After the success of Until Dawn, Supermassive Games has been pretty regular in its delivery of horror titles with The Dark Pictures Anthology. The Quarry is very much in the same vein but also a bit different with 2K Games as the publisher. It also offers more of a “teen horror” bent than its more recent horror titles along with various new gameplay features. Releasing on June 10th for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5, and PC, let’s take a look at 13 things you should know before picking it up.
Story and Setting
The setting is Hackett’s Quarry. Summer camp is officially out and a group of teen counselors is getting ready to party. But just before the fun can begin, they’re suddenly beset by all kinds of threats, from crazed locals to, as the developer describes it, “something far more sinister.” The nine teens must survive until daylight while the player controls each one, making choices that could determine whether they live or die.
Choice and Consequence
As with Supermassive’s Until Dawn and The Dark Pictures Anthology, The Quarry is all about making choices and facing the consequences. Investigate a scream off in the distance or don’t. Abandon your friends or try to save them. Choose to be a hero or run for your life (and keep in mind that bravery isn’t always the correct choice). Whether you get everyone out alive or rack up the body count, intentionally or not, it’s all ultimately up to you.
There are nine playable characters in total, each with their own unique personalities and relationships. There’s some pretty strong talent on board with Ariel Winter playing Abigail; Lin Shaye playing Constance; David Arquette playing Chris; and much more. With so many horror movie veterans on board, not to mention realistic facial capture, the terror should be that much more pronounced.
10-12 Ways to Die (Each)
Surviving the night with all nine teens intact (both physically and mentally) is a tough task. Speaking to IGN, director Will Byles said that each character has 10 to 12 different potential deaths. So even if you prevent one potential death scenario, there’s no guarantee that said character is safe for the rest of your playthrough. Byles described the narrative as “a circular story and each one of those characters is a spoke heading towards the middle.” As such, one character death won’t cause the entire thing to collapse. And if you’re keen to kill off everyone, then there are more than enough ways to get the job done.
Until Dawn Connection
Interestingly, The Quarry has been discussed in the same vein as Until Dawn, Supermassive’s breakout title that also featured a cast of teens fighting for survival. Director Will Byles echoed this connection when speaking to IGN, noting that Until Dawn was “definitely very, very much” going for “a teen horror feel.” “It wasn’t cliche. But we kind of definitely pushed it towards the stereotype of teen horror. We’re doing the exact same thing on this. There’s a level of humor in there, there’s a lightness.”
In terms of gameplay length, Byles said that most playthroughs should take about 10 hours. If each character faces an “early” death, then the runtime can easily be whittled down to seven hours. The average play length is probably somewhere in the middle but the more characters you can keep alive, the better. Those seeking more value can pursue different endings and new collectible cards.
It wouldn’t be a Supermassive horror game without multiple endings. The Quarry continues in that regard but offers even more reasons to replay the game with collectible cards. These showcase the conclusion for each character once a playthrough has concluded with 187 different cards to collect. Previous titles in The Dark Pictures Anthology offered numerous different endings that went beyond everyone just being alive or dead. It should be interesting to see if The Quarry will be even more diverse in this regard. If nothing else, collecting all of the cards is a nice incentive to keep coming back.
After finishing the game once, a new option called Death Rewind becomes available for future runs. It allows for undoing up to three character deaths for that playthrough. So if you happen to avoid a character dying in one way but not in the 11 others, then this is a handy way to slightly tilt the odds in your favor.
If you prefer to sit back and watch the entire game as one long movie, then Movie Mode is the way to go. There are options for having everyone live or die but the Director’s Chair is the most interesting. This allows for customizing each character’s behavior based on the situation and then watching how the AI directs the story. Characters can be Sympathetic or Inconsistent in conversations; Adept when under pressure or Clumsy; and Composed or Flustered in more violent situations. Tons of potential outcomes are possible, making it all the more interesting to see who comes out on top.
What if you want to play for the story and not have to deal with failing any of the situations? There are various accessibility options to tweak like timers for the speed of interruptions, an aim assist option, easier quick time events and more. Combat gameplay can also be removed entirely. If that weren’t enough, accessibility options can be customized per character, so if you’re playing with others then you can retain the traditional experience while they opt for something easier.
Local and Online Multiplayer
Speaking of multiplayer, local couch co-op is supported and sees each player controlling a different character and making different decisions. You can also play online with up to seven players who vote on key choices and hopefully not kill off the entire cast in a matter of hours. If you’ve experienced multiplayer in any of The Dark Pictures Anthology titles, then The Quarry’s offerings should be very familiar.
The minimum requirements for The Quarry on PC include an AMD FX-8350 or Intel Core i5-3570 with 8 GB of RAM and either a Radeon RX 470 or Nvidia GeForce GTX 780. Recommended specifications are fairly hefty with a Ryzen 7-3800XT or Core i9-10900K, 16 GB of RAM and either an RX 5700 or RTX 2060 being necessary. In both cases, you’ll need 50 GB of available installation space.
Filters and Gorefest Movie Mode
Want to give your playthrough a different cinematic flair? The Horror History Visual Filter Pack can help. As a free bonus for pre-ordering, it provides three filters – Indie Horror, which gives a film grain-style effect to the action; 80’s Horror that turns the game into a VHS-style movie; and Classic Horror for black and white chills and thrills. If you pick up the Deluxe Edition, then along with the base game, you get 80’s themed character outfits (which arrive post-launch by July 8th); the Horror History Visual Filter Pack; instant access to Death Rewind; and Gorefest Movie Mode which significantly ups the amount of blood content.