The Culling was "the world's first built-from-scratch battle royale", according to developer Xaviant Games. It entered Steam Early Access in May 2016 - almost a year before PUBG - and even among the slew of later imitators, it remains pretty distinctive. It was themed after a Hunger Games-esque reality show (long before Radical Heights came along), and with only 16 players and a heavy focus on melee combat, it was a tight, intense experience.
And its sequel - to my knowledge, the first to a standalone battle royale - goes live on Steam in under two hours.
The Culling 2 "expands on every aspect of its predecessor", Xaviant says. The arena is now 20 square kilometers hosting 50 contestants, and there are far more guns - from 9mm pistols to sniper rifles - with real-world ballistics. These new features come on top of the previous game's established melee combat and its perk system, which enables you to customise your playstyle.
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Sound good? You can head to the Steam page here for more details, screenshots, and system requirements, though there's no price listed as yet. Judging from the screens, The Culling 2 looks a little less colourful or distinctive compared to its predecessor, though recent Steam reviews for The Culling have been mostly negative, so perhaps that's for the best.
Some of the most-upvoted of those reviews suggest that although the Culling was once "one of the best battle royale games out there - way more intense than Fortnite or PUBG" it was suddenly changed too much and too quickly. Here's hoping Xaviant has learned its lessons for the sequel. Given the studio also gave us the quietly rather good Lichdom: Battlemage, there's a fair chance of that.
The Culling 2 goes LIVE in just under two hours.— The Culling 2 (@TheCullingGame) July 10, 2018
We've gotten word that some slippery contestants have snuck their way into arena. Please excuse us as we clean the blood, disinfect the diseases & prepare for launch and finalize several tests.
Doors officially open at 10AM EST! pic.twitter.com/MkCexAeTKO
The Culling 2 will go live at 15:00 BST today - that's 07:00 Pacific (Los Angeles), 10:00 Eastern (New York), 16:00 CEST (Paris), 11:00 BRT (Rio de Janeiro), 18:00 MSK (Moscow), and midnight AEST (Sydney).