Red Dead has had quite a few pieces of DLC over since its release in May 2010, all of which I had passed on. I was waiting for some DLC with a solid single player component, and that is what Undead Nightmare is offering, but does it deliver?
The story picks up just before the ending of Red Dead Redemption, where John Marston’s family is zombified and he is tasked with finding a cure.
You travel around the same places as the normal campaign, however the world is now populated with zombies and undead animals. There are some survivors and a few familiar faces remain such as, Seth, Mr West Dickens and Landon Ricketts. The mission structure remains much the same as well, very straight forward, and play out very similarly. Side missions sprawl across the map, all of which offer a fun or unique experience that is off from the main campaign. Other side tasks also include purifying cemeteries by burning as many 4 or 5 coffins while surviving zombie onslaughts complete with boss battles.
The gunplay is of course the same, but the zombies pose a much larger challenge than the regular game, where ammo is more scarce and a headshot becomes much more effective. There are a few different greater zombies, along the same vain as Left 4 Dead. They’ve also added burly charging zombies, acid spitting zombies and disturbing crawling zombies, all of which make fighting hordes of zombies that bit more difficult. You’re not completely without tools though as several additional weapons make it into the game in the form of: Blunderbusses, Torches, Holy Water, Undead Bait and Boom Bait. The blunderbuss is the standout, causing whatever you shoot to explode and die in one hit but ammunition is also found at a premium.
Another new feature for all you hunters and horse wranglers out there, is the addition of mythical creatures, which can be found by a colored circle on your minimap. This feature brings the inclusion of the 4 horses of the apocalypse which can be tamed and ridden, all including unique abilities as well as unlimited stamina. The only one I’ve been able to tame so far was “War.” He came complete with a flaming mane allowing him to set fire to nearby enemies. This didn’t work as well as it may sound, but still can come in useful at times when you are overrun.
If you were a fan of the main game, then this should be a no-brainer. With a full single player campaign filled with side quests to rival the vanilla gameplay and a multiplayer component including free roam and a Hoard (a la Gears of War) style mini game of survival against waves of zombies, this is definitely an experience worth having.