What is the true basis of entertainment? It is just to make people smile? Or is it to get ratings and revenue? Now, a video game is going to show you just how far humanity will fall in order to be entertained. For this, is The Culling. The Culling is a "game show", but the most vicious kind. For you are one of 16 people who have been put on an island. However, you're not there to relax, rather, it's the exact opposite. You have just 25 minutes to kill everyone else on the island. Else you all die.
Think of it like the Hunger Games, but this time, it's a lot shorter, and you're forced to fight the others. The beauty of this game is that it's online, so the other 15 people are those who are wanting to win the game to. You'll have to truly outsmart 15 people to survive...if you can that is.
Don't think there's enough pressure? How about this? The games runners are filling the island with poisonous gas that'll slowly move inward, only stopping when there's one person left alive.
You have to work fast, so get a weapon, and use it. Every second counts, and every kill brings you one step closer to victory. Add to all of this, there are various modes in the game that you can play. Including a shorter version of the main game, and teaming up with someone to survive.
Survive the other players, and you'll survive The Culling.
Features at Early Access Launch
The core of The Culling is an online 16-player battle royale, played solo or in teams of two. Matches last approximately 20 minutes, with deadly poison gas slowly constricting the arena in the final stages. The winning player (or team) is the last left alive.
The new, fast-paced Lightning Round mode pits 8 contestants against each other in a smaller arena with a 10-minute timer, where everyone has immediate access to some of the most powerful weapons in the game.
With no respawning on death, you have to make every action count. Play too cautiously and you won’t be prepared for the final clash at the end of the match, too aggressively and you might not make it past the first few minutes. We leave the balance, and the killing, up to you.
Weapons and Combat
The Culling focuses heavily on melee combat. Use jabs, charged swings, blocks, and shoves in a system that’s simple learn, but requires practice to truly master.
There are 32 melee weapons in the form of blades, axes, bludgeons, and spear. Weapons are divided into tiers based on damage, from the lowly crafted stone knife to the mighty Sledgehammer. Different weapons types also apply different wounds, which factor into combat strategy. All melee weapons can be thrown, adding the potential for ranged combat in any encounter.
There are a variety of ranged weapons, including bows, blowguns, and even firearms. A gun isn’t a guaranteed kill, however, as ammunition is in short supply and ranged players can be disarmed by melee strikes if they don’t keep their distance.
Players who thrive on outwitting their enemies can sample from a collection of traps in the form of snares, mines, remote-detonated explosives, caltrops, and punji sticks. Matches are fast-paced, so sneaky players must lay their traps in hot spots (such as near an airdrop landing pad) or use themselves as bait to lure opponents in.
A wide range of utility items are at your disposal, with everything from backpacks to smoke bombs, run speed stims to stun guns, player tracking devices to bandages. You start each match empty-handed, so you must explore to survive. Inventory space is extremely limited, forcing you to think carefully about how you intend to play and what you want to carry.
The Culling utilizes a unique crafting system that is very simple to use (no bulky UI-heavy inventory management) but still offers a wide range of recipes. Players can craft rudimentary weapons, a wide range of traps, and a handful of useful items, including bandages, satchels, and even body armor.
Each contestant chooses 3 perks before the start of a match. There are dozens of perks available, and they range from combat bonuses (increase the backstab potential of your blades) to crafting skills (reduce your trap placement time), to general utility (begin the match with a tracking device in your inventory).
All of the perks are available to all players from the start with no unlocking required. You can use perks to define and enhance your personal play style, whether it be focused on ranged, melee, or trap-based strategy. Advanced players will find helpful synergies between their perk load-out and their airdrop selection.
Players select a personal airdrop to call in during the match. Air drops are deadly care packages containing a predefined variety of weapons, traps and items. Be careful, because calling in an airdrop draws attention to you and can be stolen by other players.
Game Show Events
The Culling is the most popular game show in the history of the world, and for good reason. The show’s producers have devised events that take place at random during the match. If you choose to participate in these events, the rewards can improve your chances of winning, but don’t be surprised when other players arrive to challenge you.
Flexible Universal Nano-Compound, or FUNC, serves as the primary in-game currency. You spend FUNC to craft, call in personal airdrops, and open certain types of item chests. FUNC is gained through combat and exploration.
Players can customize every aspect of their appearance: Hair, Clothing, Skin Tone, and Gender. There are hundreds of unlockable items.
The Culling also features customizable Taunts, Victory Celebrations, Culling Cards, and Weapon Skins.
In all, there are more than 1,500 cosmetics to unlock.
The Culling places a heavy gameplay emphasis on audio. Making noise by sprinting through the jungle crafting items, slamming doors, and engaging in combat will draw the attention of nearby contestants.
Using audio cues to locate opponents and using the crouch mode to conceal your movements add tremendously to the game’s suspense and immersion.
The Culling features two maps: The Island, set in a tropical paradise, and Cul County Correctional, a former prison facility converted to game show duty. The maps have been carefully tuned to provide just enough space for 16 contestants, but also to ensure than no one is safe for long. They are populated with landmarks, buildings (full of lockers and crates containing items), hidden caches, and hazards.
Many of these elements are random, meaning map knowledge is important, but offers no guarantees. When the match starts, you can choose to immediately set about crafting some basic survival tools, or sprint to the nearest building in the hopes that it will contain valuable items.
Tutorials and Offline Training Mode
The Culling can be intimidating for new players, so we’ve included a basic tutorial and a training range to help you get your feet wet.
If you’re still not ready to face players online, there is an offline practice mode against basic AI-controlled bots that will allow you to practice in a low-pressure situation.
Player XP and Leveling
As you compete online in The Culling, you earn XP, which levels up your character and awards you Cull Crates full of new cosmetics. The better your performance, the faster you progress.