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Xaviant Games' The Culling has been a wildly successful and popular indie game that made its way to the Early Access platform on Steam. The developers have been regularly updating the game with mixed results from the community each time around. The latest update makes the game even more brutal than before.
According to Game Informer, the latest patch for The Culling turns the game into an even more vicious free-for-all. Patch #91794 sees a new Showdown mode added to the game, where players who are working together throughout a match in The Culling will then have to face off against each other after killing another player, or risk the penalty of dying. While teamwork is encouraged in the team based modes, teamwork is certainly discouraged in the free-for-all mode.
Essentially, The Culling is like Battle Royale or The Hunger Games. Players must fight other players to be the last person standing. It all takes place on a tropical island where weapons of all sorts are scattered about. Players will need to scavenge for goods, craft deadly devices, make traps, and kill the other players on the island before time runs out.
Given the nature of the game, players naturally form teams with some players in order to kill other players. Like-minded gamers usually link up and tag-team against stronger opponents, not unlike what was featured in the movies Battle Royale or The Hunger Games. Xaviant Games decided that a lot of players were using the tag-team feature in ways that turned the game more into a cooperative deathmatch game as opposed to a free-for-all.
To curb the reliance on teamwork, they explain in the patch notes that the new Showdown feature is designed to keep things competitive amongst players at all times...
The brand-new Showdown feature is a fun and exciting way to keep teaming issues in check - forcing players players who work together in Free For All to duke it out for the right to remain on the island.
So what happens if you decide to team with someone and keep playing with them while doing the free-for-all mode? Well, the Showdown feature will kick into play, where a designated area will be highlighted, forcing the two players to duke it out. If either player decides not to participate in the Showdown they'll die.
Feedback on this particular feature in The Culling was kind of drowned out by the community more frustrated with the developer's decision to “fix” other features.
A lot of people have issues with the game's combat system, noting that the patches have made it unbalanced and unfun. Others complained that a lot of the weapons have also become unbalanced or overpowered.
Many of the older reviews for the were positive, but the more recent ones have practically become exclusively negative. Adding the Showdown feature to The Culling doesn't seem like it's going to fix some of the issues and problems people have with the game, but some gamers are still hoping that Xaviant will fix some of the more glaring issues with the combat and optimization so that they can go back to loving the game as a video game version of The Hunger Games or Battle Royale.
The Culling is available right now through Early Access on the Steam store for only $14.99.