The Quarry: Exclusive Hands-On Preview – IGN First

The Quarry is Supermassive Games’ spiritual successor to Until Dawn, an all-new 10-hour horror game unrelated to its not-so-distant cousin, The Dark Pictures Anthology series. It strongly evokes classic teen horror, staying close to the path that made Until Dawn so successful. Plus, like Until Dawn, this path branches off in different directions, twisting and turning along the way until you reach one of its 186 unique ending variations. In the three hours I spent with its first three acts, I was constantly reminded of what made Until Dawn so enjoyable and fresh when it first came out. While The Quarry may not be exploring as much new ground, it definitely hooked me with its gorgeous cinematic presentation and general fondness for the horror movies it’s so clearly in love with.

La Carrière wears its influences on its blood-soaked sleeve; the setting of Friday the 13th summer camp, the teen-vs-monster nature of Cabin in the Woods, and the winking self-awareness of Scream. It all happens as the echoes of Deliverance’s banjo strings can be heard echoing off the trees. My work time included bursts of gore, heartfelt moments between characters, and a few spooky jumps to boot. However, he never threatened to take himself too seriously, firmly remembering to put the laughs into the showdown. Take a look at the cast and you can see what Supermassive has to offer here, with cult horror actors such as Scream’s David Arquette and The Evil Dead’s Ted Raimi giving you a not-so-warm welcome to Hackett’s Quarry Summer Camp. .

After a disturbing and ultimately gruesome prologue, Act 1 of The Quarry begins on the very last day of camp. The children have all gone home and only the councilors and Mr. Hackett d’Arquette remain. You switch between controlling nine different camp monitors as they spend the next two hours getting ready for one last big party in the evening before heading home. What can go wrong? Well, of course, a lot. I won’t spoil the clashes here, but rest assured there’s more than one threat to beware of in The Quarry. I saw glimpses of creepy supernatural stuff, snarling beasts of sorts, and a creature I don’t know how to describe that appeared right at the end of my playtime. Plus, of course, the most dangerous game – man. It’s hunting season after all…

It’s hard not to notice the stunning cinematography when playing The Quarry, which is undoubtedly a graphical and artistic step up from Until Dawn. He uses the age-old technique of chiaroscuro of Renaissance art, which uses areas of high contrast light and dark to allow unexpected surprises to burst in heavily shadowed areas. You’ll have seen it in all sorts of horror movies, from old classics like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to modern films like 2017’s It. The technique is put to good use in the prologue, when an utterly creepy cop played by Raimi emerges from the darkness to surprise a couple bathed in the comforting light of their car.

The Quarry feels like Supermassive’s most cinematic game to date.


This impressive technical care does not only concern the lighting. Improved camera work makes The Quarry Supermassive’s most cinematic game to date. Tight, claustrophobic framing heightens the tension, which goes hand-in-hand with the highly detailed facial animations captured by Digital Domain, the visual effects company behind Thanos from the MCU. It’s not only a real step up from Until Dawn, but downright some of the most impressive animated faces I’ve ever seen in a game. They really bring the characters to life…before you choose to quickly inflict death, that is. These disappearances wouldn’t mean as much without first experiencing the nine playable tracks. This is where the first two chapters of The Quarry devote much of their attention – developing bonds between each of the camp’s counselors and, most importantly, the player.

Quarry Screenshots

There’s a classic mix of teen horror archetypes within the group. Jacob the overconfident jock, Emma the outgoing romantic interest, and Dylan the edgy eccentric. Sometimes they err a little on the edge of cartoonishness, but in all honesty, that’s what Supermassive is all about – a fun ode to horror delivered with a laugh and a tongue so far in its cheek it threatens to burst. There are strong performances everywhere too, with an impressive array of established stars and up-and-coming talent. Early cast members include Detective Pikachu’s Justice Smith, Modern Family’s Ariel Winter, and my pick of the bunch, Brenda Song as charismatic and tongue-in-cheek de facto leader Kaitlyn.

Getting all of those playable characters right is crucial in a game like this, but the joy is that even if you don’t get along with them, you can enjoy serving them up with as delicious a death as you want. While all of the choices I made in the opening acts resulted in no fatalities, director Will Byles assured me there were many, many to see. Choice really is the name of the game. Play it sensibly and you might leave Hackett’s Quarry with your nine characters alive, but if you ask me, where’s the fun in that? A Nice Touch of Storytelling is an in-game podcast hosted by characters played by CollegeHumor’s Emily and Murph. Depending on the specific ending you get, the episode that plays out on The Quarry’s epilogue will therefore be different.

You could leave Hackett’s Quarry with your nine living characters, but if you ask me, where’s the fun in that?


For those who know Until Dawn, the gaming experience does not hide any surprises. Exploration sections to gather clues are punctuated with conversations and dialogue choices that can both subtly and overtly alter the story. In tense situations, quick events will sometimes appear, but this is often less a test of reactions than another choice to be made. Maybe you just want to deliberately let someone bang their head against a tree to see what happens? As always, The Quarry will react accordingly.

It seems like there really aren’t any bad decisions to be made, only the ones that feel most enjoyable to you or most beneficial to the story at the time. So far, the best ones have been choices that seemed inconsequential, but will inevitably result in someone’s death hours later. For example, I chose to descend a ladder early on so that nothing major would happen other than being notified that the ladder is about to fall off the wall. I apologize in advance to anyone I accidentally killed doing this.

Beyond its improvements in choice-based storytelling and cinematic presentation, Supermassive is making further strides to make The Quarry as accessible an experience as possible this time around. An example of this is that QTEs are now simple analog stick flicks instead of pressing face buttons, so players unfamiliar with controllers won’t be scrambling to find the right button. Delightful 1950s-style animated tutorials are available for each game mechanic, which are appropriately narrated by the world’s greatest Rod Serling impersonator.

On the odd occasion when a fight takes place, minimal precision is needed to aim a gun, with a large flashlight beam replacing a small reticle. For players who don’t want to take control of combat encounters at all, there’s the option to turn them off completely and let them happen automatically. The same can be said for every aspect of the game, ranging from quick events to exploration. All of these different gameplay mechanics can be toggled on or off at the start of your game to tailor it specifically to your tastes and abilities.

career characters

In fact, if all you’re looking for is to lower the controller completely and watch the action unfold, there’s even Movie mode. This essentially lets you predetermine how each of the nine characters will behave at the start of the story before watching it all unfold. Will they be cautious or confident? Polite or distant? The possibilities are many, and we’ll go into more detail on these systems later this month as part of IGN First.

Three hours with The Quarry gave me exactly what I expected from a spiritual successor to Until Dawn, for better and for worse. Mechanically, it hasn’t budged a heap in the seven years since Rami Malek freaked us all out. It’s still an “interactive movie” and Supermassive makes no apologies for that. The decades-long love for horror movies is in plain sight, and the basic yet effective gameplay of frequent tough decisions is perfect for the genre. You may only be pressing a significant button every few minutes, but each of them is supporting an enormous amount of weight; it’s still unclear what the repercussions will be, either immediately or six hours from now. It’s this slow build of tension and sudden release of excitement that makes a great horror movie, and a promising sign that The Career is headed in the right direction.

Simon Cardy will never visit a summer camp because it never seems to end well. Follow him on Twitter at @CardySimon.

amoloans