Let’s get this out of the way first: Thankfully, the “survival” name applies to the nature of the mode, not to creatures like zombies within it. (Well, not for the most part.) You’ll be facing off against human enemies in Survival mode, including standard Shoreline mercenaries and tougher foes such as snipers, “brutes” and “hunters.”
Survival mode offers 50 increasingly difficult waves of those enemies across 10 different maps. IGN reports that the mode is split into 10 sets of five waves, and that you can save your progress along the way, so you don’t have to set aside hours and hours of time to play through the entire thing. You can also choose a difficulty from the start, and once you beat Survival on the Hard setting, it unlocks Crushing.
Every 10 waves, you’ll encounter a boss battle with a Pirate Warlord — a reanimated corpse of one of the founders of Libertalia, as seen in Uncharted 4’s story mode. In the trailer above, Captain Henry Avery himself shows up to throw Mystical attacks at Nate, Elena & co. As you make your way through the waves, you’ll earn in-game cash that you can spend to unlock weapons and gear at crates on the map.
Survival mode also mixes up the action with gameplay objectives and qualifiers. You’ll be asked to do things like defend a particular section of the map, collect treasures before a timer runs out or defeat specific marked enemies. Sometimes, you’ll be forced to kill enemies in a certain way, like with headshots or melee attacks.
You can tackle Survival mode alone with an AI companion, or in a group with up to two of your friends online. Although the Adventure mode in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception supported local split-screen co-op, Naughty Dog confirmed earlier this year that Uncharted 4 will not.
Survival mode, like all maps and modes in Uncharted 4’s multiplayer component, will be released as a free update; it is set to go live in mid-December. It will be playable at PlayStation Experience 2016, which runs from Dec. 3-4 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.