In 2015, Director Will Byles and the team at Supermassive Games brought us the superb horror experience Until Dawn. Now, seven years later, and after a few shorter stories in the Dark Picture Anthology, the brilliant storytellers are back with their best game yet in The Quarry.
Set in Hackett's Quarry, this 80s slasher-inspired camp counsellor-based nightmare follows the story of nine teens who, after a summer of fun, stay for one extra night which proves potentially fatal when they unearth a dark secret in the woods.
Interactive games have been around for decades, be it FMV games in the late 80s/early 90s or more recently a resurgence of that genre - however, Supermassive Games and their impressive technology take this way of storytelling to the next level - taking actors and using the latest motion capture equipment to build explorable worlds whilst also giving us groundbreaking character models that look and feel as if we are controlling the human portraying them.
In The Quarry, the cast is absolutely stacked with Hollywood talents such as David Arquette, Lance Henriksen, Lin Shaye and the legendary Ted Raimi amongst some amazing rising talents such as Siobhan Williams, Brenda Song and Justice Smith. Byles' writing along with these elite performers really creates a dark, funny and scary tale that really does capture the true nature of those pieces of media that inspired it whilst also being its own monster (pun intended!).
With any of these types of games where choices have a direct impact on the story and characters' relationships, a lot of the time the branching narratives feel thin or rushed. However, in The Quarry, it finally feels that every single tiny choice matters and the number of endings and ways that our cast can meet a grizzly end are plentiful, exciting and rewarding - essentially, keeping everyone alive is a tall order meaning that if you want to achieve that feat, you will have to really think on your feet and make the right decisions. As a player and a viewer, the multitude of branches will keep you replaying and trying new things.
The Quarry is Will Byles' and Supermassive Games' best title yet and proves that this exciting and fresh evolution of storytelling is only going to keep getting better and better as technology advances and new voices in the industry rise up and get involved as the possibilities to create something special are more achievable than ever before.