The Quarry Review (PS5)
''OH IM A HAPPY CAMPER''
Developed: Supermassive Game
Published: 2K Games
Release Date: June 10th, 2022
Platforms: PS5/PS4/XBOX FAMILY/PC
*Review copy provided to me by 2K Games*
''Its a full moon''
The Quarry is a decision making survival horror game developed by Supermassive Games and published by 2K Games. As a spiritual successor to the interactive horror drama, Until Dawn, released in 2015, The Quarry aims to improve the interactive horror drama genre and and rectify the mistakes of the past. But do they succeed in revitalizing it and make you want to hold it in your heart? or do they fail and it just makes you want to fart, just like Budnick from Salute Your Shorts says? Only one way to find out, so CH CH CH, HAH HAH HAH.
When the sun goes down on the last night of summer camp, nine teenage counselors are plunged into an unpredictable night of horror. The only thing worse than the blood-drenched locals and creatures hunting them are the unimaginable choices you must make to help them survive. Will they survive the night? or succumb in the darkness. The choices you make will determine their fate.
Are you a fan of some of the classic 80's horror movies of the past such as Nightmare On Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Sleepaway Camp, Pumpkin Head, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and... well ok, we'll stop there, you get the picture. If you're a fan of those specific franchises, then there will be a lot in this title that will be right up your alley and make you feel right at home. While this game is a spiritual to successor to Until Dawn, sure, - to me, it's more of a love letter to classic horror movies, as well as a nod to people who grew up on them. If at any one point in time during your playthrough that you stop and think to yourself ''this seems familiar'' or ''I've seen this before'', then you most likely have. Nearly every trope is used or paid in tribute in some way shape or form. But I think that's enough build up right? Lets actually dive into the gameplay and let me officially welcome you to my review of The Quarry.
Upon starting your game, you're placed into your first decision making roles right off the bat when you're introduced to a young couple, Laura and Max. They're on their way to Hackett's Quarry Summer Camp where they will partake in their jobs as summer counselors for the kids that will be saying there. Instead of waiting till morning like everyone else normally would, they decide it would be best if they headed up there one day early and in the pitch black of darkness. We've all seen this one before right?. As they banter back and forth with each other, your first quick time event decision happens, which determines the set path you move on. For example if you choose to look at the map, you two will argue about it before ultimately crashing and steering off road due to a strange person or creature that is in the middle of the road that makes you lose control. What the heck was that? they aren't sure, but they know for damn sure they need to get the hell out of there. But before they can make their escape, BLAMO, a spooky as hell sheriff makes his presence known and holy crap is he freaky. Played by the great Ted Raimi, he interrogates both Max and Laura. Not believing their story of why they're out here, he tells them he will keep a close eye on them. Ignoring his warning and arriving at the camp anyways after he said no, Laura investigates the basement of the camp, only to find something much worse than she expected, an un-relenting monster is set free and begins to attack Max. Holy crap, what will you do? will you save him and help? or ditch him to save yourself? Me? heck ya im outta there, sorry bro, that's what you get for not buying me McDonalds the other night. But making your escape, you're tranquilized by the sheriff and we then flash forward to months later, where we now have our sights set on seven brand new counselors who will be the focal point of the game going forward.
Pretty good set up right? I mean I thought it was at least. It gets you asking so many questions. Who is this sheriff? what is he hiding? what attacked your boyfriend? What's so dangerous about being out late at night?. Those of course get answered, but I want to transition into a bit of the gameplay before we hop back into the story. Now the game play isn't exactly overly in depth and mostly relies on the story's narrative and characters to help push it forward. Your goal in this title is simple, with each chapter you play, up to 10 total, 11 if you include the epilogue which shows the results of your decision making, - you will be tasked with finding clues, such as evidence that will help you piece together the mystery of Hackett's Quarry and the legend known as ''The Hag Of Hackett's Quarry''. These pieces of evidence can be anything from newspaper clippings, photos, voice recordings like from a podcast, pieces of flesh, claw markings and even blood trails. Blood trails huh? well I hope Freddy didn't drag off poor Tina again. I don't think I can handle another skin the cat moment. But moving on. Collecting evidence isnt the only form of game play, cause that would be pretty boring if I'm going to be honest. To round out all the game play mechanics, we also have, as stated before, decision making and quick time events. Decision making in this game is actually pretty intense and sometimes terrifying. Almost as terrifying as watching Donkey Lips trying to play water balloon fights. What? didn't catch that reference? ehh, guess you aren't invited to Camp Anawana with me then. But on a serious note, to understand why your decision making has such a wide impact, you must first know who's lives you will be actually impacting in the first place. We won't go overly in depth, but I'll give you the basic run down.
After the events unfold with Laura and Max, who are still alive and being held captive, you're introduced to seven new counselors. Jacob who's the dude bro jokester, Ryan who is the loner and thinker, Emma who is the pompous ditz, Abigail who is innocent and indecisive, Dylan who is the awkward funny guy, Kaitlyn who is the strong in your face independent type and Nick whos the laid back type of dude about stuff. These are the characters whos fate you will determine with every action and decision you make in your roughly 10 to 11 hour journey. Now that may not seem like a big deal at first, but trust me, towards the end of the game, you will definitely be regretting some of the choices you've made. Towards the beginning of my playthrough, I thought I had already determined who was going to die or who I'd make die on purpose because I hated them so much or the fact that they just annoyed me in general. I wanted to totally go Sleepaway Camp and Angela Baker them with a lawnmower. No joke. But as the story progressed and I actually started making my decisions, simple ones like help this person here, talk to this person, watch them interact and even learn more about them as a person.... then that's when my thoughts started to change. No longer did I hate someone like Emma who was so full of herself and constantly treated Jacob like crap, but instead it was a wall she put up due to her own securities, and you know, I felt bad for her. I couldn't bring myself to kill her off. This same exact thing happened with other characters as well, such as Jacob who is just one big doofus that at heart is a great guy but just doesn't show it that well. I tried everything possible to save him in my playthrough, but ultimately, I was unsuccessful sadly. That same feeling is going to happen to you A LOT, especially with 15 different paths to take story wise, which changes based off who lives, who dies and what the outcome of your story ultimately becomes.
As you progress through the game further with your seven camp counselors, you will explore deep and dark forests which sets the tone that there is definitely something lurking out there, investigate a house on the hill known as the hackett's home, where the hackett family who owns the quarry lives - that reminds me A LOT of something out of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, complete with a nuts mama who you shoot in the face. What? hmm? oh nothing. You can also walk along a spooky moonlit pier which seems ripped straight out of camp crystal lake in friday the 13th, search for car parts in an old Junkyard that super reminded me of the junkyard scene from Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and 4. I half expected Kincaid to start screaming ''FREDDYS BACK!''. But it didn't happen, thankfully. Beyond the locations I named and even creaking of the old and spooky cabins, you start to unravel the whole mystery behind just what the hell is going on around you. More specifically, the monsters that lurk in the darkness. Progressing further you learn the history of the hackett family and their six year fight to break the curse of the hag of hacketts quarry, that all started with a woman and her boy named Silas. He is a white werewolf that comes out once every full moon to lay waste to any victims he finds and transforms them along the way even with just a simple bite. Werewolves? huh? Shirtless ripped werewolves like from the cover of Teen Vogue? Oh my. No no. Not THOSE kind of werewolves or even the transforming hedgehog type of wolves, nope, full on werewolves. Man are they UGLY. At first I mistook them for being just another Wendigo knockoff like we saw in Until Dawn and I was a little bummed, but thankfully, that was no the case at all. Werewolves were definitely the way to go here and their story is told, in my opinion, superbly.
After discovering the secret of the Hackett family and the werewolves, then decision making gets WAY harder because now every choice you make will determine who lives and dies, even friends such as Nick who is one of the first to get transformed into a werewolf. When he turns, you're given a choice - shoot and kill him, your friend, or pause and do nothing because you can't bring yourself to do it. Choose to kill him and you must live with your consequences, should you NOT shoot him however... well.. lets just say Abigail ends up like the boxer from Jason Takes Manhattan, all I'm saying. But don't worry, you don't ALWAYS have to choose to fight, because sometimes, hiding does the trick just as well. One example of this is when Dylan and Kaitlyn are running from a werewolf inside the cabin, trying to get away, and they choose to hide behind bunk beds. During your hiding session, you will be required to hold X in order to hold your breath until the tracking meter on your screen that's marked in red, shows its safe to come out. But be careful not to release your breath too early or it will no doubt result in certain death. After successfully getting away, you will thank yourself for not eating Taco Bell earlier in the day, that could've ended BADLY. ''What? hiding? THATS IT? that's lame!''. Hold up there bucko. I didn't finish you big big goof. Hiding doesn't necessarily determine your success either, in fact, in certain situations, its actually the WRONG thing to do. Confused? well that's the beauty of this title. There's NO wrong way to play, its entirely up to you. Need an example? for instance when playing as Kaitlyn and Dylan again, running from the werewolf, should you choose NOT to shoot him as Kaitlyn and instead run to the kitchen with Dylan, you can choose to hide with him OR ditch him and hide in the freezer. Sadly this is the WRONG decision and ultimately gets Dylan killed and mauled to death, while YOU as Kaitlyn freeze to death locked in the freezer. Yikes!
Game seems super dreary doesnt it? killer werewolves, consequences of your actions leading your friends deaths, hiding getting you killed, fighting getting you killed. It just seems like one long game of death, right? well.. kind of? but not quite. For all the talking I've been doing about the horror aspects, including stuff like the boy Silas's mom who's the start of all this, reminding me of the witch lady who created Pumpkin Head.. which fun fact, the dad from Pumpkin Head is in this game as well, which is awesome. But I'm getting off topic. Like I said, for all the horror talk I've been doing, the game is actually light hearted in some areas and genuinely pretty funny. Whether its Emma being confused and stupid as hell not knowing what a wheel barrel is, Abigail and Nick finding a little pig and then Nick proceeding to scream like a girl when mama pig attacks him, Kaitlyn and Dylan investigating a sound in the van, only for Dylan to open it and get sprayed in the eyes and scream like a spaz that he got maced, only for it to end up just being air freshener and he was just fine, no damage at all. Talk about embarrassing. But those are just some of the examples that make this game way more fun to play. You're on a rollercoaster with these characters, just like a movie, and character performances carry you through a variety of emotions thanks to the talented cast that has been brought together. Heck even the hackett's family members Bobby and Jedediah are funny as they stalk your characters around the camp site. The entire time, due to their height and weight differences, I kept seeing them as Tucker and Dale, and in my mind I'm like ''oh well that death, it was just an accident, they didn't mean it''. Yes. I'm lame. I had myself cracking up in my own head playing the game. Sue me. Tucker and Dale movie is great.
So ok, we know the game runs roughly 10 chapters, ten hours long, 15 separate paths to choose from story wise, characters that evolve narrative wise as you play, atmospheres that immerse you in the games world, brilliant acted cast, investigative features to find out more about the mysteries, hiding and fighting are both key and fatal to your success. We get it, this game has a ALOT of great stuff. But is there bad? yes, sadly there is. It's not as bad as the dance scene from Nightmare On Elm Street 2 or my incompetence at completing quick time events, ya not THAT bad, but it definitely has some snags. Some parts of the game can get rather slow with nothing going on. Literally no dialogue from your character, nothing to interact with and you just walk down a narrow corridor or path in the woods doing nothing for several minutes. Its not all the time, but it tends to happen every few chapters. Ruins the pacing. My bigger gripe relates to the dang camera. The camera in the game is made to be cinematic and ninety percent of the time it works great, but the other ten? its annoying. When transitioning between shots, sometimes the camera snags up and gets stuck behind an object or impairs your view of your surroundings, making you miss specific collectibles that are vital in the game, should you want to be a completionist. Collectibles? well yes, they're BIG in getting the TRUE ending of the game. Don't worry, ill cover it before we wrap things up.
This is the part where I usually say ''when you're done with the main story'', but ya that isnt happening this time because the main extra stuff this time can be obtained in game during your actual playthrough the first time. As you push through the main story and narrative, you can find clues relating to hackett family history and the camp history. These pieces of clue's can be anything from Flyers on trees that you find, to even spooky drawings left behind by kids. Other collectibles at your disposal also relate to ''evidence''. This is self explanatory. Evidence pertains to the mystery surrounding the camp and what you uncover, evidence like memory cards with Emma's recordings, torn back packs worn by Laura and Max or an attack photo from a werewolf attack. Using these clues and pieces of evidence will help you get the GOOD ending where you prove to the police that the surviving teens weren't the ones involved in the massacres that took place. Finally, to round it off, you have Tarot cards. These are cards littered around every chapter that you can pick up and let the the fortune teller read them in between chapters, and she will give you a hint on what decisions to make or what a characters future can be. There's 22 in total, so keep a GOOD look out for them.
At the end of the day, The Quarry was an absolute blast to play as a fan of classic horror films. With intense moments like Emma ziplining away from an enemy werewolf at the last second, Officer Dewey's... I mean David Arquette's awesome job as Chris Hackett, homage to the Twilight Zone with the tutorial narration voice sounding similar to Rod Serling, engaging and actual fun quick time events for once that make you question every decision you make, great character development, immersive environments that really makes you feel like you're in a camper slasher flick from the 80s, and even the ''choose your own narrative'' slogan, not actually being a slogan, but being an actual FACT. Its just so damn good. Even with the camera and slow down in pacing moments. So what's my verdict? should I give this a thumbs down or... does it get the GameNChick Pass? ''*SCREW YOUR PASS*''. Hey Nancy, that's rude! I'm trying to give my verdict here. So with crazy rude Nancy aside, my verdict is clear, GameNChick says BUY NOW.