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Testing The Quarry – A must-have? @VideoGamesRepublic

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Since 2015, Supermassive Games is known for its multiple choice narrative games. A reputation that it obtained by producing the very good Until Dawn, a narrative survival horror surfing on a very slasher and teen movie American atmosphere. After that, the studio started to burn its wings with its anthology The Dark Pictures, the three episodes of which were not unanimously appreciated by the fans. However, that doesn’t stop Supermassive from having a certain aura. And when he announced the arrival of The Quarry, thus making a return to slasher films like Until Dawn, the hype went up a notch. Was it deserved?

Summer Camp Massacre

test The Quarry

Born from an unexpected collaboration with 2K, The Quarry is a kind of spiritual sequel to Until Dawn. It must be understood by this thathe uses the same stringsand not that the wefts are linked.
The Quarry is set in the USA, near a summer camp where we will take turns playing as teenagers who have finished their season as camp counselors. The game opens as our teenagers are about to leave the summer camp, except that because of hormones, they find themselves stuck for at least one more nightThe director, played by David Arquette, does not appreciate this. The latter panics brutally and ends up leaving the teenagers on the spot by asking them (by shouting in truth) to remain locked up in the cottage during the night, the time he returns with a vehicle. Obviously, our young Americans do not hear him the same way and decide to celebrate this last night in front of a campfire, beers in hand. You can imagine that things will quickly degenerate and maybe even end in a bloodbath depending on your choices.

Because yes, The Quarry is a slasher where each character is a life to take. It is up to you, your gumption and your choices, to keep them alive until the sun risesand this will not be easy. Surfing on the big strings of the 90’s slasher, The Quarry bombards us with references to the genreas much in its direction, its sometimes mawkish dialogues between the teenagers, as in the clichés that it tends to abuse at times.

The Quarry is certainly an excellent vintage

test The Quarry

And it is felt in particular in the range of characters whose traits are often a bit forced as if we had not understood their role in the comedy. Among our souls to be saved we will have the right to the sportsman a bit dorky, but with a big heart, the reserved nerd who has his nose in his sketchbook, the young outsider, the bombshell influencer on social networks who does not hesitate to drop the shirt, the lover who gets mixed up with the chicks and the people just there to serve as cannon fodder, even if they have the merit of taking a place a little more important than their cinematographic counterparts. Of course, other more secondary characters (friends and enemies) gravitate around our group of teenagers and also have their own clichés, like the sinister cop who takes too much space, or the real/false crazy people who never speak to play mysterious and try to create tension, even if we can see the events coming from miles away.

This is actually one of the weak points of The Quarry. If the game is rather well written (and so much the better since it is very talkative) it uses and abuses the clichés of the genreso thatit is enough to have seen 2 or 3 films of this kind to see the plot coming like an elephant in the corridor. We quickly get to know the characters (allies or not), our heroes are predictable as well as the situations they find themselves in. The Quarry is, in this respect, less surprising than Until Dawn was.

test The Quarry

Fortunately, the software has the chance to take advantage of the best of Supermassive in terms of writing and staging. The realization is very cinematographic and the rhythm, which has a little trouble to start, is still very good. We juggle between free gameplay with a little explorationwhere you can find objects such as clues or evidence to find out more about what’s going on in the camp, dialogues full of tension and particularly breathtaking sequences. We will nevertheless complain about the QTE, always present of course, far too permissiveand it will be the same for the choices to be made which will always leave us too much time to think. This is a pity in the sense that the action is interspersed with long slowdowns to let the player make his choice, which often brings down the tension, and you actually get through it quickly without damage. In The Quarry the choices are finally made on the basis of logic, instead of instinctIt is the latter that is called upon when we are under stress (danger, fear, etc.). Despite this, Supermassive does everything possible to put us in very bad positions to confuse the issue when the choice arrives. This means that, if there are decisions to be made, they are often multiple and all have direct (or indirect) consequences, which will change future events, your relationships with other characters or other. We are very rarely faced with two choices A or B, good or bad, and this is a very good thing.

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In The Quarry the choices are finally made on the basis of logic, instead of instinct

test The Quarry

We note for example the very good idea that the studio had to integrate natural branches into its gameplaylike when we are asked to make decisions while we have our finger on the trigger of a gun pointed straight at us. In this kind of situation, whether or not to shoot, the target or our accuracy can have different impacts on the course of the adventure. This style of scene is abundant in The Quarry, and brings a new dimension to the genre which becomes, from then on, much more natural and less Manichean. There is also a system of tarot cards to be found by ourselves in the setting. And when I say ourselves, I mean us as a player and not our avatar because yes, The Quarry also breaks the fourth wall with this mechanism and a character played by Grace Zabriskie, completely possessed by her role. Indeed, after the end of each chapter, she will be able to read the future thanks to the cards. A nice feature that works a bit like Until Dawn’s totems and that, here too, may make things too easy for some experienced players.. Fortunately, you don’t have to accept the help of this “seer”, although you will be forced to meet her.

All roads lead to The Quarry

test The Quarry

In all cases, the repercussions of your choices are very, very, very, numerous and offer a real replayability. It is possible to lose some characters very early in the adventure. What changes, not the background, we are not there yet, but the events that will lead us to the denouement. Moreover, this last one disappoints so much it is rushed.

The developers had indeed made tons by announcing about 180 different ends when in reality there are clearly not so many. Supermassive, certainly for the sake of communication, has somewhat (a lot in fact) magnified the changes and is (it seems to me) referring here to a few lines of text during the epilogue that will establish a big summary of your adventure once the scenario is over. The end is a cold shower, literally, there is nothing nice to put under the tooth and the software ends in one block, without even letting us have a concrete overview of our actions. However, we will have access to several diagrams drawn with our choices, allowing us to see the causes and consequences via a dedicated menu. But that’s all, and if there are final scenes, I’ll make my mea culpa in advance since I would have totally missed them, even after having seen no less than 15 or 20 “different” endings.

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But as the saying goes, “it’s not the destination that counts, but the journey”, and the journey clearly deserves to be experienced, as well as being replayed, just to enjoy the actors’ performance, and their bloody death.

The end is a cold shower… but as the saying goes, “it’s not the destination that counts, but the journey”.

test The Quarry

The Quarry benefits from a 5 star castwhere we will find many famous faces as Grace Zabriskie, Ted Raimi, Ariel Winter, Justice Smith, Halston Sage or again David Arquette and Lance Henriksen. The actors are faithfully reproduced on the screen and really embody their characters. The protagonists (and antagonists) are convincing, touching, or sometimes even really scary and in any case very endearing. Their performance is also perfectly reproduced thanks to an extremely detailed face modeling, maybe even a bit too much.

test The Quarry

The Quarry offers a stunning technical show to the point that in some sequences it is difficult to tell the difference between the pixel avatar and the actor on the screen. This is even more true for Laura (Siobhan Williams) and Kaitlyn (Brenda Song), sumptuous, who really give of their person and make their virtual double live with a disconcerting naturalness. Special mention also to Ted Raimi who gives us an excellent performance as a creepy cop.
However, thehe studio made a little too much effort with the facial animations when trying to show us strong emotions. When some of our heroes are screaming, laughing or smiling, their faces sometimes tend to show forced features that are not at all natural and if this is visible it is mainly because everything else is close to perfection like the micro movements of the face, the muscular contractions or the trembling of the eyes for example.

On the other hand, the technical prowess is felt a lot on the scenery, which sometimes has the nasty habit of releasing late textures, or putting us under the nose of vegetation a little crude. Fortunately, the artistic direction and the very cinematographic photography make up for it all and the game immerses us in its atmosphere without any problem. To tell you the truth, my first 9-hour game was literally done in one go, as if I were watching a good little horror movie.

test The Quarry

The studio is also surfing on this aspect until the end and offers a movie mode allowing to follow the game without playing, just by watching it unfold like a feature film. It will also be possible to choose if you want a good ending (everyone gets out) or a bad one (everyone dies). This last option will be the occasion to enjoy the sometimes very gory killingsand impeccably staged. You can also increase the hemoglobin by using the Gore Festival mode, if you bought the deluxe version of the software. Finally, a director mode will allow you to set the psychology of the different actors in advanceYou can also replay the game in the classic way by using extra lives (limited to three per game) allowing you to experiment with different paths without the risk of killing your characters. You will also be able to test yourself by replaying specific chapters after you have completed the game once.

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