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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Review of The Quarry: Summer Camp from Hell

You have seen this movie before. Heck, you’ve probably played this game before too. But that doesn’t stop The Quarry from delivering a constant stream of goofy goosebumps and thrills in what approaches a live-action teen slasher movie.

Supermassive Games, the developer of K, has produced a pipeline of similar interactive horror films since it first hit success with 2015’s Until Dawn, which starred Hollywood alumni Hayden Panettiere and Peter Stormare. The Quarry follows this solid formula with a recognizable cast that includes veterans David Arquette, Lance Henriksen and Grace Zabriskie, as well as a troupe of younger, fresher faces who put themselves in harm’s way at a spooky summer camp.

All of them are rendered in astonishing detail, thanks to impressive motion capture that only occasionally veers into the uncanny valley.

You can predict most of the story arc with confidence – the frisky teenagers ignore all the dire warnings from the adults as the cover of night falls – but Supermassive still manages to pull the carpet out of your expectations once in a while, even without a string of screamers.

Tethered to a vivid scenario that annoys almost all seventeen teenagers equally, the game slowly builds a series of relationships between the young characters, regularly reminding us that something evil lurks in the forest.

Lengthy portions of the gameplay consist of extended cutscenes punctuated by short flash events requiring binary dialogue choices or sometimes reaction checks to avoid a crash. Supermassive proudly advertises a total of 186 endings based on your decisions that could result in the death or survival of many characters.

Similarly, the script is rife with one-liners and narrative twists, because The Quarry is based on a rather hackneyed series of clichés recognizable by fans of slasher films like Scream. At the beginning, one guy nods knowingly towards the basement and says: “You saw the Evil Dead, right?” Yet he walks through the door and we yell “No!” on the screen.

Supermassive acknowledges this debt with Movie Mode, which allows the game to play on its own while you passively watch (not so much as fun). More successful is the co-op mode, in which you hand over the controller to your buddies to choose story paths (and usually make an amusingly fatal decision).

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The game succeeds in large part because it’s so educational, drawing on our familiarity with the gory genre while at times misrepresenting our point of view. However, replaying it for alternate endings doesn’t seem like an attractive option given the lack of interactivity in long parts of the game.

While the Quarry is digging into the atmosphere like a shovel, it doesn’t have to dig much below the surface to find its shallow core.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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