Until Dawn Spiritual Successor?
The Quarry Review (PS5)
The Quarry is made by SuperMassive Games, the developers of Until Dawn and Hidden Agenda. While their recent endeavor in the Dark Pictures Anthology wasn’t the best, The Quarry is a spiritual successor to Until Dawn, their best interactive survival horror game. I literally found out about this game the week it was coming out. I’ve watched YouTubers and streamers play Until Dawn because I was a scaredy-cat for horror. Over the years, I’ve grown an appreciation for the genre. I played The Man of Medan with high expectations but was left disappointed. The Quarry being the spiritual successor of Until Dawn, is it worthy of that title? Does the story satisfy my interactive survival horror itch?
Gameplay wise, it’s very bare bones. You’ll be walking around Hackett’s Quarry, looking for clues to uncover the mystery of this summer camp. You’ll be controlling multiple characters and making decisions as the story progresses. You get to decide how relationships between the teenagers are handled and who gets to see the end of this hellish night. Quick time events (QTE’s) decide who lives or dies in certain scenarios. One mistake can cause a character to bite the dust. Because the game autosaves after each event, you can’t redo choices or actions. Once it happens, it happens. I like this component because it locks you into whatever choice you made, intended or not. Reloading a previous save would be cheating and would ruin the fun of this interactive horror adventure.
QTE’s also play a role in collecting the tarot cards, collectibles that will allow you to see a glimpse of the future. They’re hidden throughout your playthrough and you have to hit the X button before the prompt disappears. It can happen mid cutscene or when you’re exploring, so be sure to have both hands on the controller at all times. I admittedly missed one because I wasn’t paying attention for that split second. I tried to reload my save but it didn’t work. There are many different branching paths to the ending and depending on how well you play, the game can end early. There’s an hour worth of endings on YouTube, it’s that fleshed out. Even the smallest decisions have an impact later in the game. The gameplay is bare bones but I’m not expecting anything crazy. Being able to freely explore and make choices for the characters is all I’m asking for. SuperMassive Games executed that while adding a ton of quality of life changes. They know not everyone can do the QTE’s effectively, so you can turn some of them off. There’s also local and online multiplayer if you want to share the experience with your friends. Furthermore, there’s a movie mode where you can decide how characters will behave before you sit back & watch the full adventure unfold. The Quarry delivers on the gameplay department while adding a ton of features to make the game accessible to everyone.
The story of The Quarry is about these camp counselors spending one last day at Hackett’s Quarry. They spent the whole summer watching these kids, they want one day where it’s all about them. During this faithful night however, a monster is unleashed which puts the counselors in danger. With the teenagers scattered across the camp, they have to survive the night to see tomorrow. They’re stranded in this summer camp with only their wits and skill to survive. Very quickly, you see how the dynamics of this group of teenagers work. Also, you see the personality types each character has. There are more characters outside of the counselors and they’re interesting too. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the camp counselors. Sure, they’re a bit generic and kind of cookie cutter for the horror genre but I still liked seeing them interact with each other. You’re bound to have a favorite character by the game’s conclusion. The Quarry clearly takes inspiration from horror movies but just like Until Dawn, does it successfully to make an engaging story for horror fans to enjoy. Some characters have more interesting storylines than others but that’s what happens when you have over six characters to follow. If they all had compelling stories, the game would be too long. I’m okay with certain characters suffering to benefit the overall story but it can be a problem for some people if their favorite character gets sidelined. I didn’t like the ending I received. The game kind of ended abruptly, like anti-climatic. I guess I expected more from my ending since I kept most of my counselors alive but I guess I’m wrong. I haven’t watched the other endings yet, so those could be better. While I was never outright scared for my life, I did feel the stakes and the tension when a threat appeared on screen. Messing up one QTE costing the life of a camp counselor? Yeah, I’m under some pressure. All in all, The Quarry’s story is one horror fans will be happy with.
Presentation wise, the game looks good on the PlayStation 5. It might not be on the same level as PlayStation Studios games but I’m overall pleased with it. I liked the performances by all of the actors. I instantly noticed Brenda Song and Justice Smith because of their previous work. They weren’t my favorite characters, that award goes to Miles Robbins as Dylan. I remember his performance in Daniel Isn’t Real, a phenomenal psychological horror film. Anyways, the music, the 60 fps gameplay; the game runs well on the PS5 hardware. It is available on other platforms such as PC/Xbox consoles and I haven’t heard any tech issues with those either. You can expect The Quarry to perform well on your platform of choice.
In conclusion, I enjoyed my time with The Quarry. I purely bought this game on a whim because of its claimed to be the spiritual successor to Until Dawn. After finishing The Quarry, I can confidently say it stands up to that promise. Brand new setting and characters to solve another horror mystery. I had a wonderful time progressing through this game’s story with its group of camp counselors. I found the ending to be a bit underwhelming but enjoyed the ride all the way through. The accessibility options and how throughout the pathways are shows that SuperMassive Games put a lot of time in creating The Quarry. It might not have made the same splash on the gaming community as Until Dawn did but it’s another fantastic interactive horror drama by SuperMassive. Highly recommend it to anyone who loves horror. I won’t recommend it at $70 but it’s for sure worth checking out when it receives a price cut later this year (around $40-$50).