I Played the Summer Camp Horror Game The Quarry — Here’s What I Liked
My hands-on preview with Supermassive Games’ spiritual successor to Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures Anthology takes place towards the beginning of the game, right after the camp counsellors at Hackett’s Quarry decide to throw a party to celebrate the last night of summer camp. When the preview begins, the counsellors are gathering firewood and snacks, and taking the last opportunity to flirt with their summer crushes. I got to play as a few different counsellors during my time with the game, and it’s fun to live out those early, carefree moments. They also help The Quarry avoid the cliché of being a horror with no moments of happiness.
Until Dawn started in a similar way — a group of friends gathered for a party, but even that felt sinister. The Dark Pictures Anthology is a collection of short games that don’t really have time to set up a bright and cheery introduction before the horror begins. But playing through this section of The Quarry reminded me of shows like The Haunting of Bly Manor — it’s definitely a horror game, but that horror doesn’t take place in a void. The game lets you enjoy these peaceful moments while they last.
But they don’t last for long. Will Byles, the creative director at Supermassive Games, told us that The Quarry is inspired by a few different horror genres. I got a glimpse of at least two in the preview, and I feel like there’s more to uncover. It’s up to you, playing as each of the nine counsellors throughout the course of the game, to survive these horrors and make it out alive. And things can go wrong so easily. Miss a QTE (which Byles also told us can be turned off) and trip as you’re fleeing from a monster in the woods? You might get another chance to save yourself, or that might be the end of that character. Make the wrong decision or say the wrong thing and you might irreparably damage your relationship with another character.
Like the previous games, The Quarry will feature local co-op mode and the best way to play will be on the couch with friends. It’s become the standard way to play Supermassive games — each player takes control of one character and gets the controller whenever the game switches to that character. You have to try to keep your character alive, but there are always opportunities to rescue — or doom — other characters. The Quarry will also feature online play for up to eight people, where invited players watch along and vote on key decisions.
The characters might be Supermassive’s best, and the great performances of Hollywood stars helps the game avoid the awkwardness that can accompany games like this. The Quarry cast includes David Arquette, Ariel Winter, Justice Smith, Brenda Song, Skyler Gisondo and more, and
It’s also the most beautiful game they’ve made. I played it on PC and the faces look especially realistic — the characters actually look like the actors who play them, which can be hard in games. The shadows are also particularly spooky, which is good because I expect a lot of the game will involve running and hiding in dark forests and cabins.
In terms of story, setting, graphics and player immersion, The Quarry is the most ambitious game Supermassive has made, and my hands-on preview makes me confident they’re going to pull it off. I already want to spend more time in this happy, sexy, mysterious, scary world. The Quarry release date is June 10 and it will be available on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC. Get up to speed on everything we know about The Quarry here.