With the release of The Quarry, we thought it’d be a good chance to look at the history of Supermassive games who are, at this point, an ancient staple of Playstation games, despite not technically being a Playstation exclusive developer…
Supermassive have had a huge boom in popularity in the last few years thanks to the success of their branching narrative games, starting with Until Dawn in 2015. But their popularity faded a bit in the years after, and what’s more, there is more to look at from before that, so let’s take a look, and rate, every Supermassive game until now.
Firstly, though, there are a few titles that are worth mentioning that Supermassive have worked on that aren’t really entire titles, and shouldn’t really go on this list. For instance Supermassive were responsible for the HD version of the Playstation 2 classic Killzone, Killzone HD was one of their biggest projects at the time, releasing just after Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock, which wasn’t the best game, but if you played it on Vita you probably remember it fondly enough. Supermassive also has a history with the Littlebigplanet franchise, creating DLC for both of the PS3 LBP games and having a big hand in all of the DLC content and level packs for Littlebigplanet PS Vita, which is (in my opinion) the best in the series. Of course, they’ve recently transitioned to creating only original content, but they still do port and extra content work from time-to-time, for instance they handled the ports of Little Nightmares II. I’ll take a second to say now, Little Nightmares 2 is a super underrated game and you should play it now; and if you play the stadia version or any of the enhanced editions then you’re looking at some of Supermassive’s handiwork, because they handled those versions of the game.
But there are plenty of games we do want to include on our list, but remember; we’re not listing them here in release order, oh no, we’re ranking these bad boys from worst, all the way to the best of the best! Let’s get started;
15. Start the Party
Ah, the playstation Move, great for Light-gun games, letting the PS3 stand up against the Wii in its hayday, but for other types of games… Anyway; Start the party was a party game (no prizes for guessing that) where you’d take part in a bunch of minigames until one person got a certain number of points. This game wasn’t very popular, and most people agree it wasn’t that good.
14. Start the Party: Save the World
I really want to be able to write more about this game, imagine Start the Party but themed to superheroes, that’s the game. I’ll spend the rest of the space for describing that game saying that if you did have a PS Move some good titles were House of the Dead, Resident Evil Chronicles and a selection of FPS games like Bioshock Infinite and Killzone 3. Don’t think you won’t be seeing anymore of the PS Move this article though, there’s one more to come…
13. Doctor Who The Eternity Clock
Released during Matt Smith’s run as the titular Time Lord, The Eternity Clock was a 2D puzzle-platformer where you switched between the perspectives of Matt Smith’s Doctor and Recurring character River Song to solve a mystery and stop a villain before the universe is destroyed. It’s… sometimes it’s okay… to be honest, this is a pretty weak one. Even a hardcore Whovian would have trouble getting along with this one, with weak controls, uninspired puzzles and assets seemingly reused from the Doctor Who The Adventure games, this had little to offer to players.
A video game protagonist wakes up in an on-fire science lab with nothing but an AI and a high-tech gun to…
12. Wonderbook: walking with dinosaurs
Ah, the wonderbook; I love a strange peripheral idea. The wonderbook allowed users to use the low-quality PS3 camera to bring a book covered in QR codes to life! … on the screen. Entries in the wonderbook series include the Wizarding World-based Book of Spells and Book of Potions, as well as this… and that’s about it. Admittedly all three of these ‘games’ are worth a decent couple of hours of fun, this wasn’t exactly one to write home about. However, chin up, because this is where this list finally shifts into ‘games that are actually fun and worth playing if you feel like it’, a category that’s got way too long a title, I’d change it if I could (I can), I didn’t make it (I did).
(I told you the PS Move would be back) Designed to showcase the accuracy of the PS Move controller, the 70 challenges that made up this game might have been the most ‘actual game’ of any of the games Supermassive made for the PS Move. This game is surprisingly fleshed out with solo, co-op and pvp modes, and it could even be played on 3D TVs. If you want a cool tech demo that will take up a long afternoon I highly recommend this.
10. Tumble VR
Rebuilt from the ground up for PSVR, this takes what was already good in tumble and makes it into one of the strongest titles in the launch line-up for the console-based headset. This is one of the only games to make use of PSVR’s ‘social screen’ feature, and uses it for an entirely new mode on top of what was already in the game. If you have one of these headsets then this is a must-buy, and serves as a great tutorial for the system.
9. The Inpatient
Tumble VR was Supermassive’s first foray into VR, but after the success of Until Dawn they had to run with that series for a while because the profits were crazy, as such Supermassive made not one but two Until Dawn VR games. The two games were being worked on at the same time and aimed to go for two very different angles; one is a fun arcade-style on rails horror shooter, and this one is an atmospheric narrative exploration horror game. Considering that this was still pretty early into the PSVR life cycle, and was one of the first real horror exploration games in VR at all, this does a pretty decent job, but there isn’t much ‘game’ to it. Most of the time you spend in the game is spent watching scripted sequences play out once you trigger them and then walking to the next one, but if you just want a cool, simple narrative experience then this could be for you.
8. The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan
Oh man (of medan), this one is something. Sure, this game isn’t good, in fact it’s pretty bad, however it’s got one saving grace; all of the Dark Pictures games allow you to assign specific players to specific characters, and playing this game with friends is so much fun. There’s nothing better than failing the odd quick time events or meeting one of the often-arbitrary instant deaths, trying to contend with plot holes, and doing it together!
7. The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
Look, this is considerably buggier and noticeably more rushed than either of the previous two Dark Pictures games, however as it goes on it has some of the most difficult choices, active gameplay and interesting stories in the entire series. Overall this is almost the best of the three (the three that are out right now anyway). Again, this is definitely one to get some friends together and play.
6. Shattered State
Does anyone remember the Google Daydream? I sure do, and I’m pretty sure I’m one of the only ones. This Cinematic thriller was one of the most polished titles on the whole ill-begotten system, it really felt like a cinematic VR experience on a mobile VR platform. In this game you play as the Director of National Intelligence, and you have to take control of a rapidly escalating situation before things go too far. With a branching narrative based on the decisions you make, the outcomes of the game can be seriously affected by every move you make. This wasn’t a groundbreaking game by most standards, however for the Daydream (or any mobile VR headset) this was a real benchmark that arguably never got met again.
5. Bravo Team
If you can’t tell by now, Supermassive are all about co-op, and they took what they learned from Rush of Blood and put it into this, a co-op shooter for PSVR that is honestly a great time. It’s one of the best first-parties on PSVR, which is actually a list Supermassive has a surprisingly strong hand in.
4. Hidden Agenda
Hidden Agenda was one of the first and only ‘PlayLink’ games. This feature, based around multiple players connecting to the game using their phones, was semi-interesting but ultimately destined to fail. In this game, which played similarly to Until Dawn, players vote for specific decisions on their phones, and if playing in competitive mode, one player will receive a secret objective which was intended to create conflict between players. This detective mystery was honestly really fun, and a lot more polished than a lot of the Dark Pictures Anthology that followed it.
3. The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope
Fun fact about this game, the story of this game is an adapted version of one that Supermassive originally pitched to Konami as a new Silent Hill game. That DNA is still baked into this game, and ironically Silent Hill is a franchise with ‘little hope’ for a new entry, so this (and The Medium) may be the best we ever get. This is easily the best story, best structure, most engaging script and performances and least visual bugs that the whole dark pictures anthology has to offer, and it’s well worth a go.
2. Until Dawn: Rush of Blood
One of the first PSVR titles and they started with a bang. This game takes the 90s-style horror of Until Dawn and makes it into an arcadey carnival-style funhouse shooter ride. Not only is this genuinely really fun with some great set pieces but it manages to constantly keep a surprisingly serious tone and manages to create a great metaphor-based side-story to the original game. This is one you won’t just want to try, but try again and again to get the highest score.
1. Until Dawn
Let’s be honest, it was always going to end this way. Until Dawn currently sits at 79% on Metacritic, the highest score of any game Supermassive has ever made. It was originally started way back at the end of the PS3’s life cycle, for the PS Move. Quite honestly thank goodness it was released when it did because almost all of the marketing was done by Let’s Play YouTubers, whose exaggerated reactions to certain scenes made it seem like something really special. The game was praised for its homage to the cheesy and bad 80s and 90s horror, but after the release of the first few entries in the Dark Pictures Anthology people have started to wonder if the homage was intentional… Nevertheless this game is a whole lot of fun, especially with friends, and was hugely impactful.
And that brings us to now, The Quarry, the latest narrative horror game from Supermassive Games. You won’t believe what you’ll become in this title where you play as teen counsellors of Hackett’s Quarry who have the camp to themselves for one final night. In this thrilling cinematic tale, you control the fates of all nine camp counsellors 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.
But that’s not all, we also know that the next entry in The Dark Pictures Anthology is coming soon, named The Devil in Me. We can only hope that these games can match or even supersede what has come before, and I think we can all agree to wishing Supermassive Games the best in their future.
Supermassive games have undoubtedly had a colourful history with games, especially for Playstation, where their loyalties have stayed since the beginning, despite staying independent for their entire time developing games. We’ll be keeping a close eye on their future games to see what this always-interesting studio does next. If you want more content like this, and to see the latest Indie Game News, stay right here on Indie Game Fans.