Patchle Royale: The Culling Launches Big Update

Following on from (and spawned in) sandbox craft ’em ups and survival games, early access multiplayer murderarenas inspired by Battle Royale and The Hunger Games are all the rage nowadays. The Culling [official site] is a pretty good one, as they go, even getting our Alec into multiplayer murder. Now developers Xaviant Games have launched The Culling’s first “major” patch, which brings shiny new things like female characters, private lobbies, SteamOS support, new character perks, a trident and other weapons, and a rebalancing including toning down the power of shoving.

To recap, The Culling drops 16 players into big a Hunger Games-y arena to murder each other in 20-minute rounds, and neatly has a mode for two-player teams. Players build characters from a selection of perks (and dress-up bits, obvs), then scamper about finding, crafting, and buying weapons and items to bump each other off. The map shrinks over time, clouds of poison gas pushing players together for a finale. That’s it!

Version #90634, the ‘Trials of the Isle’ update, launched yesterday. See the patch notes for everything added and changed, which is quite a lot. It’s not gone wholly smoothly.

I’m seeing complaints from some players suffering more crashes and disconnections than before, and more about lower performance. This patch brought a new lighting system and changed what the the graphics settings presets mean, so folks with slower computers might need to turn their Render Quality and Texture Quality down. Xaviant are working on a hotfix which will add an option to disable shadows. But shadows are important for providing cover and removing them gives an advantage, so Xaviant say “in the future competitive modes, such as Trials, may become locked to those who remove shadows.”

The Culling is still in Steam Early Access, where Xaviant say it’ll be for about a year while they add new maps, modes, and all that. They expect to properly launch The Culling in 2017. Right now it has a teeny 10% discount, bringing it to £9.89/13,49€/$13.49.


  1. XxBrentos9xX says:

    Usually I’m all for optimizing the experience for everyone, but if some element of that is necessary (shadows) then I think it’s fair that people with sub-par hardware should be made to upgrade if they wanted to play. Besides, almost any new AAA game in 2016 is going to need some fancy hardware to run efficiently.

    • asmcint says:

      While I agree with a lot of what you’re saying, a lot of performance issues linger on relatively new entry level-mid range machines with this game, requiring disabling of shadows to fix effectively, and even sometimes lower resolution(mine tends to be at about 1600×900). While some people should upgrade, I hardly think that such measures should be necessary with my own machine, and hope that Xaviant focus more on optimization in the future. Basic system specs below.

      CPU: FX-6300 @3.5GHz
      RAM: 8GB DDR3 @1333 MHz
      GPU: Sapphire Dual-X Radeon R9 270 w/Boost & OC
      OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit