There are few greater joys in life than having a few friends, watching trashy horror movies, and fucking with them together. The experience can be enhanced with alcohol or other mind-numbing intoxicants, but generally speaking it’s a big old time. Pop on a dodgy evil Dead rip-off, mock attractive but beefy-minded cast, instruct teenagers with direction problems – it’s magic.
The talented developers at Supermassive Games are apparently very aware of this fact. Hell, they’ve been enjoying it since 2015 Until dawn. However, entries since then – the so-called Dark Pictures series – have never quite embraced the trashy, gory glory of the first attempt. With The careerthe last iteration, Until dawn is certainly mentioned. Shit, sometimes The career feels like a reboot, for better and for worse.
The career tells the story of a group of nine teenage camp counselors who, as camp closes for the year, find themselves trapped overnight in Hackett’s Quarry. Naturally, they decide to throw a party, explore their hormonal urges, and get chopped up by some dark figures lurking in the woods. But are the killers human, something else, or a combination of both? Look, we won’t spoil it, but the whole story follows Until dawn‘s narrative surprisingly closely. A bit too tightly, quite honestly, and not as effectively executed.
Do not mistake yourself, The career is a moment of pleasure. Played with a few friends, nurturing an adult beverage or two, it effectively recreates the fun of B-grade movie night, but it’s rough around the edges in ways that aren’t always fun. The animation, while generally decent, sometimes takes a rough turn in Uncanny Valley, with actor Halston Sage in particular appearing downright monstrous at times when he absolutely shouldn’t be. The script, too, is a little predictable with a few “big twists” that are completely unsurprising and a disappointing third-act climax.
That said, if you like your horror games with a big slice of cheese and like the idea of teenagers being slaughtered because of your bad decisions, The career will likely provide you with a robust, albeit trashy good time, and a lounge (or online lobby) full of like-minded weirdos.