Video Game Review: ‘Undead Nightmare’ For ‘Red Dead Redemption’ Rocks

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CHICAGO – “No one deserves to have their blood drunk.” It’s possible that truer words have never been spoken in a video game. This tongue-in-cheek bit of dialogue spoils only one of about a hundred times you’ll smile, chuckle, or straight-out LOL to the brilliant DLC addition to “Red Dead Redemption” known as “Undead Nightmare.” For what does every great game need? Zombies.

HollywoodChicago.com Video Game Rating: 5.0/5.0
Video Game Rating: 5.0/5.0

If we need any further proof that the future of gaming is in professionally-developed and executed DLC, look no further than “Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare,” an amazing DLC expansion to the game of the year. How appropriate that the best game of 2010 to date (with only a few contenders left to challenge that throne) also features one of the most memorable DLC expansions in history? “Undead Nightmare” is better than most of the $60 disc-based games that we’ve played lately. And it’s $10. You don’t even have to put your pants on to buy it.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Photo credit: Rockstar

The concept of “Undead Nightmare” is simple enough — zombie missions added to the world of John Marston and “Red Dead Redemption” with a bit of multiplayer as well. I have to admit to being skeptical. While multiplayer DLC has been an increasingly-important part of the gaming world, single-player DLC is typically a waste of time. It’s usually a few “challenge rooms” or other content that feels like a B-side or deleted scene. It rarely lives up to the game itself.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Photo credit: Rockstar

The first thing that will blow you away about “Undead Nightmare” is the sheer size of it. It’s not just a few areas in which you shoot some zombies. The entire world of “RDR” has been overrun. Areas and people familiar to those of you that have played through the title have been reimagined and return for the zombie apocalypse. Many of the towns, including familiar haunts like Thieves Landing and Blackwater, feature only a scant few survivors and it’s up to you to find the lucky ones, figure out what they need (typically, a specific kind of ammo that you’ll either have or have to search town for), get it for them, and then help them clear the town of undead brain-eaters.

And the zombies of “Undead Nightmare” are not your typical lurking hulks. These are “Boyle zombies,” creatures not unlike the rapid hordes from “28 Days Later…” or the remake of “Dawn of the Dead.” In other words, you can run but they’ll probably catch up. Dead Eye becomes, of course, an essential tool, as you’ll need to make head shots more often than in the full game.

When you’re not clearing out towns, you’ll be burning coffins in cemeteries to keep them from bursting open with evil, and even going on missions. The DLC runs hours, features characters from the game, and even throws in elements you wouldn’t expect from a zombie add-on like being able to tame the Horses of the Apocalypse and hunting Sasquatch. Clearly, it’s all meant to be taken not-so-seriously and, once again, the writing, development, and execution is top-notch. I have to admit to having more fun playing “Undead Nightmare” than most zombie games that have been recently released. But that could just be due to my hopeless addiction to one of the best games ever released.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare
Photo credit: Rockstar

The multiplayer of “Undead Nightmare” is a blast. It’s a four-person, co-op game in which you and your mates must merely survive increasingly-difficult waves of zombie attack. That’s about it. And it’s awesome. There’s also a new addition to Free Roam known as Land Grab in which people fight for sections of the open world. It’s not horror-based. Just a bonus.

Is “Undead Nightmare” perfect? There are times when the absolute chaos of the zombie attack seems to overwhelm the system and things get a bit glitchy. Having said that, the DLC looks nearly as good as the disc-based content from a graphics level. I just don’t remember quite so many people falling through other people in the actual game. But it’s a minor complaint that I only noticed during extreme action moments.

We’re used to a world of DLC where fans get excited over a few new maps. Rockstar once again goes WAY beyond our expectations with new weapons, characters, enemies, challenges, multiplayer modes, outfits, and even a damn Sasquatch. One of the main stories of 2010 is clearly how DLC content has advanced with each passing month. Rockstar is helping to lead the way.

‘Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare’ was released by Rockstar Games and developed by Rockstar San Diego. It is rated M (Mature). The version reviewed was for the Xbox 360, but the DLC is also available for the PS3. It was released on October 26th, 2010.

HollywoodChicago.com content director Brian Tallerico

By BRIAN TALLERICO
Content Director
HollywoodChicago.com
brian@hollywoodchicago.com

legit's picture

Man I want that game so bad.

Man I want that game so bad. My friends were playing it they said it is really good. I like zombie games like this. I like action in the games.

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