Cabela's Survival: Shadows of Katmai (2011) PlayStation 3 | Game Review

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Avatar for patientgamer9
2 years ago

Only three items will survive the coming nuclear/zombie/killer-dolphin apocalypse. Cockroaches, Tom Selleck's adamantium-coated 'tache, and the 18,000 different Cabela's games that Activision has released in the last decade.

Not that I mind; Survival is, in fact, the most intriguing instalment in the wildlife-hunting series so far. Previous Cabela's games were clumsy, low-budget first-person shooters; this is an awkward, low-budget third-person game. When you play with a DualShock, the clunkiness only really shows up in your rifle sights.

An on-screen reticule appears in front of your stranded pilot to assist you to avoid ridiculous numbers of grizzlies, wolf packs, and overly aggressive elk. It's an unusual mix of styles, neither over-the-shoulder nor classic targeting, but one that, luckily, works nicely with Sony's glowy wand. Consider it to be a third-person lightgun game.

Not that you spend all of your time annihilating enough creatures to bring the WWF (the panda equivalent) to its knees in despair. Your beardy bush pilot is stranded in the Alaskan wilderness and must scavenge for sustenance while navigating the harsh, icy landscape in platforming portions.

These tense sequences are reminiscent of Uncharted - minus the thrills, tension, and refined controls. Worse, the snow-covered ledges you must fling yourself between are notoriously difficult to see, adding to the already tiresome, semi-automated Cliffhanger acrobatics. I was itching to shoot Yogi and his murderous buddies in the kidneys again after 20 minutes of Drake-lite leaping.

The whole narrative mode is based on this kind of charming, ridiculous gamey logic. Crow swarms (also known as murder crows) are lethal airborne assassins who will peck your fingers off as you traverse chasms. With a jab of L1, your famished hero can jump over 30-foot ravines. Even saving is a brutal mini-game of button mashing.

Mind you; the narrative-driven mode is only half of the experience. The rest of the game takes place in shooting galleries, which are akin to the old Cabela action. It's just you, limitless ammunition, and on-rails levels full of animals who want you to digest in their intestines.

It's as close to hunting big game as you can get without going postal at your local safari park with an AK-47 when played with Move and the Sharp Shooter rifle attachment. Okay, so it's shameful enjoyment murdering a CGI moose with a fake plastic rifle.

Of course, the whole thing is fugly and cheap. But, whether it was the surprisingly pleasant dogsledding parts or the physics gaffes that frequently saw dead animals doing the splits accidentally, I had a smile on my face the entire time. Just keep in mind, kids: every animal in Cabela's kingdom is a jerk.

$ 0.29
$ 0.28 from @TheRandomRewarder
$ 0.01 from @merurial9
Avatar for patientgamer9
2 years ago