The Culling 2 launches on Steam today, Xaviant has announced, with a fancy new trailer, and fans of the franchise aren’t happy.

During E3 2018, The Culling 2 was announced. The game is set to be a follow-up from Xaviant’s previous battle royale game which they launched into Early Access back in 2016. The game had a pretty rocky time, however, as Xaviant seemed to ignore feedback from fans of the game and released several patches and updates which soured the community.

Following The Culling‘s final launch in 2017 on both PC and Xbox One, it took only a few months for Xaviant to throw in the towel and call it a day. So it surprised pretty much everyone when they announced The Culling 2.

Things then took a turn for the worst as an internal leaked showed that The Culling 2 had ditched the original’s first-person melee-focused gameplay for something not unlike other popular battle royale games, H1Z1 and PUBG. Xaviant’s response to the leak was a little brazen too, saying the leak was “theft” and “a deliberate attack on our studio intended to disrupt an official announcement of our new game.”

Unsurprisingly, however, Xaviant unveiled the announcement trailer for The Culling 2 last night, revealing that the game would be launching on Steam, as a full-price title ($20), today. And the trailer itself showed that fans’ worst fears had come true. The new game is essentially an H1Z1, PUBG, clone.

Check it out for yourself:

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The response to The Culling 2‘s trailer over on the /r/survivetheculling subreddit is as you’d expect, with the thread full of people unhappy with the direction Xaviant has taken the next game which is a complete departure from the original.

lol literally h1z1 re image. You guys had something beautiful going for you. First person melee combat BR now u guys have just followed the crowd i hope no one buys this shit” said one user.

“Who are they trying to target with a 20$ price tag and 50 players per game? I don’t get it, I would of checked it out if it was free but I’m sure not gona spend money on it after what happened with the Culling 1. This has to be a cash grab because no one can believe this game will survive with it not being free and I can’t imagine this game was in development for very long.” said another.

Looking at the stats for The Culling 2‘s trailer, this seems to also be echoed as the video currently has 144 “Likes” and over 1.2K “Dislikes”.

As someone who absolutely loved the original game in its early form, I have to agree with the above sentiments. The Culling 2 is exactly what we saw with Radical Heights, a developer cashing-in on the current hype around battle royale games. I can see that it might gain some traction from people looking for something other than PUBG or Fortnite, plus with it launching simultaneously on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, this would be one of the first battle royale games to launch on all platforms. (Fortnite could be included in that, but technically it’s still in beta).

The Culling 2 Screenshot showing two players with guns and a third player hiding with an axe.

That being said, The Culling 2 really has nothing going for it. Looking at the game’s FAQ the only real unique features are the ability to equip perks – something brought over from the original game, as well as three different choppers taking players into the arena each of which is traveling in different directions and altitudes. Stims will also be returning, which are consumables that give players temporary stat boosts.

Adding to this, The Culling 2‘s FAQ reveals that cosmetic items will be a big part of the game, which is fine, but following on from this another question asks whether these loot crates which cosmetics arrive in, can be purchased with real cash. Their response to that question is “TBD”. I can’t imagine players will be too pleased that, after paying $20 to buy the game, they’ll be required to pay more money to get certain cosmetic items.

There is some good news out of all of this as it seems the melee combat from the first game is returning to The Culling 2, however, it seems pretty pointless if opposing players are armed to the teeth with guns and explosives.

While I’m not immediately going to write-off The Culling 2, I have to say that I am disappointed that Xaviant has gone down this direction. I’d like to be proven wrong and that gunplay in the game is less of a focus than melee, but I find that much more unlikely.

The Culling 2 is set to launch on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One today (July 10).

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