The Culling is a game that's basically out there to somewhat emulate the essence of the Hunger Games or more like Battle Royale to be honest. The special build I got to play was split into two portions, the first being a free for fall space where everyone just kill and the second being the same thing but in teams of two. Players all spawn in a box and the location of that box is random, even if you're on a team you may spawn nowhere near your friend. This creates a frantic start as players aggressively scavenge within the buildings looking for a weapon and any sort of bonus items. That system works to a degree, but new players or unlucky ones will be savagely beaten very quickly by this. Some players get the luck of spawning right by a facility with a weapon whereas others just appear in the middle of the jungle or get a weaponless building. It might have been fairer to have everyone spawn a certain distance from any weapon or have them concentrated in one area. When imagining these sorts of games I expect people to race after things or at least have a fair go. For the first couple matches I immediately got slashed down within a couple minutes since people instantly had a knife or bow to use.
There's also a lack of traps or even cover systems at this point with some small options to defend areas. These include building small wooden spike areas, some tainted with poison if you find the resource and snares. I'm hoping to see other more complicated things or at least some more bush life to hide things in. The areas are incredibly open with short grass and massive dirt sections where you can see everyone coming. This ruins elements of the hunt and just makes it come down to a few quick beating matches. In general you're able to craft some useful tools if you get the know how and can find the items on the ground which are in plenty, yet I'd still like to see this expanded for more possible creations. I also liked the presentation of making this feel somewhat like an arena having the names tallied in the sky or on billboards around the map. To the side of that I didn't like the noises some of the money machines made since they were distracting when trying to listen for enemies. Players are able to buy better equipment with money after killing people and there are random free drops as well. At one point I was lucky to get a package of a gun, C4 and armor though it didn't help much as a bullet clip doesn't kill too well apparently. Luckily after the clip was spent I threw C4 down to remove that enemy, but at great costs to my health. While it might have seemed like a complete loss I had a slow health regeneration perk so all good there and it's just one of many bonuses to choose from before playing. The Culling is definitely an interesting game of hunting people though I'd like to see a bit more creativity go into how people go about doing it. It has the basics down with some interesting tricks, but it can become a frustrating experience for new players and I'd like to see some more depth added to the title as well. In the attached video you can watch me survive in a free for all for the first half and in a team scenario for the second. The game is in Steam Early Access so it's likely to change over time and I will probably have another impressions in the future.
Check out The Culling on Steam
Impressions Made on The Culling during Steam Early Access
Review Code provided by Evolve PR