The Culling 2 (Not a review, but an Essay)
So… Culling 2 had been announced on July 9th, and was met with “glowing praise”.
Then the game came out the very next day.
But for those that don’t know… Let me give you a little history about Xaviant and the original Culling.
I know this is old news at this point, but I feel that this still needs to be brought up. The original Culling was released on early access back in early 2016 and was met with some positive feedback. The Culling was all about survival, gathering resources, crafting weapons and traps, tongue in cheek humor, and melee combat being a big part of the game. Sixteen players go in, only one survives. This was the original battle royale before games like PUBG and Fortnite took over the world. I’ve seen various personalities play the game themselves and I was interested. I picked up the game for myself and I had some fun. Though after running the game the first time, I couldn’t run the game again. I don’t know why, but after troubleshooting I had the game refunded. I figured it was just a typical early access issue that will be sorted out later, and after having it refunded and I kind of forgot about it. Little did I know about the mess that came later in the game’s development. It started on March 2016 when they made the melee weapons slower and do less damage. Then the next month they released another patch making the weapons faster, but more spammable. Compounded with the poor optimization and the latency issues which made the melee weapons not always connect.
The Culling was losing its player base as it added more stuff like more weapons, locations, and a ranked mode to the game, but the game’s broken combat and poor optimization was still a major issue with the game. Xaviant kept making changes to the combat while the player base kept asking to have the game revert back to revert it back to how it was when the game first released. October 2017, The Culling was fully released on Steam as well as the XboxOne, with little to no hype, player numbers had not improved, which was followed by radio silence by Xaviant. In December of 2017 it was announced that development for The Culling has ended with no more future updates and that Xaviant will be focusing on a new game. Thus… we have come full circle to The Culling 2.
Just like SOS (Battle Royale) I’ve never seen anything so baffling. Xaviant worked on the game for 2 years, made changes to the combat that no one was happy with, end the game’s development, then come out with a sequel. The sequel in question is quite literally a clone of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. When you look between these two images, you may notice some similarities between the two.
July 10th, the Culling 2 was released, a third person shooter where you parachute down onto a large map and have to go through buildings to find weapons to defend yourself as the border of the map closes in, last one standing wins (now doesn’t that sound familiar). When the Culling 2 was released, it was heavily panned for essentially being a carbon copy of PUBG. None of the other aspects from the original Culling were carried over to the sequel. What is probably the most laughable aspect is that the player base was so small that you have a chance of joining a game that has like 3 people in the lobby. It all began with a game that was the first of the Battle Royale genre, it had glowing praise, until its potential of being a success was squandered, then moved onto a new project that was a result of Xaviant following a trend, a sequel released that copies from more popular titles and the legacy closes out with the community abandoning it. At least that how it would’ve ended. Xaviant released a video on their youtube channel announcing that the Culling 2 will be taken out of sale, and they will be resuming development on the original Culling. Not only that, but they are reverting it back to the day 1 version, back before the combat was changed. Huzah you may be saying, but… I am still kind of skeptical about the whole thing. Like I stated before: back when Xaviant were working on the original Culling, they made changes to the combat that essentially broke the flow of the game. They had every opportunity to revert it back to the original version like the community demanded, but they just kept tweaking it to the point where it was broken further. Not only that, but they canceled development of their game in favor of making a clone of a more popular game, following the battle royale trend (third-person shooter, large map, closing border). I can’t say for sure if they are just opportunists, stubborn, inexperienced, or just ignorant of their own mistakes. Even though pulling the Culling 2 from Steam is a very bold move, I’m wondering if it’s too late. I don’t know whether this revival for the Culling’s development will lead to their success, or if it’s already too late and that they are already on track to fail. I would like to see them succeed, but right now, all I’m going to do is watch and see what happens.