The Quarry | Review – If it doesn’t kill me, it strengthens me
The masters of the new videogame horror are back. After a not particularly brilliant parenthesis with the anthological series The Dark Pictures ( here our review of House of Ashes ), Supermassive Games perfectly packs the spiritual successor of Until Dawn : The Quarry .Take a group of teenagers struggling with their summer boils, their insecurities, their difficulty in teaming up because they are too lost in their ego, and throw them into a context, apparently idyllic, like a summer camp lost in the woods of a quiet North American community: these are all clichés that have nurtured the teenage horror genre in cinema for years, and which now take shape in an incisive way also in the videogame context.
For those who love cinema and genre literature, The Quarry is the type of product that traces the manual of the good teenage slasher with great care and accuracy.
Between quotes and archetypes, the new interactive film from Supermassive Games drags us into a title with an impeccable script, very credible dialogues and, of course, a plot that keeps the player in suspense until the last devastating choice.
Let’s find out why, since it has finally debuted on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series (and, if you’re interested, you can find it on Amazon ).
A classic script that works
We also said it in our preview : The Quarry is certainly not an example of originality when it comes to script, but resorting to some classic archetypes of the genre is not always a bad thing.
Indeed, it is precisely in its classicism, in its choice of resorting to the typical stylistic features of slasher fiction , that we find its strength. The plot is among the most consumed by cinema and genre literature: a group of teenagers find themselves spending their last night together, after sharing a relaxed and carefree experience in a peaceful setting surrounded by nature.
Whether it’s a comfortable chalet nestled in the mountains (as in Until Dawn ) or a log cabin in a summer camp, what appears to be a mild-looking place soon turns into the perfect prelude to a teen slaughter.
Dylan, Jacob, Nick, Kaitlyn, Abigail, Emma and Ryan are the young protagonists of this late summer adventure and, as tradition dictates, they are in that phase of life in which – putting aside the carefree adolescence – they have to start to clash with the harsh reality of the adult world. College, student loans, and long-distance relationships are just some of the concerns hanging over their heads as the Hackett’s Quarry summer camp tutoring experience draws to a close.
But not everyone seems willing to return to reality. And this is how the group of friends find themselves stuck at the summer camp for one last night together, to the sound of beer and playlists. Who knows, perhaps to escape as much as possible from their responsibilities once they return home, or simply to hold those last remnants of adolescence in their fingers for a few more hours.
But you know, a last night together is very often the beginning of something scary in genre narratives. Gathered around the fire, ghost podcast enthusiast Ryan shares with friends an old legend about an alleged presence haunting the camp and surrounding areas: the witch of Hackett’s Quarry. Bonfire stories to scare the kids, they say, but which actually hide a far more frightening truth.
And it is precisely when strange attacks from terrifying creatures begin to happen that the best night of their life becomes unforgettable; sin only for the wrong reasons.
From a narrative point of view, The Quarry is a really good product: thanks to a roster of diversified and well-characterized characters, the plot of the Supermassive game flows fluid and disturbing, leaving the player with the pleasure of thrills. Good old Stephen King, The Hills Have Eyes and Don’t Open That Door are just some of the works the British studio drew on to craft a story that disturbs and disturbs to the end, leaving us constantly on our toes.
To make everything even more functional, there are also the excellent dialogues that the choral cast of the game weaves in the course of the story. The feeling is that they are never fake, but well written and accurate enough to return a satisfying involvement to the gaming experience.
Unlike the latest games in The Dark Pictures ‘ anthological trilogy , Supermassive has worked hard on the narrative sector, making The Quarry one of its most exciting and enthralling experiences published so far.
What does not kill me makes me stronger
In addition to being the claim of the Hackett’s Quarry summer camp, which welcomes its young guests, the maxim of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche can be considered the perfect synthesis of the experience in The Quarry .
Just like all the previous works of the British studio, even the gameplay of The Quarry is basically based on a perfect mix of branching choices, Quick Time Events and evidence to collect, exploring the game world. Knowledge is power , of course, but also knowing how to interpret messages , because this is the only escape route to survive the long night at the summer camp.
Although the writer is not a fan of it, Supermassive Games’ use of QTE in The Quarry is interesting . You know how they work, right? Just press a certain button in a given situation, swerve in a certain direction in a short amount of time. And, of course, all decisions affect the outcome, as a seemingly small choice early in the game can determine a character’s fate, even further on in the experience.