Test – The Quarry – Let’s walk in dread. | Xbox One

Seven years after the excellent Until Dawn and in parallel with the unequal The Dark Pictures Anthology (whose 4th episode arrives at the end of the year), Supermassive Games plunges us back into horror. With The Quarry, its latest narrative and interactive third-person game, the English studio is launching the summer season: nautical resort, summer camp, seduction and mysteries are at the heart of this new love letter to genre cinema. Real love at first sight or simple holiday crush?

A campfire, young people, a little alcohol and a lost corner…

The lake has eyes

As the end of summer approaches, a group of seven leaders prepare to leave the summer camp where they worked together for two months. Unfortunately for them, this departure is finally delayed by one day. Not enough to dampen the enthusiasm of these future adults, who are determined to organize one last little party by the lake…

As was the case with previous titles from the English studio, The Quarry is primarily aimed at fans of genre cinema. And what to say except that the references are extremely numerous. On the casting side first of all, we find David Arquette (Scream), Ted Raimi (brother of director Sam Raimi), Lance Henriksen (Aliens) or Grace Zabriskie (Twin Peaks).

The famous stroke of the breakdown.

In addition, there are many nods to cult works, including Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Evil Dead. In addition to a rather graphic violence, Supermassive Games does not ignore sometimes rather raw dialogues. Something to remember that the title is not to be put in all hands.

Like its predecessors, The Quarry is above all for its story, which adapts to our choices, and to the permanent death of the playable characters. Thus, one quickly learns that there are “no bad choices, but more dangerous paths”. Each player can thus witness slightly different scenes, even completely new ones by embodying the different monitors. The game often manages to offer dilemmas a little finer than the eternal Manichaeism from which our media still too often suffers. Likewise, by crossing destinies and temporalities, The Quarry manages to surprise us on rare occasions.

The “teen movies” atmosphere is well transcribed.

Of course, we find the themes dear to the teen movies and slashers of the 80s/90s with stereotypical young adults whose thirst for freedom will be violently curbed by more or less supernatural events. Although the story starts quite slowly and the originality is not really there, browsing this nightmare for about ten hours and lifting the veil on its mysteries by focusing on its characters is a real pleasure. The most complete can count a few extra hours to find all the clues and tarot cards. As was the case in Until Dawn, these allow us to glimpse some bad choices to come that could prove deadly.

Nevertheless, we can not help but point the finger at an obvious problem of rhythm. Indeed, during the ten chapters that make up The Quarry, the dynamism of some clashes terribly with the boredom felt during certain phases of the game. ten minutes without any QTE. It is also quite unpleasant to realize that the decisive choices are sometimes more numerous in five minutes than in the previous hour.

Similarly, and while the whole thing is so inspired by the 7th art, the staging often seems agreed upon. Last fault, and not least, anxiety rarely shows up throughout the game. The fault of an all too recurrent game phase/cinematic scene catchphrase and an outright removal of the few “jump scares” which nevertheless worked wonderfully in Until Dawn.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

On the border between cinema and video games, the third-person gameplay phases are far too limited in terms of possibilities and are not renewed enough. Only a few QTEs that are far too simple sometimes call on our reflexes to keep our full attention during cutscenes. The bulk of the title therefore consists of moving through corridors or closed environments before triggering a new non-playable scene.

Although superbly modeled, the sets offer almost no interactivity.

Which brings us to another problem, the fixed cameras are sometimes capricious and our characters are terribly slow… and this despite the presence of a button supposed to allow us to speed up! What make the phases of wandering even more painful.

Among the interesting options, we can mention local cooperation of up to eight players, each embodying a player. Online cooperation should be available from July 8 and this in crossplay.

Finally, the “deluxe” editions allow you to benefit from a significant addition: three lives, or as many chances of replaying a scene in the event of the death of one of the characters. This option is also unlockable for all players once the game has been completed for the first time.

The rendering of faces has no equal today.

Fatal Beauty

In form, The Quarry sets the bar extremely high. Often close to photorealism, the faces are magnified by the management of light! What do honor to the performance of the actors.

Unfortunately, this technical prowess brings out some texture issues and delays. We think in particular of hair and water during certain cinematic scenes.

Similarly, it is curious to note how the title is sometimes much too dark. Enough to get lost in what only seems to be a corridor.

Everything is as beautiful as it is dark.

Regarding the sound, playing with headphones is a significant plus to enjoy the atmosphere. We salute the quality of the dubbing in French. However, it is surprising and a shame not to be able to access the VO from the settings. Especially when we are offered a three-star cast.

Test conducted on Xbox Series X (optimized title).