The Culling – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, Survival
Developer: Xaviant
Publisher: Xaviant Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

The Culling – Preview

Good: Concept, The struggle is real
Bad: Still a lot of work to be done
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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Like it or not, we’ve all heard of the Hunger Games, be it thanks to the lovely Jennifer Lawrence, the overall plot or even the claims that the concept of the books and movies is blatantly copied from Battle Royale. The concept of dropping a set of contestants in the midst of an abandoned living area, jungle or whatever, making them fend for themselves until only one survivor remains has always been an interesting, yet haunting one. The Culling, even in its very early closed beta status, tries to bring the same experience, albeit by giving you the chance to experience such a gruesome adventure firsthand, digitally of course. Let’s see if a bow and arrow will also be a ticket to success in this rendition of the ‘Hunger Games’.

The Culling

We were not quite sure what to expect, seeing there’s a lot that can go wrong with the overall concept of pitting people against one another in an open environment hoping they will kill each other swiftly until only one remains. It was already a crowd-pleaser to see the developers implementing a twenty-five minute counter to make sure the matches won’t drag out too much or that players wouldn’t resort to simple hide-and-seek tactics, hoping they could just let other players forfeit. With this in mind there was a certain guarantee that matches would come out rather action packed. (Especially when the arena starts shrinking over time because of poisonous gas.)

After two short tutorials where you are taught the basics such as controls, crafting and other useful combat tips you’ll need in order to survive (a bit longer) in the arena where you’ll inevitably be dropped soon after, the real fun will only begin. You’ll be able to choose between offline matches, filled with rather dimwitted bots, in order for you to further develop your skills or you can dive into a sixteen player free for all frenzy or a team game, where you’ll be able to fight alongside another player.

The Culling 1

After being let out of your cage at the beginning of the round, you’ll have to go scavenge for supplies, be it sticks to craft a bow and arrows, or simple knives, health packs and so on, and you’d better do it fast. If you come across someone that already holds a weapon, things will get tricky rather fast, especially if he notices you first. Moving around of course makes noise, thus it’s not bad to stop once in awhile to listen if no one is closing up on you. Also walking while using the crouch button can also suppress most of the noise you make yourself.

Combat itself also proves to be rather tricky, as you’ll have to watch your opponents’ movements closely, as attacking him while he blocks will daze you, and vice versa. You can also shove a blocking opponent breaking his defense, and he can also do the same to you. It’s pretty much a battle of wits, action, reaction and common sense, where you better don’t try to use sticks and stones to beat a guy with a sledgehammer.

The Culling 2

You’ll score a certain amount of credits every time you make successful attacks or simply survive and perform other actions, which allows you to use certain machines, which in turn will grant you supplies, heal you and so on. If you culminate enough points you can also call in air support to drop certain goodies, which will aid you on your way. While the air support does drop great supplies, it takes way too long for it to actually drop your gear making you vulnerable for attacks for that entire period of time. Even though it’s understandable that it takes some time before you get your much needed help, this waiting period should be cut, seeing surviving for so long should be rewarded, instead of punished.

Visually The Culling is still a mixed batch of good looking environments, with less impressive buildings and characters. While the overall setup looks rather decent, it’s clear that this game is still in development and that a lot of rough edges are still visible and that performance issues also tend to pop up from time to time. That being said, there’s enough clutter and shrubbery in the environments to make everything rather appealing and set the right tone for this battle of survival.

The Culling 3


The Culling is a very amusing concept, with clearly still a decent amount of rough edges, which will surely be polished as the development progresses. You’ll find yourself in the midst of a Hunger Games scenario that is both thrilling, suspenseful and appealing. Even though it’s clear a lot is still to be implemented into the game, this one is surely a game to keep an eye on.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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The Culling - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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