The Digest: If you enjoyed Red Dead Redemption, don’t hesitate to purchase the Undead Nightmare pack. If you also happen to love zombies — and let’s be honest, who doesn’t? — then that’s just an added bonus. The Undead Nightmare pack has roughly over six hours of content to keep you busy along with plenty of laughs throughout, and it’s one of the most well thought out and fun DLC packs you can get your hands on.
THE FACT SHEET
RELEASE DATE: October 26, 2010
PUBLISHER: Rockstar Games
DEVELOPER: Rockstar San Diego
ESRB RATING: “M” for MATURE
GENRE: Open World Action Shooter
Undead Nightmare introduces to Red Dead Redemption a brand new single player campaign, complete with undead frontiersmen, zombie-themed dynamic events, undead animals, and mythical creatures, as well as a new storyline that will see the return of many of the single-player game’s iconic characters in completely unexpected ways.
The idea of creating an undead version of one of our open world games isn’t a new one: it’s been requested by fans of our games dating back several years. And while zombie games in cities are relatively common, Red Dead Redemption offered us the opportunity to do something completely different and offer up an entire rural countryside to an unstoppable plague of undead, bringing with it some new additions to the gameplay of the world itself.
- Original storyline
- Four zombie classes
- New Weapons: Blunderbuss, holy water, zombie bait and boom bait
- New multiplayer modes: Undead Overrun and Land Grab
Rockstar has done it again. Right from the start, you can see that the team behind this epic DLC pack went all out to create Undead Nightmare. The original voice actors all make a return, and the DLC is packed to the brim with new content. Taking the foundation laid out by the vast world of Red Dead Redemption, the developers over at Rockstar took that world and twisted it into an adventure that should be experienced by anyone itching to jump back into John Marston’s boots — or for those just looking to kill some zombies.
A mysterious plague is spreading throughout the land, and it’s up to John Marston to get to the bottom of it and find a cure. Your mission will take you far and wide as you revisit all the locales from the original, running into characters both old and new. Everyone has their own theories on what caused the infection to spread, with most being wildly implausible.
The rule of thumb when it comes to zombies is that when they’re separated or light in numbers, they’re not hard to contain. However, when a horde is coming after you, that’s when they become a problem. You can only kill zombies with headshots or by torching their bodies. With limited spare ammo and no stores to buy any more, it would be best to limit the amount of bullets you use — at least early on in the game. If the zombies are spread out, don’t be afraid to run up and pull off a close range kill as you automatically go into the execution animation when you get close enough. You can also opt to use the torch you get early in the game to light them on fire.
You don’t use cover to hide behind while picking off your enemies because they don’t have guns to shoot back at you, and you’ll spend most of your time scrambling around in order to avoid being overwhelmed. If you can find an elevated surface to perch yourself on top of, then there’s really no challenge to combat as you can use the zombie’s heads as target practice. Killing zombies is fun for the first few hours, but it admittedly gets a bit stale after a while. It’s not as strategic as the original Red Dead Redemption, and it becomes a chore after you kill enough of them over time.
There are four variations of zombies for you to face. The Undead are your typical mindless zombies, while the Bolter is much quicker version that can jump on you. The Bruiser is a big, fat zombie that charges at you and can take a lot more punishment, so prioritizing them first is usually a good idea. Finally, the Retcher spits a toxic bile that can impair your movement and and eat away at your health, and they explode when you kill them.
With new enemies come new weapons. Instead of animal bait, you get undead bait. There’s also Boom bait, which is zombie bait rigged with an explosive that lures zombies in and blows up after a short spell. Taking the place of fire bottles is holy water — douse a group of zombies in it and watch as they quickly burn up in a bright blue flame. Last but not least is the Blunderbuss — the best new addition to your offensive arsenal. After you collect enough zombie body parts, you can use them to create ammunition for this wonderful new gun. It will wipe anything that gets near you out of existence.
As you ride through this zombified world, you’ll have the opportunity to save towns being overrun by zombies. After cleansing a town, you are granted a new gun from each locale and an ammo cache — save enough towns and you’ll have your entire arsenal back at your disposal. Plus, it opens up a new area for you to hole up at, and you can fast travel to it if you don’t feel like riding there by horse.
Graveyards take the place of gang hideouts. Here, you have to torch a number of coffins to prevent more undead from spawning, and then you must kill off the remaining undead. Instead of bounty hunting, people ask you to search for a missing person. After getting their general location, you have to battle zombies to save and retrieve that person.
There are also the trademark random events that are triggered as you ride between or through towns. Some people will ask for an escort back to a town or you may have to save someone from a zombie attack. Also, you may unexpectedly run into someone in the middle of a transformation, so make sure to stay on your toes. There are some very interesting dynamic events and side missions that you should definitely stick around to watch and see how they unfold — a chance encounter with a certain hairy, big-footed fellow is good for a few laughs.
If your trusty steed dies, a zombie version will come to you when you whistle for it. While the horse has a lot more stamina, it’s tough to control since it doesn’t always listen to your commands, and you have to constantly monitor it. However, even better than a zombie horse are the Four Horses of the Apocalypse spread around New Austin. Each has a special ability tied to it, and they’re definitely worth the effort to hunt down and tame. War can light zombies on fire, Pestilence has a high pain threshold and can withstand attacks from zombies, Famine has infinite stamina — although the other three horses never run out of stamina either, so this horse is useless by comparison — and Death makes zombie’s heads explode on contact.
Undead Overrun is an all-new multiplayer mode in which you and a small team of two to four players must fend off waves of zombies. You select from four different load-outs, each suited for different play styles with appropriate weapons to match. Overkill is for close-range, Ravager is for mid-range, Long-Shot is for distance and Mauler is an all-purpose class. There are five different levels, each taking place in a different town, and each wave becomes increasingly difficult to clear. Horde mode is typical in most multiplayer games, and while they haven’t changed the formula all that much, it’s still very enjoyable.
The second multiplayer offering is called Land Grab, and it’s not related to the Undead Nightmare world. It’s a simple mode that takes place in multiplayer free roam where you fight to keep control of an area of land in one of seven different towns.
Conclusion: This is what a fully fleshed DLC is supposed to be like. While Rockstar deviates from the original, this is a refreshing new take on Red Dead Redemption. Combat feels drastically different, and while it may become repetitive after a while, zombie killing is always a good time. There are some bumps in the road, but the journey and destination are well worth the time. At only 800 MS Points ($10), this DLC is worth every penny.
|- Lots of side missions
– Fantastic presentation
– The Blunderbuss, holy water & boom bait are great new weapons
– Mythical creatures and beasts
– Zombies — need I say more?
|- You have to earn all your guns back
– Ammo is sparse
– Combat can be repetitive
Special thanks to Rockstar Games for providing us with a copy of the DLC for review.