Set in the title's expansive Alaskan territory, Cabela's Survival: Shadows of Katmai leaves players alone and stranded. Forced to scavenge for equipment and hunt for food, they must remain ever prepared to run for their lives from lurking, monstrous predators that call the harsh mountains home. As Cabela's hunting simulations are to the first-person shooter genre, Shadows of Katmai is to the survival horror style. Gamers face a tense and complicated journey, punctuated with explosive violence and startling dangers, that plays out through the Cabela's series' extreme but believable wilderness settings.
Arctic storms make shelter difficult but crucial to find, and rocky, ice-covered terrain is treacherous. Hungry wolves, bear, and mountain cats are better suited for the unforgiving environments than is their bipedal prey. Facing man-against-nature challenges befitting cable television outdoorsmen, players must rely on instinct, adaptability, and luck to survive. As the adventure progresses, the player's character can acquire better equipment, in order to face even greater challenges ahead. Away from the adventure, multiplayer shooting-gallery competition is available in head-to-head, hot-seat, and co-op modes.