Published on Jun 12, 2022

When I discovered this game would be coming out I was immediately excited. I figured I could get into it based on similarities to 2015's Until Dawn. Little did I know back then how much this game would be like Until Dawn. The Quarry may be under 2K's banner, but it's very much a copy/paste job of the 2015 game's mechanics. Not that that's a bad thing. I was absolutely on board for turning Until Dawn into a horror anthology video game series and I do believe this game is a step in the right direction for that.

Full disclosure: I played this on PS4 despite having a PS5, but I didn't have access to the new console this weekend so I bought the deluxe edition which let's you download the game for both devices. The PS4 version runs well overall, but it's not perfectly optimized. When moving into a new chapter you might hear certain dialog repeated as the console is still semi-loading - or so I explain it to myself. Also the overview at the end of the game reminding you of all characters' fates lags pretty badly. The song playing over it is completely out of sync with the presentation and finishes roughly half a minute before the visuals. This issues don't break the game, they're just a bit jarring when on display.

Graphics: Look good overall. I played on an old PC monitor and PS4. The more cinematic parts looked pretty great, but when they do the lower resolution scenes with the environment designed for gameplay it does look transparently like a video game. I assume if I replay it on PS5 and my HD TV these issues might be alleviated to a bigger degree.

Gameplay: Like I mentioned it's a copy/paste job of Until Dawn. It's a story-driven game which heavily relies on cinematic graphics and plot progression to get the player engaged and is as such bare-boned in terms of gamification. The player explores the areas and when the action kicks in the game throws quick time events at you. The QTE's are very reminiscent of Until Dawn: Pull the joystick in the right direction to dodge obstacles, aim at a target and shoot, meanwhile the tedious "keep your controller still" mini game to simulate holding your breath is replaced by holding down the X-button until the danger passes by.

A new feature which Until Dawn lacked is the ability to have 3 jokers or technically 3 hearts. Basically, if you made a mistake and got a character killed, the game allows you to travel back in time and change your decision so you can save their life.

Setting and story: A group of camp counselors are closing up camp after a successful season. One of the counselors sabotages their van hoping he may buy another night with the girl he has a massive crush on. The camp owner reluctantly agrees to their prolonged stay, but is adamant about them staying inside and quiet for the duration of the night. But can the happy campers keep in their excitement and not wake up the "neighbourhood"?

Much like Until Dawn, The Quarry offers a cozy camp setting and cast of interesting characters to get you involved with the story. Like it's predecessor the game did not hold back on getting some B-list celebrities involved, which you may recognize from film and TV:

  • David Arquette of the Scream film series is the Hackett's Quarry owner
  • Ted Raimi cult actor and frequent collaborator with his brother Sam Raimi (Evil Dead and most recently Dr. Strange) plays the shifty sherrif Travis.
  • Justice Smith, star of Detective Pikachu plays Ryan the reclusive goth kid who's into supernatural podcasts
  • Ariel Winter, who was the smart girl of the Dunphy clan in Modern Family is now the shy artsy camp counselor Abigail
  • Brenda Song who's most known as a family friendly Paris Hilton parody in Hotel Zack and Cody plays the crafty gunslinging Kaitlyn.
  • Skyler Gisondo is in this with his awkward eyes, big nose and ginger-red hair
  • ...

Overall what you get in terms of story is not necessarily the best or most inspired of the horror genre, but it's well put together and written with more care and nuance than some B-horror movies which inspired it. If I were to criticize it though, I would point to the game hitting similar notes to its predecessor Until Dawn. This time around the game also seems to feature less explorative embellishments so the player can focus on the plot progression more directly.

Anyway, I believe one can read my verdict by now. If you like story-focused games like Until Dawn or Life is Strange this might be up your alley. Overall it's a competent and engaging game, which however does not lift itself too high above the games it stylistically mimics. But yeah, it's perfectly fine...


And boy did it crash! Chapter 10 had me fail an important gun shooting QTE which resulted in one of my more favorite characters' death. Throughout my playthrough I was carefully conserving hearts of the joker feature in case I'd put any of my favorites in danger. Boom! Gunshot misses, but hey... I can correct that, right? I have 3 hearts, right? Not if the game crashes on you when you try to use them. After revisiting the character's death five times and my failure flashing in front of me like in that one Steins Gate episode, I give in and choose not sacrificing a heart for that character. The game mockingly complies and time resumes moving. Devasted and on auto-pilot I finish the remaining 10 gameplay minutes. It no longer matters. Nothing matters anymore.

Eh, it's ok though, when my nerves calm down, I can just repeat the 10th chapter of the save file. But yeah, they should probably look into this and deploy a fix. No need for more players to get a bad taste in their mouth, because of game crashes in an otherwise perfectly good game.