to the sympathetic one on duty, with the addition of more “modern” figures such as the influencer. Dark environments, mysteries to be solved and dangers around every corner find their place in a story that gains in depth compared to the previous Until Dawn .
To make everything even more interesting we think about the development of the plot , which despite some slips finds its maximum splendor in the twists, which unfortunately are nullified only by some small photography problems and by cuts designed to make the game more cinematic, but with an average result.
We also prepare for an instant an interesting dynamic, that of tarot cards: collectible objects that you can find around (we remind you that as in other games, to see the possibility of interaction with an object, the controlled character must have his face turned towards it. ) and that will allow you to discover the future. Bringing them to Eliza , the cute character you can see in the next photo, they will allow you to discover the future of the plot and guess what choices to make to get the desired result.
If from the human side we have already talked about everything (except the motion capture technique, which we will talk about separately below), there is also a praise to the choice of exploiting American folklore and b-movies for the part. horror. Although without too many scares – vital for modern horror but personally annoying – The Quarry uses horror as a thread to weave its plot, thanks also to a really well-structured photography.
The choice of mixing folklore and urban legends manages to give The Quarry a fresh air, although the game is clearly meant for fans of the series b horror genre (in the positive sense of the term), and the way in which the whole adventure it is structured and it is smooth enough. Also interesting is the choice of wanting to leave some threads without a tail, as if to conclude the story in order to make us think about what could happen next, a choice that also in this case refers to some cult films (how can we forget the ending of L ‘ Army of Darkness, both the canonical and the original).
Level Motion Capture
Arriving at the technical part , we can immediately say that The Quarry is promoted, but with some reservations. If the motion capture used is fantastic from many points of view, it must be said that it is better on the most famous stars (such as Ted Raimi and David Arquette), while on other characters it occasionally presents some problems . More than the aesthetics itself, it seems that everything is related to the expressions, sometimes really too exaggerated or marked to seem realistic. This duplicity unfortunately means that in some scenes, especially the most excited ones, that mood breaks a bit, creating some empathic detachment between the characters and the player.
Speaking of the characters, the acting performance of each of them is superb: when the motion capture shows the expressions in good quality, you feel the pathos that the writer wants to tell, and the stellar cast behind the game evidently gave their all. If the aforementioned Ted Raimi (brother of Sam Raimi and well-known actor with many films and TV series to his credit) and David Arquette (Scream) did not make you jump from your chair, then it will be enough for you to recognize the younger Justice Smith (Detective Pikachu ), Skyler Gisondo (The Binge) and Halston Sage (The Last Summer) to understand the caliber of the cast behind this adventure.
To close the package there is then a very deep level of modularity of the adventure itself, capable of changing the pace of the game to the point of making the Quick Time Events really difficult, or perhaps removing them completely. If you also want to remove the choices in the game, then for you there will be the cinema mode , which once you have made brief decisions at the beginning of the adventure, will allow you to enjoy The Quarry as if it were a long and articulated film.