The Quarry review for PS5, Xbox Series X, PC

Platform: PS5
Also On: PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC
Publisher: 2K
Developer: Supermassive Games
Medium: Digital/Disc
Players: 1
Online: Leaderboards

It?s been some time for me since I?ve experienced the unique narrative playstyle of Supermassive Games? horror games as I missed out on the The Dark Pictures Anthology series. Until Dawn was a memorable entry into my list of favorite horror inspired games overall, from the ski resort location to the solid twist endings you could have, I used to think it would be awesome if they did a Camp style location like Friday the 13th or Sleepaway Camp, (for the obscure fans like myself). Enter The Quarry.

Let?s get right into it. Like Until Dawn, The Quarry has a star-studded cast including Ariel Winter, David Arquette, Brenda Song and Ted Raimi to name a few. The story follows a group of nine teenage counselors stranded at Hackett’s Quarry on the last day of summer camp. A gentle reminder for those not familiar, this game is a narrative driven experience and includes Quick Time Events, minor exploration, and occasional combat.

Due to this, it?s difficult to speak much about the plot as it will contain spoilers, though the basic gist is a summer camp experience they will never forget.  The Quarry features a wide variety of characters, most of which at some point you will take control from their perspective, so you can get a feel for everyone as the plot thickens

For me, it was difficult for me to connect with most of the characters initially and didn?t have much emotional attachments, which makes last minute choices that much harder. As you can expect in any horror game, there comes time when some characters can meet their fate. What makes this portion interesting is as you get to these points, and someone dies, you can choose a retry up to three times in your playthrough to try and save that character. If you choose not to use it, they are gone for the rest of the game.

When I first experienced this mechanic, I didn?t care for the character and ignored it and as I progressed in the story, but I found myself being more conscious of the choices I made and how they would affect other characters. You will go through 10 chapters, which feels episodic, but doesn?t accurately portray that which helped keep me playing longer sessions. My first play through was around 10 hours.

The controls while limited, work well for their appropriate usage. Visually the game looks great, but honestly at first glance I was turned off. I?m thinking it may have been a visual glitch but one of the first characters you meet, has some dialog and doesn?t even appear to be looking at the person next to them in the car. The first thing that came to mind was the ?Polar Express? eyes, quickly mentioned in the new Chip and Dale Disney+ movie. He looked dead to the world with almost PS2 facial characteristics.

After this, scene I didn?t see it again, and I?m grateful because it was more nightmare fuel than some of the content you experience later. Speaking of? holy hell, some of the death in this game are just? wow.  As they say, ?I?ve seen some shit”, but some of the unexpected kills made my jaw drop. To spite the slow burn of a story, there is thankfully enough to keep your attention, especially when the stakes get high. There are moments in the game where you need to hide and hold your breath, which was awesome and nerve racking because part of the screen goes red indicating this is the enemy?s visual and audible range. If you let, go of the button at the wrong time, DEAD. You have been warned.

The Quarry has some cool horror Easter eggs which I won’t spoil, but just a heads-up to keep an eye out for those (I?m sure I missed some too). During your playthrough, there are items you can find which help add to the story points as well as some hidden Tarot cards, which tie a little into the narrative. There is a woman who speaks to you in between the Chapters and if you find the cards, she helps give you some visual clips of what could be happening in the future. I didn?t find much value in this and mostly didn?t understand what she explains during these portions. I didn?t go out of my way to find them and don?t feel it changed my experience either way.

The camp site you are at, seems to be extremely large, and has so many locations which helps keep the visuals fresh. You have your traditional log cabins, main bunk for the counselors, a lake with lake house and more.  I always think Crystal Lake, being a huge Jason/Friday the 13th fan, but those locations are usually small even in the Friday the 13th Game.

During my 10 hours, I found revisiting locations happen, but you tend to explore other aspects that you may not have earlier which is another way of making existing locations fresh. I commend Supermassive for their creative approach to finding new ways to experience the environments. My time with The Quarry makes me want to revisit Until Dawn, but also take a dive into the Dark Pictures Anthology trilogy I missed out on.

A couple of neat features included in The Quarry is a Couch Co-op mode, so you can work with someone else to make all the choices and also a Movie mode where you can choose one of two factors or completely customize each character?s personality and can watch the entire story from start to finish without playing.

The Quarry is a fantastic time but personally it?s a tough sell at $70 retail. I don?t see many replaying more than a couple times, and that?s really if you have connected enough with the story to go through again. The game could use some quality-of-life improvements like a scene skip once you complete the game, and overall this is a game for fans of this genre and those looking to have a unique experience that isn?t gameplay driven.

2K provided us with a The Quarry PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: B+