Picture Credit: Supermassive Games/2K
Picture Credit: Supermassive Games/2K

What would it be like to step into a horror movie? What if, we were given the opportunity to make decisions on behalf of the characters we’re usually berating on the big screen, when they run upstairs rather than out of the back door? That’s something Supermassive Games aimed to answer with their 2015 release, Until Dawn, and now the studio is back with its spiritual successor, The Quarry.

Published by 2K Games, The Quarry transports players to another spooky setting, dumping them in the middle of nowhere and allowing them to control a myriad of different characters. You’re warned that every action has a consequence and, some decisions may lead to one or many of the characters you play as being killed. It’s a lot of pressure, but also a heck of a lot of fun.

Many have described predecessors to The Quarry as interactive horror movies, and that’s probably the best way to talk about exactly how everything plays out. What is different to your standard slasher flick, however, is that there are a whole bunch of different paths to tread down, scenes to see and change and, endings to witness.

Those of us who grew up on a diet of cheesy horror pop culture, watching teens run away from supernatural beings and psychotic killers, are going to find a lot to love here. There’s even a spot on the cast for legend of the genre David Arquette, renowned for his performance across the Scream franchise.

Picture Credit: Supermassive Games/2K
Picture Credit: Supermassive Games/2K

The script is tight, packed full of stereotypically cliché moments but also, a lot of humour. There are jump scares, but not too many that they become redundant. It’s certainly not as typically scary as Until Dawn, but it does just enough to keep you on your toes, heightening the tension whenever you’re left to trawl through woodland or around a quiet and abandoned cabin.

What has been made simpler here, is the Quick Time Events (QTEs), ‘hold your breath’ mechanic and button-mashing moments. Playing on PC, you’re told to move your mouse up, down, left or right when it comes to QTEs, or hammer the W key until it shows up green on-screen. As for holding your breath, you simply hold the left click button down until the patch of red, signalling danger, has disappeared. For someone like me who absolutely SUCKS at reaction time, the simple QTEs were welcome, but there may be gamers who were hoping for a bit more of a challenge.

As for how it looks? It’s absolutely gorgeous. The lighting in particular is used so incredibly well, that I did at times forget I was playing a game. The motion-capture work that has gone into recreating this cast’s every movement and expression was entirely worth the time, as this is undoubtedly one of the best-looking titles in recent memory.

A brand-new addition to the game comes in the form of Death Rewind. It's instantly unlocked if you bought the Deluxe version of The Quarry and for others, it will be available once you've completed your first playthrough. Given three lives, you’ll be able to go back in time to save a character that has perished – or at least attempt to – by making a decision different to the one you took at an integral point in the story. It’s a fantastic idea for those who want to save everybody but, in the review build of the game, there was one moment in particular during Chapter 10, where you would be whisked WAY back in the story to Chapter 1, losing all of your progress past that point. A patch will be put in place, so that warnings about where your game will revert to is shown before you make any decisions, but that has been described only as a “post-launch update”, with no fixed time-frame.

Putting that aside, this is one of the most memorable and exciting gaming experiences I’ve had in recent memory. A true triumph of the genre, with stellar acting from everybody involved and, a script that the writers should be proud of. I can’t wait to play it all over again – and to be a bit of a douche to everybody, this time round.

The Quarry is available now on PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. A code for the game on PC was provided to Female First in exchange for a fair and honest review.

RELATED: Until Dawn review: An instant horror classic

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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