Various psychos and n’er-do-wells have been slashing their way through summer camps for decades now, and at this point, it’s hard to put a new spin on it. However, Supermassive Games, the studio behind Until Dawn, decided to throw its hat in the ring with The Quarry.

The Quarry takes place at Hackett’s Quarry Summer Camp. In the prologue, we meet two counselors who run into a bit of trouble trying to make their way there, but the story doesn’t really start until the last day of camp two months later. The game centers around a group of camp counselors preparing for the trip back to civilization. However, when a lovesick dope sabotages the transportation in a desperate bid to convince his summer girlfriend to become something more permanent, they become stranded.

Unfortunately for the counselors, there’s something seriously wrong at Hackett’s Quarry. The head counselor, Chris Hackett, nervously leaves the group to fend for themselves, and as night falls, it becomes obvious that someone or something is prowling through the woods.

The gang has one objective: to survive until morning. But, unfortunately, they don’t know how hard that’ll be.

The game has nine playable characters, but you only have to worry about controlling one at a time. Each part puts you in the shoes of a counselor, and you must make decisions for them. It’s important to note that each dialog choice, quick-time event, and item you pick up can influence the story. Through your actions, characters can fall in love, lose limbs, find inner peace, or be ruthlessly slaughtered. As a bonus, you might notice some familiar faces, like David Arquette and Ted Raimi.


Each counselor represents a different horror archetype. You have the jock, the clown, the preppy, popular girl, the quiet loner, etcetera. At first, I thought they’d just be homages to slasher mainstays, but the writing brought a lot of humanity to each of them. The fear they experience draws them out of their shells, and I was astonished when I started to root for characters who annoyed me the first time I saw them.

One of my favorite aspects of Supermassive’s games is the high stakes. Every character you meet can live or die (aside from one minor one), and all it takes is a missed button prompt or a bad decision for someone to meet their doom.

I applaud the decision to make players live with whatever happens during their first playthrough (unless they bought the Deluxe Edition, which unlocks the Death Rewind feature from the start). That constant pressure gives The Quarry a thrill that few other games can meet.

Most of the game plays out via cutscenes, making it feel like one big ten-hour horror flick. The Quarry kind of blurs the line between “interactive media” and “video game,” so this is where things might fall apart for some people. It’s best to go into this knowing there are spurts of gameplay with vast seas of cutscenes.

However, just because you’re watching a cutscene doesn’t mean you can’t influence what’s happening. Often, a scene will pause for you to make a dialog decision or choose an action to take. There are also quick-time events that pop up now and again, which add some thrill to an otherwise passive experience.

You’ll get the chance to explore some of the camp’s locales when you’re not watching the action play out. You usually just need to walk from point A to point B for these sections to keep the game going. However, if you take the time to explore, you’ll find clues that give you more background on what’s going on at Hackett’s Quarry. They also clarify some points that would be confusing if you just ran through wearing blinders.

If you just want to watch what happens, you can use Movie Mode. This mode allows you to select from a few presets like “Everyone Lives” or “Everyone Dies” or customize how each playable character will react in a particular situation. There’s even a Gorefest setting, which lets you see the bloodiest possible version of the story. Once Movie Mode is started, you can watch the entire game from beginning to end with no input required.

The Quarry is a great game to enjoy with friends, but unfortunately, I had to go solo. The team working on multiplayer for the game was based in Ukraine, and the servers had to be moved from Kyiv to Warsaw in the runup to launch. Fortunately, the move has been completed, and multiplayer is scheduled to launch by July 8.

According to what we know so far, up to eight players (one for each counselor, minus one) can join in to play together in a local co-op by passing the controller around. Alternatively, there’s an online mode where one player controls the game, and seven spectators vote on each choice. I’m personally pumped to see what a democratic playthrough will look like.

Supermassive has minted another hit with The Quarry, and horror fans will love how it twists beloved tropes into a unique and satisfying blend. Of course, some players might crave a bit more interactivity. Still, if you approach it with the right mindset, it’s an incredibly gratifying experience.

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