After almost a year I decided to try The Culling again. To be honest, nothing really feels as good as some relentless face-to-face action experienced in this game. Xaviant tried to catch their own fall by releasing The Culling II just a few months ago, but it was a complete disaster. The game was rushed, uninteresting, unwanted and it felt like Xaviant was trying to make a joke out of their fans. So, they decided to go back to The Culling Origins with day one combat features combined with the latest graphics.
The Culling, the original, had its own flaws like every other game. A small group of contestants fighting each other to death, barely any gunplay involved, but instead a completely different system. Rock, paper, scissors as the melee combat logic. A few other ingredients such as stims, which enhance your character attributes and gives you advantages in combat.
To win, you had to outsmart your opponents, by either playing better than them, reading their next moves, reacting faster and so on. Or by playing with the environment, such as crafting and planting traps or even pushing them off the high ground you are fighting on.
Sadly the game went down the hill update after update. There were content changes released by the developers almost every week, drastic ones. Some of them were even unrequested or totally unpredictable. Nobody had even talked about that!
They went over tweaking the combat system that was pretty much flawless… And despite the numerous posts from players explaining what was truly wrong with the game, nothing was taken until consideration at the time. Eventually, Xaviant announced that the game would be discontinued. So, The Culling got “culled” by their own creators.
The Aftermath: The Culling Origins
After the sequel, The Culling fanbase showed their discontentment massively. The team got their butts handed over to themselves by their own players. The Culling II was negatively reviewed by so many people. It didn’t take long for Xaviant to remove it from Steam.
But then something incredible happened. When we least expected, Xaviant decided to listen to what the community had to say and they even apologized for what they have done. They came upfront to announce that they still had The Culling Day 1 in the company archives. So, they took the copy, dusted it off and sent it to Steam to make a remaster of the game called: The Culling: Day 1 Reference.
Oh man, this was buggy, and old and just….. Refreshing. It was exactly what we were missing! That’s when the feedback came in and a new idea was born: The Culling Origins.
A Lesson for Life: Listen to Your Consumers
I suppose that this whole process has taught Xaviant a great lesson for life. Listen to your consumers and understand their discontentment. If they keep telling you something is wrong, maybe it’s because that’s reality. Generally, consumers do know better.
Well, Xaviant started doing surveys. They asked their community for their feedback and applied the changes little by little. Then, earlier this month The Culling returned for good.
The game now features a great and simple combat system, with little to few bugs, and fresh graphics. The first contact with “The Big House” update introduced a new graphical version of the game. It also included the old Prison map, which has been removed from the Origins.