Since 2015, Supermassive Games has been renowned for its multiple-choice narrative games. Reputation he obtained by giving us the very good Until Dawn, a narrative survival horror surfing on a very slasher atmosphere and American teen movie. After that, the studio began to burn its wings with its anthology The Dark Pictures, whose three episodes released did not win unanimous support among fans. However, this does not prevent Supermassive from having a certain aura. And when he announced the arrival of The Quarry, thus operating a return to slasher à la Until Dawn, the hype rose at once. Deserved?
Massacre at summer camp
Born from an unexpected collaboration with 2K, The Quarry is therefore a kind of spiritual sequel to Until Dawn. It should be understood by this thathe uses the same stringsand not that the frames are linked.
The Quarry sets its scene in the USA, near a holiday camp where we will play, in turn, teenagers who have finished their season as camp monitors. The game opens as our youngsters prepare to leave summer camp, except that due to a history of hormones, they finally find themselves stuck for at least one more night, which the director, played by David Arquette, does not appreciate. The latter suddenly panics and ends up leaving the teenagers there, asking them (screaming in truth) to stay locked up in the chalet during the night, until he returns with a vehicle. Obviously, our young Americans do not hear it with the same ear and decide to celebrate this last night in front of a campfire, beers in hand. You suspect that things will quickly escalate and maybe even end in bloodshed depending on your choices.
Since yes, The Quarry is a slasher where each character is a life to take. It’s up to you, your savvy and your choices, to keep them alive until sunrise., and it won’t be easy. Surfing on the big strings of the slasher of the 90s, The Quarry bombards us with gender referencesas much in his staging, his sometimes cutesy dialogues between the teenagers, as in the clichés he tends to abuse at times.
The Quarry is certainly an excellent vintage
And this is particularly noticeable in the range of characters whose character traits are often a bit forced as if we hadn’t understood their role in the comedy. Among our souls to be saved, we will therefore have the right to the sportsman who is a little neuneu, but with a big heart, the reserved intellectual who has the nose in his sketchbook, the young outsider, the hottie influencer on social networks who does not hesitate not to bring down the jersey, the lover who tangles his brushes with the girls and the fellows just there to serve as cannon fodder, even if they have the merit of taking a slightly more important place than their cinematographic counterparts . Of course, other more secondary characters (friends as well as enemies) gravitate around our group of teenagers and are also entitled to their own clichés, such as the sinister cop who gets too comfortable, or the real/fake crackpots who never speak to play it mysterious and try to create tension, even if we see events happen from miles away.
This is also one of the weak points of The Quarry. If the game is rather well written (and so much the better since it is very talkative) he uses and abuses clichés of the genreso thatit is enough to have seen 2 or 3 films of the genre to see the plot arrive like an elephant in a corridor. We quickly manage to identify the characters (allies or not), our heroes are predictable as are the situations in which they find themselves. The Quarry is, at this point, less surprising than Until Dawn was.
Fortunately, the app has the chance to take advantage of the best of Supermassive in terms of writing and directing. The production is very cinematic and the rhythm, which has a little trouble starting, remains very good. We juggle between free gameplay with a little explorationwhere we can notably find objects such as clues or evidence allowing us to know more about what is happening in the camp, dialogues full of tension and particularly breathtaking sequences. We will nevertheless pester on the QTEs, always present obviously, far too permissiveand it will be the same for the choices to be made which will always leave us too much time to reflect. It’s damaging in the sense that the action is interrupted by long slow motions to let the player make his choice, which often brings the tension down, and we actually quickly get out of it without damage. . In The Quarry choices are ultimately made on the basis of logic, instead of instinct., whereas it is above all the latter that is solicited when one is put in a state of stress (danger, fear, etc.). Despite everything, Supermassive does everything possible to put us in very bad positions to cover our tracks when the choice arrives. It should be understood by this that, if there are many decisions to be made, they are often multiple and all have direct (or indirect) consequences, which will change the events to come, your relations with the other characters or other. We are only very rarely faced with choices with two options A or B, good or bad, and that is a very good thing.
In The Quarry choices are ultimately made on the basis of logic, instead of instinct.
We note for example the very good idea that the studio had to integrate natural branches into its gameplay, like when we are asked to make decisions with our finger on the trigger of a gun pointed straight ahead. In this kind of situation, the fact of shooting or not, the target or our precision can have different impacts on the course of the adventure. This style of scenes abounds in The Quarry, and brings a new dimension to the genre which therefore becomes much more natural and less Manichean.. We will also note a system of tarot cards to find ourselves in the decor. And when I say ourselves, I mean us as a player and not our avatar since yes, The Quarry also breaks the fourth wall with this mechanic and a character embodied by Grace Zabriskie, completely possessed by her role. The latter can indeed, after the end of each chapter, read the future to you thanks to the cards. A nice feature that works a bit like the totems of Until Dawn and which, here too, may be able to make the task too easy for some seasoned players. Fortunately, you don’t have to accept the help of this “seer”, although you will be forced to meet her.
All roads lead to The Quarry
In all cases, the repercussions of your choices are very, very, very, many and offer real replayability. It is possible to lose some characters very early in the adventure. What changes, not the backstory, we are not there yet, but the events that will lead us to the outcome. Moreover, the latter disappoints as it is shipped.
The developers had indeed made tons of it by announcing around 180 different endings when in reality there are clearly not many. Supermassive, certainly for the communication, has a little (a lot in fact) magnified the changes and alludes (it seems to me) here to a few lines of text during the epilogue which will establish a big summary of your adventure once the scenario is over. The end is a cold shower, literally, there is nothing very nice to get your teeth into and the software ends in one block, without even letting us have a concrete overview of our actions. However, we will have access to several diagrams drawn using our choices allowing us to see the causes and consequences via a dedicated menu. But that’s it, and if there are final scenes, I’ll do my mea culpa in advance since I would have completely missed it, even after seeing no less than 15 or 20 “different” endings.
But as the saying goes, “it’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey”, and the journey is clearly worth living, in addition to being able to be replayed, just to enjoy the performance of the actors, and their bloody killing.
The end is a cold shower… but as the saying goes, “it’s not the destination that counts, it’s the journey”
The Quarry indeed benefits from a 5-star castwhere we will also find many heads known as Grace Zabriskie, Ted Raimi, Ariel Winter, Justice Smith, Halston Sage or David Arquette and Lance Henriksen. The actors are here faithfully transcribed on the screen and really embody their character. The protagonists (and antagonists) are convincing, touching, or sometimes even really frightening and in any case very endearing. Their performance is also perfectly well transcribed thanks to extremely detailed face modeling, perhaps even a bit too much.
The Quarry offers an explosive technical spectacle to such an extent that in certain sequences it is difficult to tell the difference between the pixel avatar and the actor on the screen. This is all the more true for Laura (Siobhan Williams) and Kaitlyn (Brenda Song), sumptuous, who really give of themselves and bring their virtual double to life with disconcerting naturalness. Special mention also to Ted Raimi who gives us an excellent performance as a creepy cop.
However, thehe studio has pushed the facial animations a bit too hard when trying to show us strong emotions. When some of our heroes scream, laugh or smile, their faces sometimes tend to display forced features that are not at all natural and if this is visible it is in particular because everything else is close to perfection such as micro movements of the face, muscle contractions or tremor of the eyes for example.
On the other hand, the technical prowess is felt a lot on the decorations which sometimes have the ugly habit of getting us out of textures late, or which put us under the nose of the somewhat coarse vegetation. Fortunately, the artistic direction and the very cinematic photography make up for it all and the game immerses us in its atmosphere without any problem. To tell you the truth, my first part of 9am was literally done in one go, as if I was watching a good little horror movie.
The studio also surfs on this aspect to the end and offers a cinema mode allowing you to follow the game without playing, just watching it roll by like a feature film. It will also be possible to choose whether you want a good ending (everyone makes it) or a bad one (everyone dies). This last option will be an opportunity to take advantage killings that are sometimes very gory, and impeccably well staged. You can also increase hemoglobin through the Gore Festival mode, if you have purchased the deluxe version of the software. Finally, a director mode will allow you to configure in advance the psychology of the different actors, like during a film shoot, to scroll through a custom feature film, or replay the game in a classic way using extra lives (limited to three per game) allowing you to experience several paths without taking the risk to kill your characters. You can also do your tests by restarting specific chapters once the game has been completed for the first time.