Ever since Super Heavy Games† Until sunrise appeared in 2015 and has become a cult classic in many circles. Fans of slashers movies, fans of choice-based stories, fans of Hayden Panettiere and Rami Malek–Until sunrise contained something for everyone and has carved out its place in the horror gaming canon. But like the countless sequels that have sprung from cult classic slasher movies, the Supermassive Games successors are Until sunrise in the form of The Dark Pictures Anthology have proven to be polarizing for the public. Many have stated that the new games haven’t replicated the OG’s performance or built on the foundation it laid.
comes in the quarry† Supermassive Games, published in collaboration with 2K, took the bold step of explicitly labeling it as the spiritual successor to Until sunrisebringing in star power like David Arquette† Ted Raimiand Lin Shaye Startup. With a group of hormonal teens in the woods and snarling creatures on the horizon, the formula is there — but has it paid off this time?
If you needed an indication that the quarry is essentially a teen slasher movie where you inject yourself, let the opening scene of ominous shots of the forest accompanied by Ariana Grande’s dreamy song “Moonlight” set the mood. Familiar tropes will appear; should you listen to the overbearing cop, portrayed with the perfect eccentricity you’d expect from Ted Raimi, telling you not to come to camp one night early? Not really! Is there a scary locked basement that makes strange noises? Of course you will fall for it (all while referencing The Evil Death† That is immediately clear the quarry nailed the quirky tone that campy slashers typically use, and genre aficionados are sure to get a kick out of it.
The premise is familiar yet fresh, and after a tense prologue that leaves the fate of two hapless camp counselors in the dark, three months later you step out into the daylight to meet the rest of the crew. At the end of summer at Hackett’s Quarry Summer Camp, seven counselors have one last hurray on the night they were due to leave after amorous jock Jacob sabotage the camper van to spend more time with social media influencer Emma. They are joined by other living archetypes: mysterious loner Ryan (Justice Smith), quirky tinkerer Kaitlyn (Brenda Song), and shy and arty Abigail (Ariel Winter) to name a few, but not camp director Chris Hackett (David Arquette), who abruptly jumps into his car and zooms away. Will they heed Chris’s warning to stay indoors for the night? Of course not!
The first few chapters serve as an opportunity to get to know each of the characters, explore the camp, and go through a handful of gameplay tutorials. In general, these chapters give a slow burning sensation as the sun begins to set and the fun begins, but sometimes it can feel very sluggish. While you don’t watch cutscenes or interact with objects in the environment, most of what you do in these chapters is either making trivial dialogue choices or encountering mundane QTEs (quick-time events) to the extent that you catch something that another counselor has given you. thrown . The sense of danger feels largely non-existent, and if you’re not playing with the counselors, this part of the game can be a bit of a slog. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the one-liners, cringing at others, but most of all yearning for the moment when it started to feel like my choices were the deciding factor in whether someone lived or was beheaded.
Fortunately, as the sun went down, the fear factor rose.
the horror of the quarry ended up in the middle for me – there are some pretty brutal murders (with one murder in particular being one of the most gruesome murders I’ve seen in horror media) and some intense chase scenes, but overall I found it more exciting than something else . It is effective for an informal audience. If you’re a huge horror fan, there are a handful of moments that are sure to scratch the itch, and if you’re a little more apprehensive about the thought of being so scared that you’re going to pee yourself, the quarry never pushes the boundaries of being utterly terrifying. I found myself more intrigued by investigating exactly what was happening in the camp than I was afraid to dive into the woods and explore.
Without falling into spoilers, the quarry features complex story elements that raise the bar a little higher than just who lives and who dies. Once you’ve discovered the secret of Hackett’s Quarry, you should start thinking about both the short-term and long-term goals you have for the night. There’s a swarm of counselors out there, and planning to release them all will take a lot of strategic thinking and luck. While it wasn’t available at release, an online co-op multiplayer mode will be coming in July which is sure to make it an even more exciting choice and strategy game.
Instead of Peter Stormare’s therapist character that would appear in between chapters Until sunrisethe ghostly Eliza Vorez (Grace Zabriskie) will now appear with a crystal ball and give players clues after each chapter if they are able to pick up her tarot cards scattered around the camp. Additionally, Supermassive Games included a number of quality of life improvements for the more casual gamer. QTEs are much easier to get into, and if you prefer a completely hands-off experience, a cinematic mode lets you select the exact playthrough you want to see (everyone lives, everyone dies, etc.) all unfolds.
The second half of the quarry had me drawn in a lot more, and when I finally understood what the counselors were up to, the game played like a thriller novel that turns pages. All the plot elements manage to reconcile and towards the end the dots between all the different characters begin to connect fluidly. I was hoping for some more of the epilogue after I managed to save my group of counselors, but when I realized how many endings I could have gotten otherwise, it made me respect how much the quarry has to offer.
In general I feel that the quarry gets the Until sunrise therapy. The goofy one-liners, wide range of endings, gnarly murders and dramatic story behind what happened in Hackett’s Quarry will become familiar memes and facets in horror games. While I don’t believe it completely surpassed the original, I appreciate the ways Supermassive Games innovated the formula, especially seeing how they’ve learned lessons from The Dark Pictures Anthology† I would say the quarry looks a lot like Halloween III: It might not land for everyone, but for those who do, they’ll probably make it a cult classic.
the quarry is now available on most platforms, including Playstation 4 & 5, Xbox One, and PC.