What if someone’s fate was in your hands? In 2015, the video game company Supermassive Games released their property Until Dawn, a game where the player controls the fates of eight young adults in the Canadian mountains. The official synopsis of the game reads as follows: “Eight friends are trapped together on a remote mountain retreat, and they aren’t alone. Gripped by dread, with tensions running high, they must fight through their fear if they all hope to make it through the night in one piece.” The game’s theme — that your choices always have consequences, both indirectly and directly — ties into the idea of the butterfly effect, an omnipresent factor in the game. Nothing exemplifies the storytelling element better than the inciting incident of the game: the death of two sisters, bringing back the friends a year later.
As the player progresses through the game, they discover secrets surrounding a mining accident that awakened a dreadful curse from Native American folklore. The story is told through the eyes of each of the eight characters, voiced by stars like Rami Malek and Hayden Panettiere. What enhances the horror and slasher moments are the quick-time events, or moments when the player must quickly make a choice and press the appropriate button before time runs out. For years, fans wondered if a true sequel would be on the horizon, and in March, the official “spiritual successor” to the game was announced: The Quarry.
The trailer for The Quarry was released on March 17 on the YouTube channel for 2K, the game’s publisher. Along with the trailer’s release, fans were directed to a website where they could learn more about the characters, pre-order the game and, of course, watch the trailer. The synopsis of the game reads:
“It’s late summer in the remote forests of upstate New York, and the teen counselors of Hackett’s Quarry have the camp to themselves for one final night. That means no kids, no adults, and no rules. In this thrilling cinematic tale, you control the fates of all nine camp counselors as their party plans unravel into an unpredictable night of horror. With life-or-death decisions around every turn, the choices you make will determine how the story unfolds.”
The Quarry, similar to Until Dawn, draws much of its premise and aesthetic from the horror films of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The opening shots of the trailer make this apparent: a yellow school bus leaving the grounds of the fictional summer camp Hackett’s Quarry, leaving the main characters behind. The trailer begins with children singing as the bus departs the fictional summer camp, and the dread only grows throughout the tease. Already, the intro is thick with an atmosphere reminiscent of the beginnings of films such as “Friday the 13th” and “Halloween.”
The trailer then cuts to the main cast waving goodbye to the bus, ready to depart the lodge after a long and joyous summer. Much like Until Dawn, this game is led by an all-star cast, including Brenda Song, Ariel Winter and Ted Rami. The group discusses leaving the lodge with the owner, played by none other than David Arquette, a horror veteran known for his role as Officer Dewey in the “Scream” franchise. Arquette’s character shows visible distress upon learning that the group cannot leave right away and leaves to get help. He gives one warning to the young adults: “Make sure everyone is inside the lodge at night — no one in or out.”
With such a heavy cast, it is clear that Supermassive Games intends The Quarry to be more of a spiritual successor to Until Dawn; the structure may turn out to be the same, with portions of the game dedicated to controlling specific characters as they continue to discover the horrors around them. The expected runtime of seven to 10 hours also shows the developers’ intentions to distinguish The Quarry from their Dark Pictures Anthology series.
— Supermassive Games (@SuperMGames) March 25, 2022
The same day the trailer for The Quarry came out, director Will Byles participated in an interview with IGN and further explained how the game is a “sequel” to Until Dawn. The two are severed from the Dark Pictures Anthology series, which includes Supermassive Game’s properties Man of Medan, Little Hope, House of Ashes and the upcoming finale, Devil in Me. Byles noted to IGN that the series “has gone down a shared story route and a shorter format with a higher cadence,” which allowed for the developers to dive into a variety of genres and stories. The stories in Dark Pictures are more short form, and one has been released every year since 2019. Byles also mentioned that the Dark Pictures games follow more of a formula and “shared story route”; this time around, “It’s not a set profile but there’s a certain expectation,” Byles said of The Quarry.
When it comes to the gameplay, gamers are aware that it will be the same as Until Dawn, with quick-time events (QTEs), a bit of combat against the mysterious supernatural villain and the third-person exploration of the forests of New York. Moreover, PlayStation Lifestyle noted that the game’s appeal “lies in its plot so it’s deliberately designed to be accessible.” Although the game’s graphics are unlikely to be confused for a live-action film, gamers can choose to turn off the gameplay and sit through cinematic portions like a movie. The players will still make choices that determine the outcome of the game, but its accessibility also encourages non-gamers to experience the story.
While games of this caliber and length are typically teased at least a year in advance, The Quarry is set to come out on June 10. The date is just shy of four months from the game’s announcement, but gamers are already anticipating the same quality as Until Dawn. The trailer ends with an unsettling, slowed and reverbed rendition of “Kumbaya, My Lord,” following a reference to the song made by Arquette’s character. The trailer concludes with clips of the cast during various parts of the game before the title takes over the screen. Although The Quarry will kick off the summer, the story may make gamers wish it never ends.