Seven years after the release of Until Dawn, its worthy heir is still waiting. Supermassive Games has more or less tried to renew the experience with The Dark Pictures anthology which takes up the basics of the gameplay, but the concept and the atmosphere are different. In the absence of Until Dawn 2, players will be able to turn next June 10 to its spiritual successor: The Quarry.
A game that incorporates all the codes that made Until Dawn so successful, but is that enough for the sauce to take? We were able to approach The Quarry for over an hour. We explain to you why it is very promising.
Welcome to Hackett’s Quarry
Summer is coming to an end at Hackett’s Quarry summer camp. No children, no adults, the camp’s nine animators have this little piece of paradise lost on the edge of the forests of upstate New York just for them. A last night of summer that could have changed everything, allowed to form new relationships or even concretize others. Except that this final party could be their last. It quickly turns into a night of horror as a terrifying menace lurks nearby.
From the outset, The Quarry evokes the classics of horrific teen movies and the best slashers of the 80s to 90s. Friday the 13th, Scream, The Cabin in the Woods, the influences are directly felt. This little appetizer of The Quarry reminded us of everything that made Until Dawn so special, so pleasant and so fresh at the time: it openly takes up all the codes. A gang of teenagers played by a cast of rising American stars, complex and almost clichéd relationships at the same time, stereotypical characters who promise to be funny and endearing, and this teen movie atmosphere mixed with horror gimmicks that make it all the salt. Gameplay level, Supermassive also takes the same grub and brings it up to date a little.
Until Dawn 2.0?
It will always be about choices and dilemmas that will seal the destiny of the animators and define their relationships There is however a nuance, since the crucial choices will be indicated by the mention “chosen path”. We should also be able to consult those already borrowed via the main menu of the game. The latter also lists the clues found during the exploration phases. The opportunity to learn more about the history of the Hacketts and the region, as well as all the twisted mysteries that revolve around them. It will also be necessary to collect evidence, the usefulness of which will become known in the final version of the game. We will also find in the menus a map indicating where each character is at a given moment (to give more context), but also the maps of tarot which are the great replacements of the totems of Until Dawn.
Unlike Until Dawn, there is no automatic vision as soon as the object is found. A clue is given via a super cryptic sentence that must be interpreted as well as possible. Without the demo really telling us how, we know that it will be possible to bring them to the creepy and enigmatic Eliza, a character who will offer a reading of these tarot cards giving rise to a mini-vision illustrating the prophecy. For the rest of the mechanics, we will be on familiar ground with QTEs (for the moment very soft in the sequences played) which come to give a little more interactivity, or even sequences where you have to hold your breath via a gauge to manage .
An even more cinematic experience
In the radius of novelties, we will find the interruptions. This is a mechanic that allows you to cut off a conversation, or that can prevent certain events from happening, but that will not be without consequences. The good surprise is that shooting phases seem to be in the game, with the possibility of aiming and shooting freely during given sequences. Do not expect Call of Duty or Uncharted, the reticle is replaced here by the light of the flashlight attached to the rifle. It’s still rather basic, but in a game that is primarily aimed at a casual audience, it should do the trick.
The good news is that we didn’t feel like The Quarry was just a clone of Until Dawn. It really gives off a special vibe with its lighting effects, its summer camp, its selection of music in very good taste (from what we could hear) and its artistic direction pleasantly mixing shimmering decorations, with gloomy places that make gives me shivers. And if the demo does not allow us to move forward on the choices, the narration or the gameplay, we announce the color directly: The Quarry will be more cinematic than Until Dawn.
The game has already rewarded us with pretty sequence shots cleverly using the chiaroscuro technique, a great classic among slashers, or close-ups that are almost claustrophobic. Everything is carried by an improved technique, with a high level of detail, as well as quality visuals and animations. That said, a few hiccups remain to be noted here and there, especially at the level of the lip sync or the modeling of the face of one of the characters, uneven according to the sequences.
We are waiting for it… impatiently
It is often difficult to form an opinion with such short sequences, but The Quarry immediately announces the color. He will be the spiritual successor of Until Dawn. By taking and improving on a tried and true teen horror formula and vibe, the game is sure to pocket an already won-over audience. It’s nonetheless set to be Supermassive’s most cinematic title to date. We can’t wait to rest our hands on it on June 10 to see if our first impressions are confirmed.