Coming to Early Access is The Culling, a more gruesome version of The Hunger Games involving grown-ass men and women.
For the longest time, I had wondered why, exactly, have we not seen a video game adaptation of something like The Hunger Games. The tournament aspect of “fight to thrive and survive” is inherent competition at its very rawest, especially when it is kill or be killed. Realistically, it would resemble something more like Battle Royale, its Japanese predecessor that takes on a more violent portrayal. The developers at Xaviant will look to fill that niche (currently occupied by modders to games like DayZ) with The Culling.
As seen in the trailer above, The Culling pits 16 competitors against each other with the explicit goal of killing everyone else using the lay of the land. On your island paradise, you can find items in boxes (or on fallen enemies) or as part of the environment, which can be used to craft weapons or build traps. Ultimately, within a 20-minute time structure, one person will come out on top as the winner of a match after all other opponents have been killed. There are no respawns; you have one shot per match to make it work.
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Releasing on Early Access on March 8th, there are nuances to how you play The Culling. There are 24 melee weapons, but there are also ranged weapons like blowguns, bows and firearms. Melee attacks can disarm them, too, and traps like mines and caltrops can take out most anyone not paying attention. With a limited inventory system, you will have to balance weapons, traps and utility items like smoke bombs and bandages, all while on the run from those seeking to end your life.
The Culling is very much in the style of a game show, as well, with pre-match perks, airdrops and random events producing opportunities to reap rewards. However, it still involves heavy gameplay mechanics, including crouch mechanics to hide your movement. Players will hear everything, and will be drawn to noisy aggressors. If everything works out, this could be the birth of a fascinating game genre.