The Culling – Review

The Culling is like a cross between PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and The Hunger Games. Drawing inspiration from Rust, The Culling’s simplistic premise and responsive combat put it amongst the best multiplayer ‘Battle Royal’ games  of the year.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has exploded since its release on Steam Early Access earlier this year, with streamers, critics and fans crying out for more ‘battle royal’ style games. With the full PC release of Battlegrounds still 6 months away, and the Xbox One version even further away than that, how are we going to quench the thirst of an every man for himself deathmatch? Enter, The Culling.

Available on Steam and Xbox One, The Culling pits 16 players in a 20 minute, every man for himself battle to the death. You must craft, explore, escape and battle your way across either the tropical island or the prison, killing as many other players as possible, by any means necessary. 

Whether it’s a chainsaw, an SMG or a knife carved from stone, you must locate weapons as quickly as possible in order to defend yourself against inevitable attacks. The initial rush of locating your loot is truly exhilarating, but that excitement soon turns to anxiety, as the map falls quiet, and all 16 players look to start taking each other out.

This game is very self aware, it knows what it is trying to be and it pulls it off in a subtle, yet deliberate way. It is supposed to be a tongue in cheek gameshow, and it feels like one, but in the best way possible. The basic premise is as follows. You land on a tropical island, empty handed and in regular, non protective clothing. In games such as Battlegrounds, weapons are already laid out for players to find, but The Culling takes the more realistic approach of having players craft items for themselves. 

Two rocks make a stone knife, a stone knife with a stick makes a spear and so on. The aim is to craft weapons that are good enough to keep you alive during the early part of the game while you scavenge for F.U.N.C. points. F.U.N.C is the in game currency of The Culling. You earn F.U.N.C. points by scavenging dead enemies, recycling items and exploring the map. You can spend the points on crafting, supply drops or to open high value chests that supply better weapons.

The aim is simple, be the last player alive. You can check who is still alive and how many kills they have by looking up. In true Hunger Games fashion, the leaderboard is projected onto the roof of the dome surrounding the island. As the game wears on, the playable area will start to decrease, pushing players into a more confined battle arena. 

Tension soon turns into all out war as players are forced together. Normally by this point in the game, the remaining players will have mostly decent weapons, so the final battle is usually over pretty quickly. But every once in a while, you get that one crazy game. 4 players left, all trying to pummel each others face in with crudely crafted melee weapons. It’s a sight to behold, and one that any gamer needs to experience. 

The Culling does have its faults. Some of the crafting animations are kind of broken, the gags get real old real fast, and there are still a few bugs to be tweaked, but all things considered, The Culling is a triumph. Get this game, even if it’s just keeping your hands warm for PUBG. I’d give this one a 75/100. 

Purchase The Culling from Steam or the Xbox One Store. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is now available to buy from Amazon!


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