The Culling Review - Hunger Games for the Masses
We should probably make it explicitly clear that The Culling, a new Hunger Games-style video game, is actually in Early Access right now, so not all features have been implemented or tweaked to their fullest. That being said, the game is still immensely fun.
Anyone interested in picking up the survival, last-one-alive game will automatically liken it to H1Z1's King of the Kill, a Battle Royale game that caught everyone's attention due to how Sony decided to sell it.
In The Culling, however, things are a bit more simplistic. The game is basically just kill or be killed, with only one player surviving the onslaught that will occur when you drop 16 players, completely empty-handed, into a vast world filled with loot and weapons.
The Survival Aspects
This time around, however, one feature that really caught my interest was the fact that you need to craft your killing tools instead of finding a pre-made assault rifle in an abandoned home on the island. Every single thing has to be crafted, which makes it far more about survival than anything else.
Things get a bit more difficult in the form of 'F.U.N.C.' points, which are required for all crafting. For example, to build a simple knife or a bandage, you will require five points. To receive a supply crate of high-end items, you need 120. You gain these points be exploring and killing enemy players.
Every single aspect of the game appears to have been balanced quite well by developer Xaviant. Each game round is short and simple, alloying for a nice pick-up-and-play style of multiplayer. The loot drops have been balanced proportionately. Don't expect to find the highest-end weapons releasing to the world on a regular basis.
Even better is the fact that the game's loading times are actually quite reasonable. Another game comes to mind in terms of long, annoying loading times. We mentioned it above, if you're wondering.
Of course, even a game that is as fun and interesting as The Culling has its issues. This is still Early Access, of course, so those problems could get ironed out well before the release.
As of right now, there are two major problems that need to be addressed by the developer:
- Performance - Occasionally, while playing, I witnessed the frame rate drop to a point where things were just sloppy. I nearly lost my only life when a stutter happened, sadly.
- Sloppy Combat - Combat is the heart and soul of the game, so it needs to be tweaked and polished as soon as possible. The weapon hit box is a bit wonky, some weapons feel slow and clunky to wield, and the guns feel too under-powered at the moment.
A Rookie's Dilemma
The Culling is the type of game that really requires practice and strategy in order to learn and master. Melee combat can seem really daunting to the new player, especially when you have the top three players on the leaderboard bashing everyone's brains in with stone hatchets and baseball bats.
When it comes to attacking, swinging fast and often is the trick to keeping alive. Just go frantic, honestly.
Thankfully, as we previously mentioned, the combat is a bit balance, albeit sloppy and awkward. It is highly unlikely that you will die within the first minute of gameplay, which is a wonderful premise. Sometimes it is all about chance. The chance that you strike someone directly in the head, for instance.
Overall, The Culling is a truly interesting premise that will go quite a long way. I'm a bit worried the community will slowly die out, leaving the game dead, but that is a worry for a later time.
For now, enjoy slaughtering everyone and being the last alive. There is definitely potential outside of Early Access.