The Quarry

By on on Reviews, 10 More
close [x]

The Quarry (PC) – Review

The year was 1992. We had just purchased a new, powerful PC for the household. It was a 486DX2-66 with 8mb RAM, 540mb Hard Drive, and a dual-speed CD-ROM. It was on this PC that I got my first taste of an interactive FMV (Full Motion Video) game. The game in question was “Night Trap”, and yes it was mediocre at best.

I really liked the idea of an interactive movie-style game and in 1995, ‘Phantasmagoria’ was the next game to try and make a go of the interactive movie style. If my memory serves, Phantasmagoria turned out to be quite a good game. PC hardware at the time was the most likely reason for these types of games never really taking off.

Jump forward to now and one could argue that it is only just now, that interactive FMV games are making a comeback. However, if you expand upon the interactive genre to include not only those full-motion video interactive games but also include movie-themed interactive dramas, games such as Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, Detroit: Become Human, and in particular, Until Dawn, come to mind.

These are all games that don’t require non-stop user input to play out, but rather, user input comes in the form of “choices” that have an effect on the game’s outcome, and “QTE’s” (Quick Time Events) where user input is all about pressing the correct button within a set time limit while the action plays out on screen. All the while the outcome of the sequence is decided by how accurately the QTE button presses are executed.

Now that I have bored you enough with that long introduction, let’s get to the reason you are here, and that is to read about our time with Supermassive Games newest interactive horror game, and spiritual successor to their previous hit “Until Dawn”, “THE QUARRY”.

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.Official Website of The Quarry Horror Game

I have played all of the games I mentioned above and have thoroughly enjoyed them all, but I have yet to play any of them a second time to see what outcomes different choices might create. I have also enjoyed the cinematic style of these games and thought that if I had the time to record, edit and render a video created from my gameplay, it could easily be watched as a standalone movie.

PLAYING THE GAME

What has excited me about The Quarry is the new online and co-op modes that would normally never be an option in this style of game. The other new included mode is the ‘Movie Mode’.

Local Co-op mode or ‘Couch co-op’ allows you and up to seven friends to experience the horror together. Each player is assigned to play as one or more counselors, with one controller passed around the group each time a different counselor becomes the current playable character. Whether you decide to work together or suddenly swerve the story in a new direction is up to you!

Online multiplayer mode functions differently from the local co-op play. In this invite-only mode, a host can invite up to seven friends with access to the game to watch along. While the host plays, the audience votes on each key decision, with the majority vote determining the outcome.

While these multiplayer modes are not the traditional type of multiplayer experience you would normally get in most video games currently, it is fantastic to see the inclusion of these modes in The Quarry to not only add replay value, but allow you to enjoy the scares with friends, not just alone.

I didn’t get the chance to check out online multiplayer in my time with The Quarry, but couch co-op was ridiculously and surprisingly more enjoyable than I had thought possible.

Movie mode was the one mode I was keener than mustard to try out. With movie mode, you become the director and get to turn The Quarry into a bingeable teen horror experience. In this mode, you can determine a number of variables to make the story play out as you see fit. Decide if everyone lives or dies, or tweak specific character behavior patterns to see how each counselor will react in casual and critical situations alike.

I think the biggest issue, and perhaps, the only issue I have with The Quarry are the controls. Controlling your character took some getting used to. I tried playing on KB & Mouse, and with my XBOX Elite Wireless Controller 2. I never really got comfortable with either control method.

Hopefully, I explain this correctly, but as you move around the environment, character movement is best compared to an RPG and is split between directional control (which way you are walking/going), and where your character is facing/shining a torch/using an item (upper body movement). While it is almost second nature to modify and adapt your directional control as you navigate the environment in games such as Diablo 3, The Quarry’s controls never seemed to feel comfortable, and at times, felt like your character was moving in the complete opposite direction to where you were trying to go.

I always prefer to use my controller over KB/Mouse on my PC wherever possible, even though many would argue that I am doing myself a disservice in FPS games, but I found that using KB/Mouse was by far the better control option for The Quarry. Still not great, but much better than the controller.

AUDIO VISUAL

One of the hardest visual elements to get right in video games would have to be the human face. Or more specifically, a realistic human face that looks and moves just like a real live human. Many have come close, but thanks to sheer number of different movements and expressions a human face is capable of, I have yet to see a game that renders the human face perfectly.

Specifically, the eyes and mouth can be extremely hard to perfect.

Supermassive have done an amazing job at capturing the movements and emotions of a human face, and while they have come excruciatingly close to mastering true lifelike facial animations, they fall just short. Just.

Putting aside my nitpicking of facial animations, the rest of the game’s visuals are simply stunning. Walking through the woods with streams of moonlight shining through the forest canopy and onto the muddy floor around you shows just how much effort has been put into the graphic detail of this game.

Although I think the strength of the torchlight emitting from the mobile phone in the prologue was a touch on the wrong side of believable 😊

It should be known that my opinions about how impressive the visuals look are based upon our test PC running an i9-11900F, 64GB DDR4, RTX-3090 displaying on an Alienware 34” Ultrawide QD-OLED 3440×1440 175hz display running in HDR400 True Black mode.

Thanks to an amazing cast, the voice acting was on point throughout the entire Quarry experience. A great visual experience is one thing, but combine that with top-notch voice acting, and you can almost feel the emotions and the feelings of the characters that are portrayed in this epic interactive horror experience.

Overall, I found the story a bit slow to start with, but as the tension started to build, I felt that there was a good balance between old-school jump-scares and psychological-thriller style scare tactics that just goes to show how much passion and care went into creating this modern-day gaming & cinematic masterpiece. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with, and also sitting back & watching ‘The Quarry’.

This style of game is usually a love-it or hate-it for most people, but the beauty is, even if you don’t like the game, you still have a great horror flick with multiple endings & non-linear story arcs.

The Good

  • An Interactive Experience, Now With Multiplayer
  • Not Just A Game, Movie Mode Is A Welcome Addition
  • A Stellar Cast
  • Excellent Voice Acting
  • Horror Done Right

The Bad

  • The Controls Never Quite Feel Right
9
___
10

Written by: Kurt Frohloff

A Founder of MKAU, a gamer, a family man. I have a love of all things gaming and a wish of mine is to have more time to actually play the games we review here!

MKAUGAMING Live

A lot of the crew here at MKAU Live Stream over on TwitchTV. Be sure to check them all out via the links below.

SuBZeRO2K
ANARCHYxRISEN
FLAKK
RilfeLP
GhOsTlYFLaSh
TLCcreationsGaming
Bigfoot NZ
TheBnandez
MsJo_xoxo
Goatsaresuper
AdmiralMorkBork
MooseMad24
TheRealDippy
MrVibeAU
WhippyXD
MJ

 

 

 

MKAUGAMING PODCAST

Keep up with everything gaming with the MKAU Gaming Podcast.

Available on the following platforms:

Google Podcasts
Spotify
Breaker
Pocket Casts
RadioPublic
Anchor
Stitcher
iTunes

MKAUGAMING TWEETS