The Quarry Review

Richard Walker

If The Quarry proves one thing, it's that developer Supermassive Games seems entirely more comfortable crafting horror stories over a longer runtime. To date, its Dark Pictures output has been patchy at best, and perhaps that's down to the constraints of an episodic anthology and a comparatively constricted space in which to let its stories breathe. And, given how much more accomplished The Quarry is next to the half-baked horror of Man of Medan, Little Hope, and House of Ashes, you can't help but think Supermassive might be better off sticking to something more long form – this is so much more effective than the studio's recent efforts, even if it leans heavily into several horror-movie tropes.

Who will survive and what will be left of them?

It all starts in a typically dark and slow-burn fashion, as new camp counsellors Laura and Max drive down a pitch-black country road to Hackett's Quarry Summer Camp. Of course, it's not long before the journey is beset by unforeseen troubles, and you find yourself, as Laura, exploring a moonlit forest with the light from a smartphone. Flickers of a ghostly whispering figure flit across the screen, and, before you know it, you're running like the wind back to the safety of your stranded vehicle. But is it ever really safe? It seldom feels like you can relax in The Quarry, especially with Ted Raimi’s dubious sheriff on patrol. Even during the quieter moments, there's an all-pervading sense that something could happen at any given time, and, often, at least during the game's earlier chapters, not much does.

Fortunately, this steady build-up and character development pays dividends. Where The Dark Pictures episodes had little time to set the scene, The Quarry's first few chapters take due time and care to establish the cast and setting, so that when something does eventually happen, the stakes feel much higher. Granted, the core line-up of potential murder victims broadly fulfils the usual stereotypes of goofy jock, awkward geeky girl, awkward geeky guy, wise-cracking overly confident guy, and wise-cracking overly confident girl, but each have just enough peccadilloes and character quirks to make them at least mildly interesting. Indeed, you might actually care, if and/or when your decisions end up subjecting them to a grisly fate. Again, sorry to harp on about The Dark Pictures, but when one of those dullards got done in, I wasn't particularly bothered.

In The Quarry, protagonists Jacob, Emma, Nick, Abigail, Dylan, Ryan, and Kaitlyn aren't initially all that likeable, as they happily rip the piss out of one another, and have little else to add in terms of compelling dialogue. Evidently, tensions have been building during their time at summer camp, and David Arquette's Chris Hackett, proprietor and camp leader at Hackett's Quarry, is keen to get them the hell out of there before sundown. Only, Jacob's a stupid idiot, and does something that means the crew have to spend one more night on the camp grounds. That's to say nothing of the oddballs lurking in the forest perimeter surrounding Hackett lodge. As the horror mounts and the narrative unspools, however, we learn more about each character, and grow to enjoy spending time in their (slightly smug) company.

Obviously, The Quarry doesn't keep its powder dry for too long, hitting you with fraught chase sequences and combat encounters, the latter invariably involving a shotgun. The game's analogue stick QTEs are fairly lightweight and almost impossible to fail, unless you're distracted – perhaps the idea here is that failure is a deliberate decision on your part, rather than a slip of the fingers. There are junctures at which you can also choose to interrupt an event or dialogue exchange, and some of these can be beneficial or end up consigning you to a less desirable outcome. Certain choices are entirely out of your hands, and many of these can be entirely questionable, in true horror movie fashion.

Mr. Hackett is a nice guy, right? Right?!

Between binary dialogue choices, direction-based or button-mashing quick-time events, and the occasional bit where you have to shoot, you can walk around freely, searching for clues, evidence, useful items, and tarot cards. Irritatingly, your character casually strolls along at a frustratingly slow pace, especially for someone caught in such a desperate, potentially fatal situation, and the ability to walk a tiny bit faster by holding down LB doesn't help all that much. I don't expect to be able to sprint everywhere, but surely a light jogging pace isn't too much to ask? Regardless, when danger inevitably comes jumping out of the bushes, Jacob, Kaitlyn, Ryan et al. have no problem breaking into a full-on run, as control is wrested from your hands and the cutscene QTEs kick in.

While The Quarry isn't necessarily all that scary, it does a fantastic job of conjuring a foreboding atmosphere, with gorgeous lighting, cinematic presentation, and each chapter interspersed by a visit to a mysterious fortune teller, Eliza, who'll offer a reading of the tarot cards you've managed to track down. Humorous animated tutorials, the hands-off Movie Mode, and a 'pass-the-controller' couch co-op option for enjoying the journey with a friend, help to flesh out the experience, while the myriad endings and branching paths encourage repeat playthroughs. With Friday The 13th vibes, and a love of 1980s creature features, The Quarry is Supermassive's best game since Until Dawn, and an effective thriller that's a joy to watch and play.

The Quarry

Wearing its VHS horror influences on its sleeve, The Quarry is an engaging and immensely entertaining choice-driven adventure with a killer cast and a fun, knowingly silly storyline.

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A soundtrack that wouldn't be out of place in any 1980s horror flick, and superb atmospheric effects. Wonderful.


Supremely polished and cinematic, The Quarry looks terrific. Every member of the game's cast has been lovingly rendered, and mo-capped performances are excellent.


While much of the game is spent watching passively, the QTEs, 'button burst' moments, choices, and exploration make for an engaging experience.


Single-player, co-op mode, Movie Mode, and a post-game chapter select offer plenty to do, while the range of accessibility options are more than welcome.


Achievements that demand discovering every collectible, attaining every outcome, and engineering certain moments. Multiple playthroughs are required, but this is a decent list overall.

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