The Quarry PS5 Review. Supermassive Games‘ Until Dawn was a right corker when it arrived on PS4 back in 2015. The slick teen slasher was gory, self-aware, and crafted a compelling story where you choices mattered, although for whatever reason, a sequel never materialised.
Enter The Quarry, a spiritual successor to the chilly horror fest that is basically a love letter to anyone with a penchant for 80s and 90s slashers, right down to its eclectic cast of stereotypical youngsters. For the most part, it works great, and anyone who has played Until Dawn or indeed any of The Dark Pictures games will feel right at home.
More importantly, how does The Quarry actually stack up to its spiritual predecessor, is the end result a Scream or an episode of Scooby-Doo?
The Quarry PS5 Review
Scream If You Want To Party At Summer Camp
The Quarry is set in the present day and follows nine teenage counsellors working at Hackett’s Quarry over the summer. When a last minute hiccup derails their trip home, the group stays an extra night and decides to celebrate the only way they know how – a booze-fuelled party by the fire.
After an ominous prologue set two months before the main story, The Quarry sets about introducing you to the main players in its first few chapters. These rambunctious teens could have easily come out of any horror movie from the past 30 years; there’s everyone from the jock and socially-awkward girl to the loud-mouthed joker to the social media-obsessed trendy chick.
Yes, the stereotypes are unavoidable here, but that’s the point: this game wears its influences proudly on its sleeves, from Friday the 13th to Scream. And to be fair, the majority of are pretty solid; their dialogue is punctuated with snappy quips and colloquial banter, making them totally believable as modern day young adults.
Abi was one of my favourites, who came across as an authentic, shy girl with a crush on camp heartthrob Nick, who, depending on your choices, can grow a lot closer. Jacob is typically brash as the chest-thumping Jock who can display a surprising soft side at times, and Ryan is totally my kind of bloke in that he listens to podcasts about ghost stories.
David Arquette also shines in his performance as Chris Hackett, the head of the summer camp, albeit lacking his trademark Dewey Riley ‘tache.
Top-Notch Pacing And Strong Characterisation Makes For A Gripping Tale
You’ll invariably take a dislike to some of them immediately, but a game like The Quarry allows time for character growth. You may love someone you hated at first, or grow to really dislike another overtime.
Like any of Supermassive Games’ recent output, part of the lure of The Quarry is unearthing the characters’ personalities by your choices and seeing how they react to situations. Crucially, you are given enough time to get to know the teens before things really take off, and by that point you’ll want to do your best to keep your favourites alive.
The Quarry’s pacing is straight out of a teen horror flick. Supermassive Games knowns when to cut away or lure you in with the sight or sound of something close by, but always leaves you wanting more. And when a bombshell does drop, it lands with an almighty thump.
Furthermore, cutting between characters keeps the momentum going strong, and I never found myself bored or felt one sequence dragged too long.
Decisions Matter, But Player Interaction Is Dumbed Down Somewhat
Dialogue choices come in abundance, and while the implications of some choice are clear, others may seem innocuous at the time. It’s only later in the story you’ll realise that decision you made a few chapters back has come back to bite you on the arse. The Quarry makes you think, and it is one of its biggest strengths.
For some reason, The Quarry has dumbed down player interaction to the point where you’d have to be distracted to really mess up. QTEs boil down to either mashing X or hitting one of the directions on the analogue stick.
This isn’t an egregious oversight on Supermassive Games’ part, but mixing things up regards to on-screen prompts and timing would have really injected more of a challenge and make you feel more involved.
Indeed, The Quarry leans more towards the movie in ‘interactive movie,’ but if you know Supermassive Games’ output, this shouldn’t be a problem. I honestly didn’t mind the lessened challenge; the story moves at a brisk pace, the choices feel weighty, and the tone is spot on.
More interesting are the segments where you are given free rein to explore, be it spooky forests, abandoned police stations, cabins, the camp itself, and more. These environments are stuffed full of collectibles, from items to flesh out the backstory of the camp and its residents, evidence to collect, and Tarot Cards to have your fortune read by a creepy old lady in between chapters if you fancy it.
Gorgeous Visuals And Strong Atmosphere Round Out A Compelling Teen Slasher
When the action does pick up the pace, The Quarry doesn’t skip a beat; Shotguns fire with an authentic boom during heated scraps, characters dash for their lives while precariously keeping their footing, and snap decisions have to be made as arguments boil over.
It also helps that The Quarry is absolutely gorgeous to look at. I played the game on PS5, and the character models are sumptuously-realised; every nuance, be it a wrinkle, smirk or flash of horror, help to accentuate every emotion on screen, while the environments simply ooze atmosphere.
Strong replay value is intrinsically linked to these sorts of games, and like Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures, The Quarry is meant to be revisited multiple times. There’s dozens of outcomes to soak up, not to mention all manner of grisly, claret-spewing ways for the councelors to bite the bullet.
The Quarry is everything you’d expect from Supermassive Games at this point. Despite not really giving you much of a challenge during QTEs, the story, strong characterisation, and chilling atmosphere makes this one summer horror fest you can’t afford to miss out on.
Is it scary? Not really, but it makes for one hell of a ride all the same.
The Quarry is out now for PS5, PS4, PC, Xbox Series X/S, and Xbox One.
Review code kindly provided by publisher.