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Over the weekend, I played The Quarry from Supermassive Games and I thought I would rank each of the video games that this developer released that are in this universe/genre. They have released other games but I’m only focusing on The Dark Picture Anthology, Until Dawn, and The Quarry specifically. Since they all have a similar vibe with the game broken down into segments with a narrator or curator that gives insight into what’s happening. Or can affect the gameplay to some degree.
Note: there will be spoilers as I’m sharing my opinions on the plot of each game. As that’s largely what I’m basing my opinions around for each of these. Since the mechanics were mostly the same, though some had new or different elements that added to the gameplay.
6. The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
It’s my least favorite of the games because it’s unmemorable. It was inspired by the Salem Witch trials, but ultimately the game boils down to a guy having a PTSD trip and imagining the entire thing. There’s only one character that’s actually real and the rest are hallucinations of that character’s dead family through different time periods as he works on figuring out what happened in the past.
Honestly, I could not tell you what happened past that. It’s literally one of those games I played and then wiped from my brain. Unlike the other games on this list.
It was good, but I wouldn’t play it again. Or watch multiple playthroughs of it as I have with all the other games mentioned in this list.
5. The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
The first of The Dark Pictures Anthology which are shorter games that the developer made after Until Dawn. They are lower budget and at times that shows. This game had an interesting concept where a group ends up on an abandoned warship that has been lost in the ocean for years after a chemical agent caused the entire ship to kill themselves out of fear due to hallucinations.
This also isn’t obvious, since the substance is called Manchurian Gold. And unless you know that’s a chemical substance, you have to find a bunch of clues to figure that out. Though you can figure it out early if you have a character step outside of the boat into the fresh air, then the hallucinations stop.
There are some weird jumps as the game switches between characters, which is made for multi-player but when you play it without another individual it feels unnatural at times. They do improve this in the rest of the Anthology, but it is a thing of note.
There are several different ways for this game to end, but I find the Classified Level Three ending to be hilarious.
4. The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
During the Iraq War, when this game takes place, a group of American soldiers are looking into a possible weapons silo that was picked up by a satellite. However, due to the conflict that breaks out, the group, including some Iraqi soldiers, falls into an underground Mesopotamian temple that was featured at the beginning of the game. Not long into your exploration of the temple, you discover there are bat-like monsters similar to vampires that are extremely hard to kill and hate the sunlight.
Unlike the previous two games in The Dark Pictures Anthology, you are allowed a full 360-degree camera view and you can decide your difficulty setting which affects the game’s quick-time events (QTEs).
I thought this game had good character interactions, and for the most part, the dialogue wasn’t the worst. There were still moments, especially when it came to some of the relationship drama. The action sequences were also cool when fighting the vampires at the end of the game, but literally, the group didn’t have to go all the way down into the nest of the creatures. I get going down there when it was the only option left, but they could’ve left beforehand.
3. The Quarry
A game that is equally Friday the 13th and a creature feature rolled into one. You play as a group of camp counselors, who end up having to stay one extra night at camp. It’s got the same length as Until Dawn (roughly 8 hours), where you switch between characters. However, losing someone in this game might not be fully losing them as the creature individuals turn into can be reversed. So at times, turning a character might be better for them in the meantime as it can save their life.
Instead of getting totems or anything like the other games, you have to find tarot cards (which are harder to find). This is one of my biggest problems with this game (though some dialogue and character choices can be questionable). You might get to collect the cards, but you can’t see what the cards hint at until you meet up with the fortune teller lady. And she only lets you view one of the cards you found in the previous chapter. So, there’s a bunch of cards that you may find that do nothing for you and even then sometimes they don’t even really hint at anything. Also, I think the werewolves could’ve been a bit more wolf-like and less, human with big teeth and pointed ears that howl.
Not to mention, the events of this game could’ve been avoided if the Hackett family had just told someone what was going on. What did they expect to happen when they were walking around in the woods covered in blood with guns? Teens are going to freak out and fight back. Or if Jacob hadn’t broken the car when they were leaving.
2. The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me
The final game in the Dark Pictures Anthology season one. We follow a film crew in a recreation of the HH Holmes hotel. The United States’ first serial killer They have to survive death traps in a hotel where things are constantly changing and trying to kill them, all while hiding from the killer. There is no supernatural element in this game, as there was in House of Ashes, nor are there any flashbacks to things that aren’t what they appear to be, as in Little Hope or Man of Medan. Everything is exactly as it is. So, you have to keep your wits about you in order to survive.
This was the best Dark Pictures Anthology that they have released. I never felt like the transitions between characters were chunky. And the dialogue wasn’t the worst. I wasn’t a massive fan of every character, but I wasn’t fully cringing at everything either.
There were a lot of be still (heartbeat) moments, that I was not the best at, so be careful or your characters might just end up on the sharp end of a weapon.
Also, I love how the game left it open-ended, but you know there’s no more from the curator from that point forward. Spoilers: The killer was the curator. And starting Season Two, we’re heading to space. I can’t wait to see how they tackle space horror.
1. Until Dawn
The game that started it all and honestly the best one. Yes, there was some questionable dialogue but things made sense even if it boiled down to two endings: everyone lives or everyone dies. But I liked that it was basically playing a horror movie, only you got to control the characters and get them to hide or run when they needed to.
Plus, there were several elements to the game. It starts out as a slasher game but turns into a creature feature. Not everything is obvious right away about what the plot of the game is going to be. You’re focused on solving who the mystery man is but all the while you’re also being chased by Wendigos without a clue they are there. It’s not until you start to put the pieces together that it shifts from one to the other. I think that element was easily executed.
Which of these games was your favorite?
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