Horror movie stars head to a summer camp of horrors in Until Dawn follow-up The Quarry
If you want to know how to make horror feel real, just ask Thanos. The team at Supermassive Games couldn't necessarily do that, so they found the next best thing: the folks who created Thanos.
The game developers behind Until Dawn, the 2015 hit choice-driven horror story featuring Rami Malek, reveal the first look at their follow-up title, The Quarry, starring horror movie icons like David Arquette (Scream), Lin Shaye (Insidious), Lance Henriksen (Aliens), Grace Zabriskie (The Grudge), and Ted Raimi (Army of Darkness).
According to creative director Will Byles, Supermassive linked up with Digital Domain, the Los Angeles-based production company that worked on rendering the gauntlet-snapping Mad Titan for the Avengers movies to enhance their performance-capture techniques on The Quarry.
"They were making these characters that were based absolutely around scans of real people and real actors, alongside all the scans of all their emotions, and then using machine learning to interpret a performance back into CG," Byles tells EW. "So, we've been using that for the first time, I think, in any major way inside a game rather than in a film."
Players can see what he means in the first trailer and photos from The Quarry. Set to launch on June 10, the game takes place at Hacketts Quarry summer camp, where the teen counselors are throwing a final rager to celebrate their last night together. Very quickly, their party devolves into a night of horrors, complete with creepy locals and something far more sinister.
"I just want to get you out of Dodge before the sun goes down," says Arquette's Chris, before he discovers the car won't start. So, he has the kids now hole up in the lodge for the night. "No one in, no one out," he commands.
Rounding out the ensemble cast is Ariel Winter as Abi, Ethan Suplee as Bobby, Miles Robbins as Dylan, Grace Zabriskie as Eliza, Halston Sage as Emma, Zach Tinker as Jacob, Brenda Strong as Kaitlyn, Siobhan Williams as Laura, Skyler Gisondo as Max, Evan Evagora as Nick, and Justice Smith as Ryan.
Similar to Until Dawn, The Quarry is based on choices. Gamers will play as the nine camp counselors, and based on the decisions made in the game, any one of them could survive the night or die before the sun breaks the horizon. There are also a couple of multiplayer options. Up to seven people can play together online where the invited players can watch along and vote on the decisions as a group. The other way to go is the party co-op experience, where each player takes the reins of a specific character.
And there are a lot more outcomes than you might think. According to Byles, gamers can play through the whole thing from start to finish without knowing the full scope of why the events are transpiring. It all depends how much they explore.
Byles and Supermassive took their cues from the kinds of horror movies some of their actors are famous for. "We very purposefully wanted a vibe that was '70s, '80s, VHS — that style," he says. "That was a really good helpless era for horror scenarios. No mobile phone. No internet."
Given the cinematic inspiration, Supermassive worked in a mode that caters to movie lovers.
It's aptly called Movie Mode. It came out of feedback Byles saw from players of Until Dawn. "There was some game difficulty that made it difficult for players who wanted an interactive-movie story. They felt frustrated by that," he explains. "So, we opened up the accessibility to the point where every single thing you do in the game is effectively toggle-able: you can turn it on and off."
Don't want the stress of controlling a character during gun shootouts? You can turn that off. Don't like QTE (quick time event), where players are given prompts on screen and have mere seconds to perform the action? You can turn those off, too. "You can turn off everything till it literally becomes a movie," Byles remarks.
In Movie Mode, Byles says players preset what they want: "You can go, I wanna get a movie with a happy ending where everyone's alive or a bad ending or, my favorite, a gore fest where everything gets messy." Gamers using Movie Mode also have the ability to set the attributes of every single character before they start, deciding who's clumsy, who's the bully, and who's kind. In short, there are a lot of options.
"We've definitely tried to up the ante [from Until Dawn]," Byles notes. "We've learned a lot about fear and about what makes people frightened. This doesn't rely quite so heavily on jump scares. This is much more about the tension and the buildup of fear and the context of what's going on."
The Quarry will launch through Supermassive and 2K on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Windows PC via Steam. Pre-orders are available now.
Watch the trailer above.
Want more movie news? Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free newsletter to get the latest trailers, celebrity interviews, film reviews, and more.