The Quarry review: Supermassive’s best cinematic horror yet

2K Games
2K Games /

Title: The Quarry
Developer: Supermassive Games
Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: PS4, PS5 (Reviewed on), Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC
Release Date: June 10, 2022

Look at several lists of the best horror games out there and you are almost sure to find Supermassive’s game Until Dawn on at least one, if not all, of them. When it was released in 2015, the graphics blew players away and it was a story we could really sink our teeth into…get it?? Since then, Supermassive has released three installments of the Dark Pictures Anthology but they never itched that part of our brain that Until Dawn did. With the surprise release of The Quarry and a return to an Until Dawn-type format, the bar was set high and damn if The Quarry didn’t live up to expectations. The question is, what makes The Quarry work so much better than the similar games released before it?

The Quarry’s release in the summer was the exact perfect time for it. Set at the end of summer camp just as the last of the campers left, the counselors at Hackett’s Quarry are heading out until next season. Hurried along by owner of the camp Chris Hackett (David Arquette), counselors Emma (Halston Sage), Jacob (Zack Tinker), Dylan (Miles Robbins), Ryan (Justice Smith), Nick (Evan Evagora) and Kaitlyn (Brenda Song) go to leave but their van won’t start, thanks to the genius plan by Jacob to get Emma back. The counselors are left at the camo overnight and told to stay inside by Chris but kids will be kids and no one listens.

All hell breaks loose after sundown when the counselors are sandwiched between creatures that want to rip out their throats and homicidal hunters. Along the way, players will see some familiar faces like Lin Shaye, Lance Henricksen, Grace Zabriskie, Skylar Gisondo, Siobhan Williams, Ethan Suplee and Ted Raimi.

The Quarry evidence
2K Games /

Straight out of the gate, the graphics look way better than in previous games. There are moments where someone will have a wonky eye or droopy mouth and you’re not sure if that’s a glitch in the game or someone messed up when placing motion capture sensors. Even though those moments are funny, they don’t affect the gameplay. While there is no run option and it still feels like the character you’re playing is walking through molasses, the controls in The Quarry are the best they’ve ever felt. There are cinematic camera angles that increase the horror aspect of the game but you have more control over what you see and that makes a huge difference when playing.

In the past, the QTEs have been an absolute nightmare. I have mentioned in my past reviews of these games that I am directionally dyslexic and during Man of Medan, the QTEs were so fast, I didn’t have time to process the directions and nearly every character died. One misstep and you could say goodbye to anyone, with no second chances.

With every Dark Pictures Anthology release, the controls got better as Supermassive listened to the feedback they were getting. Maybe some people will say that the gameplay mechanics in The Quarry are too easy or that the game was holding players’ hands. Maybe that’s true but it was nice to survive the game with only one dead character in the end.

2K Games
2K Games /

If a character dies, you have three chances throughout the game to rewind time and do things differently to save them. In past games, most characters were so unlikable that I didn’t care much who lived or died but The Quarry is a whole different animal. These characters are so much more fleshed out and distinct that you immediately have favorites that you want to make it to the end. I wanted so badly for Kaitlyn and Dylan to make it through and thankfully in my playthrough, they did. Jacob was the only one to bite that dust but given that the whole night was kind of his fault, I only felt a little bad for him.

In past games, even with Until Dawn, I found myself getting really bored about halfway through or even earlier but the story surrounding Hackett’s Quarry was so interesting, that I couldn’t put it down. From the first fifteen minutes of the game, the ball started rolling and it didn’t stop until the sun came up. It might be one of the most fun narrative games to play currently and that’s saying a lot considering there are some games with incredible stories out there.

The Quarry is better than its predecessors due to its story, its characters and its game mechanics. All of them came together in a perfect marriage of comedy, horror and good ole fun gameplay. If you want a challenge, play Elden Ring. But if you want fun that you can play alone or with friends, The Quarry is the game of the summer, in my oh-so-humble opinion. Forget horror for Halloween, summer is the new spooky time.

You can play The Quarry now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X and PC. I can’t recommend this game enough. It’s the perfect game for a good scary campfire story.

The Quarry (PS5) Score: 9/10

Coming straight out of left field, The Quarry surprises gamers with a fun and scary story, great (albeit sometimes buggy) graphics and gameplay that shows the devs actually listen to the players. Say hello to your game of the summer.

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.