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The Culling

The Culling is a unique battle royale survival game where 16 players fight to the death in an enclosed tropical island paradise. Players scavenge for items, craft weapons, and build traps to survive and be the last man standing.

Publisher: Xaviant
Playerbase: Shut Down
Type: Battle Royale
Release Date: March 4, 2016
Pros: +Last player standing Battle Royale. +PvP focused. +Fast-paced matches. +Great perk system.
Cons: -Combat can feel janky. -Only one map. -Very steep learning curve.


The Culling Overview

Experience fast-paced PvP action, intense combat, and gruesome kills in The Culling, a brutal survival game in the spirit of Battle Royale. Sixteen players are placed on a tropical island and given 20 minutes to fight it out or to the last man or die from a slowly moving gas cloud. Craft yourself primitive weapons and explore the island search of better ones found in buildings and item-filled crates; build traps to ensnare unwary players; and collect enough F.U.N.C. to call in airdrops containing game-changing weapons and gear while fighting to survive against other players determined to be the last man standing. Scuttle through the shadows and hunt each other using any means necessary, whether it involves hurling a crafted stick of dynamite, or catching a player in the neck with a hatchet.

The Culling Key Features:

  • Various Weapons - use dynamite, guns, chainsaws, and tasers to wipe out enemy players.
  • Intense Action - each match lasts a maximum of 20 minutes, with a slowly encroaching gas cloud forcing surviving players to the center of the map.
  • Battle Royale - focused solely on pitting players against each other in a stylized deathmatch, reminiscent of the Hunger Games and Battle Royale.
  • Create Traps - catch unwary players with a variety of traps, from primitive caltrops, to remotely detonated C4's.
  • Weapon Crafting - arm yourself with crafted weapons ranging from stone knives and hatchets to wooden spears and bows.

The Culling Screenshots

The Culling Featured Video

The Culling - Official Announcement Trailer

Full Review

The Culling Review

By, Marc Marasigan

The Culling is a buy-to-play—first-person battle royale style game where 16 players face off against each other in a fight to the death, until one combatant (or a 2-man team in team mode) is left standing. The game is set on a fictional island worthy of being in a Hunger Games movie. The Culling runs on Unreal Engine 4 and it looks great: detailed environments and superb lighting. The developer’s attention to detail shows thanks to great-looking weapons and surveillance cameras that actually follow you when you move.

While the game lacks background music the eerie silence left in its stead works better to create an intense, they’re-coming-to-get me atmosphere: mildly exaggerated sound effects punctuate the unnerving quiet and will have your heart racing. The entire match is also interspersed with hilarious commentary from a fast-talking and slightly sarcastic host, offering combatants a play by play account of the gruesome deaths happening in the arena.

Get A Room

Players new to The Culling can learn the basics of the game through a very informative, but slightly long, playable tutorial, which can be accessed at any time through the Play menu. The tutorial is divided into two parts: Basic and Advanced. Players can choose to play either, both, or skip everything and jump into a match. To complete either of the tutorials, players must go through a series of rooms, each dealing with different gameplay mechanics or recipes.

Rooms in the basic tutorial deal with movement, combat, and basic crafting recipes, along with the use of basic weapons. While Rooms in the advanced tutorial, on the other hand, teach players advanced crafting recipes and their uses, such as traps, explosives, and how to activate supply drops. The combined tutorials take about 30 minutes but is worth the time, especially if you haven’t played battle royale games before. If you don’t have the time and patience to run through everything though, you can easily see a summary of recipes by pressing the Esc key at any time during a match.

Dressed to Kill

Before joining a game it’s probably a good idea to customize your characters first. In the Loadout menu players are given a very limited selection of face, hairstyle, and skin color options to customize their characters, along with a handful of shirts, pants, and shoes to choose between. Not much. But you do get clothing as a reward for joining matches.

Play enough matches and you’ll soon have enough items to make you character the meanest-looking son of a gun in the arena. Remember the saying don’t judge a book by its cover? Well, as a nearly-naked newbie in The Culling, trying to take on a dressed up character might not be such a good idea, especially one looking like they came right out of a Purge movie.

The Killing Floor

Matches in The Culling are set on an isolated island closed off with shield generators and littered with structures such as a pump house, an airport, a sewer system, and a recreational system among others. These structures are usually good spots to find weapons, medkits, and other items. Unlike other games that make use of procedurally-generated maps, the “Island” in The Culling stays the same for every match except for randomly-placed supply crates. This gives veterans a slight advantage over newbies since they know exactly where the better items usually appear along with the best hiding spots.

At the 10-minute mark, poisonous gas is released at the edges of the island and slowly works its way to the center of the map, forcing players to converge in the central arena called The Culmination. When the countdown timer reaches the 1-minute mark, even The Culmination area starts to fill with gas, forcing a winner. Matches usually don’t last until the final phase though.

F.U.N.C. You

As soon as players emerge from their randomly dropped metal cages they can then either start crafting a primitive weapon to defend themselves, or try their luck scavenging. Crafting might be a quick way to obtain a weapon but scavenging yields better quality items (assuming that you can get to them first) and helps players save up on F.U.N.C., the currency used during the match. Along with items, such as rocks and branches, crafting requires a certain amount of F.U.N.C., depending on the item to be crafted. F.U.N.C. can also be used to buy powerful weapons like the Compound Bow or the Tomahawk, and is used to call in airdrops that contain better gear. Additional F.U.N.C. is awarded to players by simply surviving and can be looted from human remains scattered across the island.

When Push Comes to Shove

While having the best weapon, or at least a better one than your opponents, significantly ups your chances of surviving the match there are a few nuances to combat that when used to a player’s advantage can tip the scales in their favor. In melee combat players have the ability to charge their attacks by holding down the left mouse button for increased damage. In addition to running, strafing, and kiting, players can also block attacks with the right mouse or shove opponents using the Q key.

This attack-block-shove system uses a rock-paper-scissors model to determine who gets the upper hand, a successfully blocked attack causes the attacker to stagger allowing the blocker to get in a free attack. Blocking players, on the other hand, can be shoved when their guard is up to make them stagger, again allowing their opponent to get in a free attack. Furthermore, ranged players drop their weapons when hit by a melee attack (yes, even guns) so it’s always a good practice to keep a melee weapon as backup, preferably one with a long range such as a spear or a javelin. All weapons and items can also be thrown using the middle mouse button. The damage they do, however, depends on the type of weapon. Hitting your opponent in the leg with a javelin, for example, obviously does more damage than throwing your GPS-like man tracker in their face.


I’m not a big fan of games with a Perk system. The Culling, however, handles their Perk system differently than those other games. Unlike other games, where Perks are earned by playing matches, The Culling’s Perk system has Perks unlocked for every player right from the start, regardless of whether you’re a newbie or a veteran. Players can choose between a wide variety of perks to suit their preferred play-style, with effects ranging from additional health or increased sprint speed, to increased damage with specific weapons or the ability to run without making noise even when in water. The only catch is they can only pick three. A melee player, for example, might pick Thick Skin and Regenerator, for reduced damage and the ability to recover health over time, and Sneaky Poker if he decides to focus on spears, or Chopper if he prefers axes.

Final Verdict - Great

The Culling is one of, if not, the only game built from the ground up specifically with Battle Royale in mind and not just as an afterthought. The game is fast-paced and intense while also managing to keep things light and fun, thanks, in part, to the host's entertaining commentaries, the ability to throw virtually anything in your opponents face (electronic devices included), and the pure joy of murdering other players just to be the best. Some players might be turned-off by the game's overly steep learning curve but it's nothing that a few matches and about a dozen spears to the face can't fix. Overall, The Culling is a solid game with a bright future ahead of it and one with the potential to become one of the best PvP games released in the past couple of years.


The Culling Screenshots


The Culling Videos

The Culling - Official Announcement Trailer

System Requirements

The Culling System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: 64-Bit OS Required: Win7 SP1, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
CPU: Intel Core i3 560 / AMD Phenom2 X4 945
Video Card: DX11 GPU with 1GB VRAM: NVidia GTX 460/ AMD Radeon 5850
Hard Disk Space: 4 GB

Official system requirements have not yet been released for The Culling. The requirements above our based on our experience and will be updated when official numbers become available.


The Culling Music & Soundtrack

Coming Soon!

Additional Information

The Culling Additional Information

Developer: Xaviant

Game Engine: Unreal 4

Announcement Date: February 03, 2016
Early Access: March 08, 2016

Shut Down: May 15, 2019

Development History / Background:

The Culling is developed by Georgia-based game studio Xaviant. The Culling was announced on February 03, 2016 and is scheduled to begin Early Access on March 08, 2016. Closed Alpha sign-ups began on February 11, 2016. Xaviant was formed in 2007 and previously developed Lichdom: Battlemage.

The game launched on Steam on March 4, 2016 with fairly limited features, but has received numerous updates since launch. Despite going free to play, The Culling could not maintain a healthy playerbase. The game shut down on May 15, 2019.