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Home » The Culling: Day One Reference Review – A Last Chance at Redemption

The Culling: Day One Reference Review – A Last Chance at Redemption

The Culling: Day One Reference
Xaviant Games

Luckily, my partner and I began our match not too far from one another. We were on one of two of The Culling’s maps, this one a sprawling prison complex. We linked up and then decided to make a run for the prison’s sewer system below the complex.

“We gotta get some weapons, fast!” my friend said.

“Sure thing,” I agreed.

Since The Culling has a reality show format which pits sixteen “contestants” against one another—either solo or in pairs—getting your hands on weapons and any survival equipment such as backpacks or first aid kits, is of paramount importance.

Unfortunately, while scavenging for weapons on our way to the sewers, we ran into a couple of other players who were already armed. We quickly began sprinting for the sewers and they took off after us. One of them had a blowgun and his darts whizzed through the air around us while we ran.

We made it to one of the large sewage tunnels and I picked up some sticks at the entrance before we darted down it. As we ran I crafted a punji trap in my hands. Since I’d picked a perk (Trapper) which both  quickened the time I could craft traps, as well as made them more deadly, I thought it our only chance of survival at that point.

We came across a side room and bolted into it since there were sometimes weapons stashed within the sewers. My partner checked for weapons as I laid the punji spike down at the room’s entrance. We were in luck—we came across both a hammer and a machete. We could hear the footsteps of our pursuers sloshing down the tunnel so we waited for them patiently.

The first of our assailants ran right into my trap, which not only caused damage but also immobilized him. I began smashing away at him with my hammer as my buddy engaged our other enemy. By the time my opponent freed himself of my trap he was too wounded to fight and began running away. My friend and I ganged up on the other enemy and made quick work of him. It was a tense battle—the type of battle that was part and parcel of The Culling.

That gaming experience happened a couple of years ago, and even compared to the more recent battle royale games, it stood out. However, The Culling’s developer, Xaviant Games, began a long spiral downwards with their hot new property.

Over the many months since the game entered into Early Access, they kept adding updates that brought the overall gameplay down. Even though their dwindling player base kept complaining about all of the unwanted additions, the developers ignored them.

Then, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds came out and pretty much snapped up The Culling’s remaining players. By the time Xaviant finally got around to releasing The Culling in October of 2017, there was hardly any souls left to play it.

For those not in the know, The Culling was one of the first games built as a battle royale experience from the ground up. It featured sixteen person battles to the death on either a jungle island or an abandoned prison map.

One of the things that set The Culling apart from other games (even PUBG) was that it was centered on melee combat instead of ranged. So, instead of starting each match trying to scrounge up assault rifles, The Culling had players either crafting crude weapons like spears and knives or finding weapons littered across its maps. There were ranged weapons such as bows and javelins, but guns were rare and usually locked up in special crates.

This focus on melee combat made battles much more intense since they involved running opponents down, or doing your best to escape them, many times with them right on your heels.

After Xaviant pulled the plug on The Culling, they tried to catch some of the PUBG crowd by creating a bad clone of it. Of course, that flopped miserably so they re-released the original game sans all of the horrendous updates.

They call it The Culling: Day One Reference, and it still features all of the nail biting tension and gritty combat that it did years ago. However, only time will tell if it can lure any gamers back to its once-thriving player base.


The Culling: Day One Reference features great graphics that make its battle royale gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:

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