If you've ever watched a teen horror movie and found yourself yelling at a character as they run upstairs instead of outside, The Quarry is here to help as it puts you in control of 9 teenagers as they try to survive a night of terror.
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The summer camp counselors of Hackett's Quarry are packing up, ready to leave, and saying goodbye to the friends they made during their stay with the kids. The owner of the camp, Chris Hackett, seems to be in quite the rush to get them out of there while resident dumbass Jacob is intent on finding any way to keep the fun going even if it means sabotaging their vehicle. When the engine fails, Chris reluctantly tells the group that they will have to stay another night but they must remain indoors and be quiet. In typical teen slasher movie style, this group of teens is having none of that so after Chris leaves, they start to set up for one last outdoor party with as much fireworks, music, and booze as they can find. The whole game takes place over this one night as you experience each character's fight for survival against an unknown force that appears to be terrorizing them. v1d30chumz 3-239-112-140
Throughout the 10 chapters with each lasting about an hour, you'll start out with a group of teenagers and gradually find yourself controlling one of them. Then, you'll play as one of a couple and eventually, characters on their own will fight for their life. After the initial shriek of Abigail is heard in the trees when she witnesses Nick get mauled by a strange creature, the group is on edge and one by one, they are separated from the pack and pushed to their limits. Uncovering the truth behind what's attacking the teens is a fun ride with some interesting twists although nothing that I didn't see coming which is typical for the few slasher movies I have sat through.
I actually found the situations that the characters got in to be more interesting than the overarching story. For example, at one point, I had to decide if a character should intentionally get bitten because they were bleeding out and supposedly, getting bitten has a reaction that causes your body to heal but also locks you into other long-term effects. In another scenario, I was controlling a big machine on a tower in a scrapyard as I tried to save the life of another character while she fought off a creature on the ground and it was pretty thrilling knowing that if I messed up just one quick-time event, she would likely bite the dust.
These intense moments had me rooting for this group of otherwise incredibly annoying teenagers; that is, until someone would blurt out another cringey line and then I'd go back to making bad decisions in the hopes of having them die as soon as possible. Even though the story held me throughout most of the game, the writing for the majority of the teenagers is eye-rolling but I was expecting that to a degree given the genre. Let's face it; if I had actually liked all of the characters then I probably wouldn't have been as flippant with some of my choices which would have resulted in a less interesting story, right? 😅
Anyway, these choices determine the path that you'll go down and they have knock-on effects later which can impact the life of other characters. This includes very early and seemingly inconsequential decisions such as putting a cute toy in your bag with the intention of returning it to the kid who left it. With so many paths to go down, The Quarry thankfully lists many of these decisions in the menu so you can reflect on how you got to where you are in the story. Unfortunately, you can't use this menu to replay small portions to change the timeline at all as it's just for your information. After you finish The Quarry, you can access chapter select but with each chapter lasting over an hour and no option to skip dialogue available, it really makes it a chore to replay it all over again.
Besides chapter select, the Deluxe Edition also gives you up to 3 death rewinds from the start which allows you to rewind time and prevent the death of a character as soon as they meet their maker. In the regular version, this is unlocked on subsequent playthroughs. Either way, 3 rewinds will likely not be enough if you want to keep every character alive as there are many bad choices to make that are not always obvious. Personally, I enjoyed knowing that I could end up killing off everyone in the game if I wasn't careful as I've always been drawn to systems with a certain amount of randomness to them.
Unfortunately, there is a known issue where if you don't make a certain decision in the first chapter, it can affect whether or not they die in one of the much later chapters and choosing to rewind time apparently sets you all the way back to chapter 1 to change that initial decision which is rather annoying for those who went down that path. The developers have mentioned that they're working on improving this system, though, so that's good. 😊
Besides the regular story mode, The Quarry also offers movie mode which allows you to be less involved in the gameplay. Plus, you can choose to watch the story play out with all of the characters surviving, all of them dying, or still make key decisions as you watch. I could see enjoying this mode after you've already played through The Quarry once but without the option to fast-forward scenes, I don't know why anyone would want to sit and watch the entire game for another 10 hours while rewatching many scenes again.
Couch co-op is another mode. With it, you assign each character to a player and you're then prompted to pass the controller to the next player whenever it's their character's turn. There's not a huge reason to do this but it might end up in more interesting choices being made if you can gather up to 8 players in one room and have each person control their own character.
Almost the entire game of The Quarry takes place within the campgrounds of Hackett's Quarry. It's large and sprawling; including a big wooden lodge, a dilapidated old house, a small island, docks, and many forests. If I visited this place as a child, I would have had a ton of fun but as a horror game, it also makes for an interesting backdrop. The scenery is quite attractive for the most part with impressive environmental graphics and the character models look great except for one glaring problem; specifically, with Emma's face.
For some reason, she looks like her mouth is always full of something which results in some freaky facial expressions that make it impossible to take her seriously. Other distractions include a slight glow around the edge of characters' heads when they are onscreen that looks like a badly cut-out jpeg, hair randomly moving in the middle of a scene, and how it's strange that almost every character seems to always be wet or glowing. That being said, in scenes without Emma, these graphical issues were quite minor overall.
The Quarry is a lot of fun and certainly scratches the itch of wanting to control the dimwitted characters in a teen slasher movie with the hopes of prolonging their survival or killing them all, if you prefer. At just over 10 hours, it's a good length but with so many branching paths and possible endings, I wish that replayability was executed in a more streamlined manner.
- + Seeing how your decisions change the story is impressively satisfying
- + Some scenes will keep you on edge
- + Sprawling campground is a perfect setting
- - No scene skip option hinders replayability
- - Some distracting graphical issues
- - Certain dialogue is cringeworthy