Ahead of its official release in a couple of weeks, Supermassive Games and 2K got us hands-on with a preview of their upcoming horror game The Quarry, whetting our appetites with 45-minutes of heart-pounding decision making and just enough of a glimpse at what to expect from the new title.
Ever since Until Dawn was released back in 2015, horror junkies have been chomping at the bit to experience more interactive games and, The Dark Pictures Anthology provided that with three standalone games as part of their collection to-date, with a fourth and final drop set for later this year.
Entirely separate from all of that however, is The Quarry. Here, players will take control of a whopping nine camp counsellors whose plans for a party they’ll never forget go south, as a deadly force rips through the woodland and threatens the lives of everybody there.
We join the group in Act 2, where we learned to fire a gun, make important choices and, get to grips with the mechanics of the game before a pretty intense chase scene from Act 3.
Instantly impressive in our 45-minute preview, were the graphics. They are almost creepily realistic, playing into the unsettling 'uncanny valley' feeling that people can sometimes experience when visuals closely resemble humans in a lot of respects, but aren't 100% convincing. The art style plays perfectly therefore, with the genre; the nail has really been hit on the head in this regard.
Complementing the visuals was the soundtrack, which did an incredible job of rooting us firmly within whatever scene we were a part of. Whether we were watching as two youngsters flirted with one another or, ran from an unknown threat, there was music or sound effects that heightened the entire experience.
In our short playthrough, we got to control a handful of characters involved in the story, making decisions that will undoubtedly play a bigger part in the overall picture. Those choices can be shaped by premonitions of the future, which can be unlocked as you find various Tarot cards scattered throughout the setting. It’s up to the player whether they heed the potential warnings in these visions, or make whatever decision they see fit regardless.
What is perhaps most exciting for horror fans however, is the nod to other huge franchises that are a part of the genre. Whereas the games in The Dark Pictures Anthology have tried to go in unique directions, The Quarry instead leans into some of the tropes and expectations we have from horror offerings and for that, it should be celebrated because, in this regard, you can truly never get too much of a good thing.
This was the perfect appetiser for what should be one of the most compelling, exciting and genuinely scary video games of 2022. The all-star cast, which includes horror icon David Arquette alongside the likes of Modern Family star Ariel Winter and Detective Pikachu’s Justice Smith, is just the cherry on top.
The Quarry launches June 10th, 2022 on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.