The Quarry Is The Friday The 13th Game We Never Knew We Needed
We hoped you've packed a spare pair of shorts because the immortal sounds of "ki ki ki, ma ma ma" are ringing out from the woods. It's hard to believe it's been 42 years since Sean S. Cunningham hacked his way into the horror scene and helped define the slasher genre.
Across 12 movies, a TV series, and multiple video games, Jason Voorhees has made a name for himself alongside the likes of Freddy Krueger, Leatherface, and Michael Myers. It's a bizarre turn of events when you remember the mask-wearing killer didn't emerge as the big bad of the franchise until 1981's Friday the 13th Part II.
As horror movies have had something of a resurgence in recent years, we've also seen horror games take the same upturn. At the forefront of this is Supermassive Games with its The Dark Pictures Anthology games. Up next, we have The Quarry - described as an interactive horror drama. If you're ready for a summer of slaughter, The Quarry is the Friday the 13th game we'd always hoped for but never been able to experience.
What Is The Quarry?
From what little we've seen, The Quarry is a love letter to horror. There are notable appearances from horror favourites including Lin Shaye (Insidious), Ted Raimi (Evil Dead), Lance Henriksen (Alien), and David Arquette (Scream). Then again, looking at what Supermassive has done with other entries in The Dark Pictures Anthology, we're not surprised this spiritual successor to Until Dawn has bagged so many big names.
The general story follows nine typically diverse teen counsellors, who have to survive one last night at Hackett's Quarry Summer Camp. As the summer season comes to an end, players take control of the characters and hope to escape "bloodthirsty locals and a creature much more sinister." Giving us some serious Wrong Turn vibes, the trailers have teased the Hag of Hackett's Quarry, which isn't quite Jason Voorhees, but sounds like an equally supernatural presence.
Until 2018's Halloween obliterated the box office, Friday the 13th was the highest-grossing horror series of all time. With this in mind, it's no surprise The Quarry is taking more than a few cues from Jason's legacy. The classic tropes of horror movies are abounded here, as the 10-hour campaign unfolds over a series of choices. Unlike in Friday the 13th - when you're left shouting at your screen that the topless teen needs to look behind her before she's shish-kebabbed - you have the choice to save her life. Then again, it's just as likely that all nine of the playable characters will kick the bucket before the final credits roll.
If you want to live out The Quarry as a Friday the 13th movie, completing the game once allows you to unlock a "movie mode," that lets you watch events unfold with minimum player interaction. There's also a "death rewind" feature, that allows gamers to retcon three character deaths through any playthrough. The only thing that doesn't make The Quarry a choose-your-own-adventure Friday the 13th game is the fact Jason isn't there.
Will We Ever Have A Great Friday The 13th Game?
With 186 unique endings, The Quarry is the Friday the 13th game we could only dream of. Of course, it's not just Jason that gets the nod here. Early previews have said that away from Hackett's Camp Crystal Lake vibes, there's a Cabin in the Woods atmosphere of kids vs monsters, and the self-referential humour of Scream. So, we're glad David Arquette is being put to good use here.
That's just it though, while a Friday the 13th game is printed, packaged, and ready to go thanks to its formulaic nature, it's harder to imagine a new-gen Scream game where you try and unmask the killer in Woodsboro. We know Gun Media is working on an asymmetrical horror game based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, so we can only hope it's anything like The Quarry. What's clear here is that the writers of The Quarry have a clear love of the slasher genre and the likes of Friday.
Of course, there have been Friday the 13th games over the years. Away from Jason's continued presence in Dead by Daylight, there's the now-infamous tale of Friday the 13th: The Game. Much like a ghost story of Jason to tell around the campfire, it's enough to frighten developers off ever tackling the IP ever again. Before facing Leatherface, Gun Media released the title as a third-person open-world horror.
It had plenty of promise, but with Friday co-creators Victor Miller and Cunningham going to war over franchise rights, Gun pulled the plug on new content amidst fears it would be slapped with a legal notice. In 2020, Friday the 13th: The Game went dark, and just like legal battles mean a 13th movie in the franchise has been stuck in development hell since 2009, we're starting to give up on the idea of seeing a new game in the near future.
For the time being, we're left living vicariously through the likes of The Quarry and seeing Jason lumber around Dead by Daylight, while the potential of his own game lies as a bloated corpse at the bottom of Crystal Lake. Oh well, at least Supermassive looks like it'll be able to deliver its own twist to the well-worn tale of ditzy teens banging in the woods... even if Jason isn't standing nearby with his machete.