Here’s an appropriate pun for you: there’s still life in the old zombie theme yet.
Many recent implementations of zombies in video games are fun, but so stale you can virtually see them decomposing in front of you. In applying a zombie outbreak to the otherwise serious Western frontier of Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar has not only revitalised that particular game world but also presented a new and interesting setting for zombie gameplay. Undead Nightmare (a roughly 1.5GB download) offers an alternative, delightfully far-fetched scenario and an extended campaign to the ending of Red Dead Redemption. John Marston is re-united with his wife and son, who soon become infected with a zombie plague that’s fast spreading across the Western plains. Marston will encounter many familiar faces – some now pale and rotting – as he aids survivors and searches for a cure.
Much like the standard Red Dead Redemption campaign, there are narrative-driven missions supplemented with various side quests. Typically, Marston is tasked with providing survivors around the various townships with ammunition and helping them to clear away the attacking zombie threat. This requires a different strategy than the usual gunfights: taking cover is next to useless against the zombie hordes (who can only be dispatched with a headshot or by setting them alight), so your best bet is to gain a high vantage point safe from their clutches. Even animals aren’t safe from the plague, and you’ll encounter zombified versions of cougars, bears and more. There are new, mythical creatures to hunt (sasquatches!), and you can break in and ride the Four Horses of the Apocalypse, which offer various gameplay benefits. Finally, there are new multiplayer modes on offer: Undead Overrun (a co-operative survival mode against zombies) and Land Grab (a territory-struggle game type), and three new multiplayer skins.
For roughly $20 or 800 Microsoft Points, Undead Nightmare presents terrific value, not the least of which is a lengthy and light-hearted, alternative-scenario campaign. This one is essential gaming for Red Dead Redemption fans.