Steam’s Latest Hit Is Basically A Hunger Games Video Game

Steam’s Latest Hit Is Basically A Hunger Games Video Game

My hands shook. My heart pulsated like someone was ramming it through with a jackhammer. I’d just gotten my first kill in The Culling, and I might have been freaking out a bit.

The Culling is the latest out-of-nowhere Steam chart-topper, and it’s got quite a bit going for it. It’s the first standalone game born of a popular survival game mode called Battle Royale. (Well, second if you count H1z1’s recent controversial split into two entities, one of which is Battle-Royale-focused.)

Basically, it’s a lot like Hunger Games, which itself is overtly inspired by — wait for it — a Japanese novel/manga/movie called Battle Royale. 16 players, either solo or in teams of two, are dropped onto a massive island with nothing but their skivvies and their instincts. Unarmed, players then have to craft weapons, traps, and tools to slowly pick each other off until only one is left standing. Oh, and they have only got 25 minutes to do it.

The result is a tense experience, one where each sighting of another human fills me with a mix of nausea and bloodlust. Combat is, admittedly, pretty sloppy, but haphazardly swinging away with a crudely hewn stone axe or whiffing with a bow-and-arrow adds to the feeling of being some poor schmuck stranded in a gigantic holo-cage deathmatch. Fights are ugly and agonizing, but victory is thrilling.

Also terrifying, because you never know who might have been watching. In that sense, it’s almost a relief to get dragged, kicking and flailing, into fisticuffs, gun-fu, or a spear and entrail rodeo, because at least something is finally happening. It’s the moments in between where you feel like both predator and prey, picking through (hopefully) abandoned buildings and laying traps, praying that you’re not stumbling into somebody else’s.

Eventually, it all comes to a head, which brings me back to the story of my first kill. I was creeping through the shadows of a wooded area, trying to mask the sound of my footsteps as much as possible. I sighted him sprinting across a creek, and he sighted me. He had only his fists where I’d already fashioned an axe, but he decided to go for it anyway.

I slashed viciously, but he blocked and stunned me. After he landed a couple shots, I blocked and stunned him. He was landing more, but my axe was carving him into bloody cutlets. Suddenly, he put as much distance between the two of us as he could. Then he whipped out a gun. “Oh fuck,” I said to myself, shortly before following it with, “Wait, why didn’t he do that earlier?” I tried to strafe, but his shot landed. And I was… fine?

I resumed laying into him, and he dropped to the ground in an ugly heap. I barely had any health left, and I was bleeding profusely, but I won. In real life, my hands were shaking. However, as my win-at-all-costs terminator tunnel vision faded, I noticed something. My character’s whole body was flashing, and an obnoxious voice wouldn’t stop blabbering about emergencies.

I picked up my fallen foe’s gun. Its purpose? To fire emergency beacons that won’t shut up for two whole minutes. In The Culling, that’s an eternity. I was a walking, talking neon-lit “Murder Me” sign. That’s when I realised: my opponent knew he was gonna lose our match, but he decided to set one last trap before I hacked him to pieces.

He succeeded, and somebody else shot an arrow straight between my eyes about a minute later. Hell of a welcome, The Culling. Hell of a welcome.


    • Yeah that’s what I read, lots of negative comments in the reviews section stating that.

    • correcto. You would think that a game like this would have built in LAN feature, but yeah nah.

      • I don’t see why this would be the case, i don’t believe things like dayz and rust have a lan feature do they ?

        This is ideally the same kind of game just in an “arena” setting, that being said these guys are very small and they weren’t expecting the uptake to be quite as quick, they’ve been very prompt to answer things and help people a long the way so they have my support!

        • I was more frustrated at most games now days having no Lan support, I mean online play only work well for places like America and co where they have reasonable connection speeds. Where as in Aus it’s a bit of a hit and miss, I have NBN yet most of my friends are still waiting to get better speeds with ADSL2 as the NBN rollout is a joke.

          But yeah, I agree with you on that 🙂

  • I like to think The hunger games are a take on a less brutal The Condemned with less Stone Cold and Vinnie Jones and more bleh

  • That was the feel i got off the trailer,Hunger Games/Battle Royal in a multiplayer setting.

    It looks like a lot of fun though =)

    • The movie sure, the book not at all! Is funny, he just signs those rights away with no qualms whatsoever!
      We did get stand by me and shawshank redemption though,pretty much makes up for any poor or way different adaptations.

      • I still think The Mist is my favourite King adaptation. Spoilered for anyone that’s read the book but not seen the movie, or vice versa

        Sure, the ending is different, but King has actually gone on record saying that he preferred Darabont’s ending to the one in the book

        • I am sure i have read the mist, was years ago tho, was it just a short story??
          I dunno if i ever saw the film, great idea tho the man is nuts

          • It was technically a novalla – little bit longer than a short story, but shorter than a book.

          • It was technically a novalla – little bit longer than a short story, but shorter than a book.

      • The book is gnarly, would definitely pay to see a more faithful adaptation on the big screen.

        • Yeh the running man book is very cool innit, a lot more grounded, has a great vibe to it. Would make a sick movie, the world may be ready now even! That new show 11.22.63 is actually pretty faithful, good book but as the time travel stuff isnt a huge focus during the main body of it i may lose interest, twt

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