The Culling Early Access Review
This article was written after playing a review copy of The Culling provided by the games publisher Xaviant Games. OmniGamer’s writers happily give their honest opinions despite such acts of generosity, though appreciated.
We’ve all dreamt about escaping to an island at one point in our lives; the sounds of the sea, the exotic feel of freedom, the large dome entrapping you with 15 other people and the harrowing screams of the person you just speared in the back until they bled to death.The Culling is a first person survival game that pits 16 people against one another, or eight teams of two if you chose to play teams, the goal is to simply be the last person standing.The game has a simple yet in-depth crafting system, as the player runs around the island they will find items that can be used separately or combined to create a more powerful tool of death. For instance, combining two rocks will create a makeshift knife, adding sticks to the mix will produce a long spear.
Along with crafting weapons is item management, at the beginning players, will only be able to hold three items, if the players find a random backpack they will unlock the remaining two slots increasing the number of items to the max five slots.Gathering material is crucial and could be what leads to death or victory. Matches last for 20 minutes and within that time players must scavenge the island to find gear that could help them survive, buildings will contain lockers that range from empty to full of medical gear. Despite the large amount, of time given players can find and attack each other at any time, while the island is big it’s still small enough to find players within the first five minutes of the match. Knowing this is nerve wrecking as items are spawned randomly each match, that means no two matches are the same when it comes to item gathering.
Once a player is spotted the choice is made to either attack or hide, players cannot hide bigger weapons like bows and arrows, being able to see enemies and their equipment can help players plan their attacks and defenses.Traps can be built and deployed if the players have the right combinations, players and their teammate can run over their own traps and trick other players into them. As each player dies an announcement is made by the games disembodied voice announcer, who always sounds far too cheerful to talk about players deaths, looking above into the sky will reveal a creepy scoreboard showing who died and who killed them.
When playing teams players will be able to spot their teammate from nearly anywhere on the island thanks to their character models glowing through walls and land. When the match starts both players will be separated and left to defend themselves, players are encouraged to stick together and watch over the other. Failing to do so will leave their partner outnumbered and outgunned, the size of the island is put to its best use in this mode, the large open map leaves the player feeling vulnerable despite knowing they can find their comrade. The instant relief of running into them and feeling more powerful than anybody in the game then comes the immediate fear as you watch your partner fall, or worse hear it announced before you could reach them. If your teammate dies it’s not instantly game over, the player can still win the match and claim victory, it’ll just be a tad harder.
The Culling has been in early access since March 4, 2016, and is still there as of this publication, the game runs smoothly enough. Rarely did the frame rate drop below 50 FPS, it kept at a steady 60 FPS even when fighting commenced.The controls work well, although the animation and hit detection could still use some work. At times melee weapons wouldn’t connect, this only applies to melee weapons as the game doesn’t have any noticeable issues when it comes to range weapons. Throwing items can be a little tricky, it’s far too easy to misread where an explosive will hit and accidentally blow up the player that originally threw them.
New players will have a bit of a tough time getting into the game, you can tell who’s been the game for a while, the look of their gear and how quickly they get their hands on higher tier weapons can be jarring. The Culling lacks any ranked matchmaking, which means, unfortunately, new players will have to struggle facing veterans of the game while slowly figuring the game’s mechanics and layout.The Culling is shaping up to be a rather decent multiplayer survival game, the biggest thing holding the game back is the lack of matchmaking settings, this could be added once the game gets closer to release. At just $15 USD The Culling isn’t a bad purchase if you enjoy early access games, but if you rather have a better gaming experience than hold off and just keep an eye on the games updates.