It feels like only a month ago that The Culling 2 was announced - sequel to Xaviant's early Battle Royale/Hunger Games inspired multiplayer FPS. Oh, wait, it was less than that. Three weeks and change to be specific. The developers are really not messing around on this one, as not only are they bypassing any kind of early access launch, but the game is will be available in just 16 hours, according to Steam's store-page countdown.
Judging by the gameplay trailer below, The Culling 2's design is perhaps a little more conservative than the more Hunger Games-inspired original. 50 players are now competing for fame, glory and not getting murdered, and there seems to be a much greater focus on ranged combat. Given that we've already got the two genre mega-juggernauts that are Plunkbat and Fortnite trading blows, it seems very risky to put out a shooter without an immediately distinct hook of its own.
The developers are keen to stress that melee combat is still viable in The Culling 2, especially if you pick perks to get you into stabbing range a little faster. I personally believe there's a lot of interesting things that could be done within the battle royale shooter formula, especially in terms of weapons used, but audiences seem to have decided that semi-realistic assault rifles are order of the day and I don't see that changing anytime soon. Sad, given that Xaviant's first game, Lichdom: Battlemage, was all about creative and esoteric magic weaponry. I want a wizard battle royale!
It's not just the big-boys that The Culling 2 is going up against either. Sci-fi themed battle royale Islands of Nyne is due out just two days later on July 12th, and for all its fancy Crysis-style suits and futuristic weapon skins, it looks to be very much another pseudo-tactical, semi-realistic shooter where a scoped assault rifle is your go-to weapon of choice in 95% of encounters.
The Culling 2 is out tomorrow, July 10th, and will cost $20. You can find it on Steam here.