Supermassive Games is one of the busiest studios in the video game industry. They have launched nine different games in the last seven years. They had VR failures and smaller projects, but that studio mostly does solid horror adventures. It's just that such hyperproduction leaves a mark on the fact that their products are closer to the form of interactive films than classic video games. This is especially pronounced in their new title, The Quarry.
The reduced level of interaction here is intentional. The game is targeted so that it can be played by everyone, including an audience that has never held a controller in their hands. Management is so simplified here that you never need to press more than one key at a time. Which isn’t seen every day at $ 60 games, as much as The Quarry costs on a PlayStation.
As a rule, I support the idea of making games accessible so that everyone
can enjoy them. But I think here that sharing that accessibility has hurt the
format of the game itself. Aside from the fact that The Quarry doesn't have
much control over the gameplay itself, the bigger problem is that the player's
control is almost insignificant in the rare moments when he has it.
In previous games in this studio, QTE sequences kept a player in suspense because a slow response or pressing the wrong key could result in killing your character. The Quarry not only has ultra-light QTE parts but no sections at all in which characters can die if you press the wrong key. All the tension here comes down to catching objects that someone throws at you, and it doesn't matter if you fail.
So they killed the tension with the QTE commands, which doesn’t sound good for
one horror game. The survival or death of the characters in The Quarry is thus
reduced mostly to decision-making. These are binary (or-or) decisions that
usually have to be made under the pressure of time. There is some tension here
though because it is not always the smartest thing to react instinctively.
Sometimes it's better to hide than to run away, but not always - you just have to assess the situation. And here, The Quarry is a tad more interesting than other horror games.
Unfortunately, a good portion of the important decisions in the game boils down to pure guesswork that could be right and wrong. Sometimes there is simply no way to predict a character’s death. In Until Dawn, characters could be killed if they were careless or too curious. Here your character dies because you order him to go left instead of right. Such dying works cheaply and further reduces the already small sense of control over the story itself.
In the story, you take nine teenagers to a summer camp where some mysterious
things are happening. Two counselors in the camp did not do their season, and
the remaining seven stay in the camp longer than expected and therefore get
The story is well thought out, layered, but unambiguous. In the end, everything is clearly explained to you, and there are no unanswered questions. Maybe that diminishes the mystery a bit, but I think it's well-rounded.
The playful characters in the story have enough personalities to be
interesting. Of course, these are stereotypical horror characters: a confident
athlete, a sex bomb, a nerd, a mysterious weirdo, etc. But they are
well-acted, and the game develops relationships between the characters in the
first hour or two before they come into danger.
It's just a pity that it turns out to be irrelevant in the second half of the game. The characters are divided into several groups, and by the end of the game, they practically no longer meet. I’m not going to spoil anything to you, I’ll just say how disappointing it is that the game ends without you seeing any gathering of surviving characters. You try to keep them alive, and then the game leaves them in a scene in the middle of the woods to finally tell you, "Yeah, that character survived." Nonsense.
Unfortunately, the very way the story is written is full of holes and
nonsense. I know this is a horror movie with teenagers dying for stupid
decisions, but the game often contradicts itself.
For example, he repeatedly emphasizes to you who is the best shooter among teenagers and when a situation arises in which to carry a rifle, then that character hands it over to others.
It looks something like this:
"I aim and shoot best, but here's a rifle for you to defend us all, so you'll give it back to me later because I aim and shoot best."
As for the dialogue… Here are some:
- What were you doing there?
- Listened to a podcast.
- Is it a podcast about me?
- No. It's a podcast about ghosts.
- Do you see anything yellow in my eyes?
- Define yellow.
If nothing else, as ridiculous as such things may sound, The Quarry looks good
in acting performance. The graphics are quite realistic in depicting faces and
lighting. The characters look convincing and only occasionally do you see a
slight unnaturalness in the movement of the mouth.
The rest of the presentation is quite blurry and dark, but this is a horror game, so it enriches the atmosphere in a way. The location of the summer camp seems just like a horror movie, it's just a pity that we don't have the option to explore it more freely.
The Quarry lasts about 10 hours on average and is worth playing at least twice - once to save all the characters, another time to sacrifice them all. There’s also the added option of playing in multiplayer online, which will be added soon so I haven’t had a chance to try it out.
I can only say that you will not play much if you share the game with more players, but it could still be fun if most teams experience the story for the first time. By the way, not all players have to have a game to play it together, which is a great thing.
The Quarry as a horror experience wasn’t particularly terrifying to me, but
the story was intriguing to me. I appreciate that they didn’t fall for cheap
intimidation tricks, but I think 2015’s Until Dawn remained unsurpassed as a
I don't mind the game being a film with minimal interaction, but I expect that interaction to have some significance then. The Quarry is generally good at storytelling and presentation, but the gameplay is weaker than previous Supermassive Games.
- great acting
- excellent facial graphics, lighting
- an intriguing story
- a weak sense of control over the story due to simplified gameplay and an unpredictable death
- through the nonsense and illogicality in the story