Yes - I'm still having nightmares over this game.
Until Dawn's successor doesn't disappoint as you follow nine camp counselors as they try to survive a horrific night under a full moon.
Video game fanatics may argue that Until Dawn is one of the best interactive video games ever made and Supermassive Games did a phenomenal job with this spiritual sequel.
The Quarry offers everything gamers love about Until Dawn, but brings the experience to the modern era with nostalgic vibes all at once. By partnering with 2K, Supermassive Games truly places a cinematic experience into the player's hands with one of 186 different endings becoming the player's destiny.
Before we go any further, I want to let you know that there will be light spoilers in the following review, but I won't reveal any major plot points or crucial decisions that can affect your gameplay.
While these teenagers may think their time at Hackett's Quarry has come to an end, it's safe to say they didn't plan on ending their summer in the most horrific way possible.
Based in upstate New York, Supermassive Games brings the entire essence of a spooky forest into your world. The entire time I played the game (just shy of nine hours), my mind couldn't escape the reality of being under the night sky and escaping the obvious and unheard dangers in the trees.
Right off the bat, the player is introduced to two camp counselors, Laura and Max, as they head up to Hackett's Quarry to begin the summer as camp counselors. However, the two experience quite a few bumps in the road, which leads to an anxious and heart-pumping prologue to get the player acclimated to the spine-chilling environment.
The cinematography is mind-blowing in each scene of the game. From a character's facial expressions and mouth movements, to every eye-catching detail that places the player in the heart of the action. With such heightened animated graphics and incredible performances by the game's cast, The Quarry feels more like an interactive movie than a generic video game.
Beyond the sights, appreciate the sounds! Every song fits the vibe of a scene perfectly, with triumphant music drowning out the quietness of the woods when a player survives a deadly encounter, or adding to the eeriness of a horrific moment up ahead.
If I had one critique on the atmospheric front, it's that there isn't enough to engage with. In a sense, The Quarry is a game within a game. As you experience the major plot points and twists throughout the game, you can also spend a considerable amount of time as every playable character checking out your surroundings. You can find clues and evidence that help you understand why all of the terrifying events are happening in real time and what led to the nightmarish final night at camp.
If you're a super fan of animated graphics and video game settings, then this will be enjoyable for you. However, I found myself mindlessly wandering around at times hoping to engage with more items or even my natural surroundings. Yes, you do find plenty of clues and pieces of evidence to bring more levity to the story, but overall, I wish I could have saved a considerable amount of time playing the game by not walking around as much.
A good setting isn't as great without a solid plot. The storytelling aspect of the game is insanely riveting. While The Quarry is a decision-based game, that doesn't just mean saving a character or performing enough quick time events to avoid a killer's grasp. Every dialogue choice moves the story along and shifts a character's perception of reality and the events happening around them. Plus, these are teenagers after all. Hormones are flying and the characters are still hoping to get some action despite the horror happening at every hour of the night.
In my opinion, certain scenes were too long and some conversations grew stale as you continued playing. Keep in mind, this is a horror game and you're on the edge of your seat the entire time. While a long conversation may calm you down a bit, it's also important to not get bored while listening to the teenager's chats. To be frank, I understand these are young adults hoping to have a memorable final night at camp... but the relationship gossip became way too exhausting after awhile. After being drenched in blood or confronting a potential killer, you still want to talk about hooking up with one of your co-workers? Give me a break!
Despite the long-winded conversations at times, I truly love the vast majority of these characters. The cast feels fresh, diverse and quite dynamic. My personal favorite characters are Jacob (Zach Tinker), Laura (Siobhan Williams), Max (Skyler Gisondo), Kaitlyn (Brenda Song), Dylan (Miles Robbins), Emma (Halston Sage) and Nick (Evan Evagora). Plus, Ted Raimi and David Arquette knock it out of the park per usual.
I know other critics and fans loved Ryan (Justice Smith), but I apologize... he did nothing for me. I found it hard to believe that Ryan is set up to be one of the main characters in this game, when I found any of the other counselors I listed to be way more intriguing. Yes, Laura is certainly one of the main characters as well, but I really didn't find myself rooting for Ryan as the game progressed. Also, I hate to say this because I love Ariel Winter, but Abigail (Abi for short) didn't do much for me either. In my playthrough, Jacob, Abi and Kaitlyn died. I was truly bummed about Jacob and Kaitlyn, but I didn't care as much for Abi's death. Abi can die early in the game and in my opinion, has the most gruesome death out of all of the characters. While that was hard to watch, I also didn't find myself cheering for Abi to make it to the end of the night. I may sound heartless, but I just don't think Abi and I would be besties in real life.
While many video game fans can definitely pick up the pieces as the game goes on before certain twists are revealed, let me tell you... this game has a ton of fun moments you won't expect. My mouth dropped countless times at different shifts in the story. While this is a horror game, The Quarry doesn't rely on jump scares to give you nightmares at night. Without giving too much away, one character's monologue at the end of the game will raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
Plus, if you're like me and dying to know the other 185 ways the game could be played, you don't have to sit through and play every time. The Quarry also features the movie mode, where you can just sit back and enjoy the amazing storytelling without making any of the crucial decisions. They're all made for you. Plus, you can decide which movie you want to watch! Do you want to see the version where everyone lives? Dies? Or maybe the goriest version with the Gore Fest film? It's so brilliant and an amazing way to keep fans invested in the game's story, even after the credits roll from their first playthrough.
Overall, this game is a masterpiece. I sincerely enjoyed every second of playing it, even if I had to do it in more than one sitting. I've already seen two other full versions of the game and I was still riveted each time I watched. Plus, I purposefully waited to write this review until I watch some other scenes and playthroughs online to see some of the other possible scenes/deaths that a player can experience in the game. I'm so glad I did, since I couldn't have imagined some of the other endings that may await you when you get to play this for yourself.
With stunning graphics, a top-tier cast, engaging storylines and edge of your seat horror, I'd rank The Quarry a 9/10. Cut out some of the tiring dialogue and mindless wandering around, and you have a perfect game.
I also have a fun challenge for you while playing this game. If you're 21+ and trying to get a little (or majorly) buzzed while playing this game, take a sip of your drink every time a character says the word "bear." I apologize if you have a major hangover the next day.