The Quarry Accessibility Review — Can I Play That?

Mike Matlock7 minute read

The Quarry Accessibility

Deaf / Hard of HearingBlind / Low VisionMobilityCognitive

Playing The Quarry was some of the most fun I've had playing a horror game in a very long time. Supernatural elements worked really well in the story and some characters were surprisingly relatable. The Quarry's brand of horror isn't necessarily for everyone, however, its accessibility certainly checks all the boxes with wonderful QTE control, large subtitles and aim assist!

Score

8.5 out of 10
  • Hold, Toggle, and Auto for QTEs
  • Aim Assist for combat
  • Subtitle customization
  • OpenDyslexic font is available
  • Mouse and keyboard remapping
  • Moments with tank controls are tedious
  • Keyboard forced for in-game menu navigation
  • Inventory system is lacking structure

Survive the night as you fight off hostile locals and supernatural creatures at Hackett’s Quarry, the summer camp from hell! From developer Supermassive Games, The Quarry is an interactive horror game available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, and PC. In this accessibility review, I’m reviewing the PC version of the Quarry, and it’s the studio’s most accessible game to date!

Released seven years after the studio’s breakout horror hit Until Dawn, The Quarry lets players control nine playable characters from a third-person perspective. Depending on player choices and certain quick-time events, each character has the potential to live or die. Players can change character relationships and alter the story by making important narrative decisions and fighting for their lives (melee fighting and shooting guns).

There are also collectible tarot cards that offer the player a vision depicting each character’s future. For those wanting to do various playthroughs, the game has multiple endings due to the nature of the storyline’s branching paths. 

Booting Up The Horror

The Quarry Accessibility menu

When booting up The Quarry, players are greeted with a screen prompt letting them know of “Alternate Music” mode, which lets them replace the soundtrack of the game with royalty-free music. After that, a Settings menu can be accessed from the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. This is where The Quarry has a designated “Accessibility” tab located. 

There are many accessibility options here including QTE speed, aim assist, color-blind settings, button prompts, and more. Subtitle options and controller customization for The Quarry are not in the Accessibility tab, but they can be accessed in separate sections of the settings menu.

Quick Time Event Adjustments

QTEs in videogames are usually the bane of many disabled players’ existence, especially for players like me with fine-motor skill impairments. However, The Quarry has so much customization for these gameplay mechanics and the best QTE accessibility I’ve ever seen! 

In The Quarry, I can completely customize my QTE experience. Here I can choose from three different settings: Default, Any, and Auto. Default requires pressing specifically indicated button commands; Any allows the use of a mouse or keyboard key depending on individual preference. Meanwhile, Auto will have the QTEs succeed automatically.

I’m able to customize QTE speed, Choice Timer Speed, and Interruption Speed. All of these feature settings for a Short Timer, Long Timer, Max Timer, and an option for choices and interruptions to automatically activate. Button mashing is not required as I can choose to either tap, hold, or have the action automatically succeed like the other options available. 

Controls and Combat

The PC version of The Quarry has completely customizable controls which are great for those with fine-motor skill impairments. Controller support is available and I noticed that there was another control scheme available in settings. Although, the only real difference between the two presets was that the control sticks were swapped.

It’s very possible to use the mouse or keyboard interchangeably and the game only requires a few buttons overall. Most of the game allowed me to aim the camera with the mouse while holding just one button down to move in the direction I desired. Supermassive Games tend to reward exploration in games, so I was happy to be able to survey the environments fairly easily and at my own pace.

Having said that, there are moments when the game switches to a fixed camera and tank controls (presumably to build atmosphere). It’s here when I’m forced to press specific buttons to move in four directions. I personally managed to customize the directional buttons to my mouse just fine, but moving during these parts of the game was definitely a chore. 

I also struggle to navigate the in-game menus. After a recent Steam update for The Quarry, I have not been able to access parts of the menu when using the mouse. Before the last update, I could click on the arrow icon (>>) and the replay button (E) in the menu when looking at branching paths I’ve unlocked or when replaying Tarot Card visions.

The Quarry tarot card reading with a Windows desktop shown around and an on-screen keyboard being used by the reviewer.

Now those things have become inaccessible to me. I even tried using the On-Screen Keyboard in Windowed Mode, but it still didn’t work. Most things accessed in the menu are not necessary to beat the game, though it was still somewhat frustrating. 

Thankfully, combat in The Quarry is very accessible! There’s an “Aim Assist” feature in the options menu and when turned on, it hones in on enemies fairly well. I had the most fun when shooting creatures and using Aim Assist removed the anxiety of having to move fast. In addition, there is an option to change the aiming setting to “Auto”; which will make every character automatically aim and shoot the targets.

Tutorials and Inventory Management

Managing choices and inventory for nine different characters got a bit tricky. It was especially difficult because I had no way of looking at the objects that I collected, except for tarot cards. Characters don’t often keep things that they pick up. The in-game menu does offer help with a branching paths tab reminding me of the choices I’ve made. Still, more transparency would be nice. I often didn’t even know I had certain objects unless my character happened to use one in a cutscene. 

Those with cognitive disabilities will be happy to know that tutorials are available for clarification of all types of interaction in the game, but they can be turned off if need be. All tutorials are fully animated with subtitles, audio narration, and visual aids. To improve legibility, there is also an option to enable an OpenDyslexic font. 

Subtitles and Visual Cues

For Deaf/HoH players, The Quarry has a lot to offer for accessibility including being able to change individual sound levels like: music, sound effects, and dialogue. Where the game really shines is through the many ways subtitles can be customized! Subtitles are available for key dialogue and there is also closed captioning available for those who want to understand the sound effects surrounding them. 

There are four subtitle sizes to choose from and these can be set to appear on a dark background, a semi-transparent background, or even a yellow background. The color of character names can be emphasized and even color-coded in the options menu.

Those with visual impairments will have a brightness slider available but may have some trouble finding the collectibles in The Quarry. The game does a nice job of highlighting objects and areas that can be interacted with, but tarot cards in particular take a pretty good eye. 

Having said that, collectibles are not required items to beat the game, but it’s certainly something worth mentioning if you’re a completionist. Those with colorblindness won’t have to worry because items are not solely distinguished by color. Colorblind settings are also available and accommodate Protanopia, Deuteranopia, and Tritanopia. 

Conclusion

The Quarry’s brand of horror isn’t necessarily for everyone, however, its accessibility certainly checks all the boxes.

With the customizable controls on top of tailor-made QTEs, and combat settings amongst other settings for various playstyles, those with fine-motor skill impairments shouldn’t have much trouble playing the game. The options for subtitles and closed captions along with subtitle sizes and legibility accommodations can make for a comfortable experience, and the color options are a wonderful touch for not only Deaf/Hard of Hearing players but those with visual impairments as well.

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