December 8, 2022

The Quarry (PC) – game review

The Quarry

The Quarry is a so called "horror game". interactive movie. Not everyone likes this type of experience, so if you have doubts about buying, we will try to dispel them. Welcome to our review.

Supermassive Games studio has accustomed us to self-players, and the formula initially derided by some gamers seems to have caught on strongly. In earnest, it started with Until Dawn, then the Brits prepared The Dark Pictures series, and now they have a brand new project for us – The Quarry. Although perhaps not as new as it may seem, because if you called the game Until Dawn 2.0, it's unlikely anyone would feel outraged.

I must admit that a few years ago I myself did not fully understand the phenomenon of this type of production. Why would I play a game that is de facto not played? Because if walking through sterile, practically corridor-like locations and occasionally discovering finds or taking part in QTE scenes can be called playing, then no one is likely to feel it? I won't answer this question for you, as this is not the time or place to write a doctoral dissertation on the subject, but despite my initial reluctance, I quickly became engrossed in both Until Dawn and The Quarry, reviewed today. The Dark Pictures anthology I haven't had a chance to check out, but I already know it's a backlog worth catching up on.

The gameplay in The Quarry starts off rough. We are driving through a dense and dark forest, in a moment someone jumps out in front of our hood, we fall off the road. A car broken down, Egyptian darkness all around, strange noises and some ghostly figure running between the trees. It's hot right from the start. Moments later, however, another scene begins, we find ourselves in a resort, where quite a large part of the plot takes place and it gets even more intense… However, the authors quickly move us to a different, though similar, setting. Again, we are in the resort, but we learn everything from scratch. For the first 2-3 hours of gameplay in The Quarry, we mainly wander around the environment, getting acquainted with more characters. There is a gentle breeze of boredom, because it is, however, a young team (chaperones of a camp for kids – the kids just went home after the camp ended), the jokes and texts are rather at the level of junior-high school and American style. That is, mostly talk of romance, failed loves, lined with sexual overtones. It's a little hard to digest, but it's worth it, because thanks to it we get to know the motivations of the characters, their character traits – we get acquainted with them.

It's worth it all the more because moments later the action kicks off in earnest. It turns out that through a certain confluence of events, our team remains on the spot, ie. At the resort, which is adjacent to a nearby mine, and despite the departure of the charges, he does not return home. This, however, does not please the natives (or – weirdos), who arrange a hunt for the heroes.

I don't want to reveal more, so as not to spoil your fun. What's surprising about The Quarry, however, is that the game starts out as a typical, even cliché B- or even C-grade series, and after 2-3 hours it transforms into a racy thriller, then a horror film. The beginning requires a certain amount of patience, but Supermassive Games quickly compensates us with an engaging storyline and non-obvious plot twists. Scares and surprises better than most of the thematic films I've had the chance to see over the years. And that's already a big recommendation to play this title.

By the way, this is the first game from the British, where the corpse strolls really thickly. Sometimes this is due to the decisions we make, and sometimes it is simply accidental. As we get more or less attached to the characters, nevertheless sometimes such a death affects our emotions – especially since in some cases the protagonists die in really surprising moments. Although in theory we have control over on-screen events, the creators regularly surprise us, literally playing with the scenario and the fate of subsequent characters. Positive endings? Not in this game…

Interestingly, an option to undo decisions made was implemented in The Quarry. I.e. when our favorite character dies, we can go back to three key events backwards and unravel the sequence of events. This option is available after the first playthrough of the game, or right away – in the Deluxe edition. Personally, I didn't feel the need to use this feature, because although I liked some characters more than others, I didn't establish a relationship with them like with characters from a good book. I felt some anxiety and disappointment about their deaths, but it's still not the immersion known from hours of interacting with a book hero or character from long-lived RPGs.

During the gameplay of The Quarry we make a number of decisions. It's hard for me to say how much they change the plot, since I finished the game once, but the developers have sewn up a few alternative endings. Another interesting feature is the director mode – within it we can go through the game again… not playing it. We simply assume in advance how our characters will react to given events and sit comfortably on the couch, while the game is displayed in a movie-like form. It's a cool thing if someone wants to get to know The Quarry in all possible ways, but at the same time doesn't want to once again circulate through the nevertheless rather corny and corridor-like locations. The icing on the cake is couch co-op.

The Quarry is a must-see item for fans of the formula developed by Until Dawn. The latest production of Supermassive Games, in relation to its original, is a more position, with a better plot, more convincing characters, a more efficiently bifurcating and surprising scenario. Although the beginning – after an intense start – is sluggish for a while, after 2-3 hours the story unfolds like the fastest rollercoaster. The title can solidly scare the player, but importantly – it doesn't do it in the easiest way. Forget about annoying jump-scares – The Quarry creates anxiety with its menacing atmosphere, strange characters and psychological ploys. The developers didn't take the easy way out, and praise them for that.

Basically, it's hard to get down to anything major here, but on the strength of the story one can mention the rather strange facial expressions. Although in the static scenes it looks great, when the characters express emotions (joy, surprise, horror), their mouths behave unnaturally, and their eyes can escape somewhere in another galaxy. It looks a little strange, especially against the background of the whole – the character models as well as the environment itself.

Ultimately, however, The Quarry is a great experience, which we complete in about 10 hours at a time. The length of the game is definitely appropriate – the developers have efficiently closed all the major threads in it, while at the same time – maybe apart from the slightly lengthy introduction – there are no boring moments here. Even considering the fact that it's more of an interactive movie than a game. And if we are curious about other endings, we can go through the whole thing again, or direct ourselves to movie mode, sit back on the couch and watch alternative events.

End of the day – I recommend!

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