This is my rifle, this is my gun; this is for fighting, this is for fun!
You’ve just crash-landed on a harsh, snowy mountaintop. You have no food, no spare clothing, no shelter. What do you do? Well, first you’d better grab that rifle from the back of the plane and shoot the endless stream of bloodthirsty wolves that are bearing down on you. Oh, did I not mention the bloodthirsty wolves? Probably should have gotten that out of the way first.
The darker, more action-oriented and arcade-y sibling in this year’s double-whammy of Cabela-branded hunting games, Cabela’s Survival: Shadows of Katmai is more the spiritual successor to last year’s Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2011. Still using the trusty Top Shot Elite, Cabela’s Survival is just that—a fight to stay alive in the harshest conditions against the harshest beasts.
Its sister release, Cabela’s Big Game Hunter 2012, makes a marked attempt to emulate a realistic hunting experience. Not so with Survival. In a moment of extreme misfortune, Logan James crashes on an Alaskan mountain range that just happens to be in the midst of a battering blizzard. At the start of the game, you are armed with only a flare gun, which you must use to scare off the hungry wolves that only want to dine on your succulent flesh while you search for the plane’s scattered supplies—including the rifle that you need to actually put down the ravenous animals.
After that, the action heats up as the temperature drops while you blast your way toward safety. Survival controls slightly unconventionally, staying primarily in third-person view where you move your protagonist around with the control stick on the back of the Top Shot. When you have to shoot, you’ll be facing down all sorts of vicious animals in an arcade-looking first-person view, complete with lifebars on the more resilient ones; it’s reminiscent of blasting zombies in House of the Dead.
Cabela’s Survival: Shadows of Katmai is scheduled for release in November this year, a couple months after Big Game Hunter 2012.