Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare Review

Undead Good

What would happen if zombies invaded the Wild West? That’s the question Undead Nightmare poses, and it’s up to you to survive long enough to find out the answers. As in the original Red Dead Redemption, you play as reformed outlaw John Marston. Your wife and son have been bitten by the undead and have begun the unpleasant transition to becoming zombies, so you tie them up, say goodbye and head out into the open plains in search of a cure.

Survival and revival

There are a couple of main objectives in Undead Nightmare. The first is to travel to each of the game’s graveyards and purify them by setting alight a series of coffins and clearing incoming waves of zombies. The second sees you freeing towns from zombie infestations. It’s generally great fun, but clearing graveyards and towns can get repetitive, so different types of story missions - like capturing a live zombie and picking specific herbs – add welcome variety.

Engage in random encounters, which range from assisting lost survivors to dealing with wild zombie animals!

As in developer Rockstar’s other major franchise, Grand Theft Auto, much of the fun is found in simply roaming across the open world and engaging in random encounters, which range from assisting lost survivors to dealing with wild zombie animals. While Undead Nightmare isn’t as long as the main Red Dead game, it’s nevertheless a sizeable single player adventure with an engaging story that took us around six hours to complete.

There are four main types of zombies to tackle, from slow Bruisers to speedy Bolters, and they’re more direct in their approach to attack than wily cowboys, so you’ll spend a fair amount of time running and gunning in Undead Nightmare, which represents a nice change of pace from the main game. The best way to deal with zombies is with a direct headshot, so you’ll want to make use of your slow-motion Dead Eye ability regularly.

Tight supply

You start the game with only a Cattleman Revolver and a double-barrelled shotgun, but earn new weapons by clearing towns or completing story missions and challenges. New weapons that add extra spice to encounters include the Blunderbuss, a heavy duty firearm that kills quickly but takes ages to reload, and Zombie Bait, which can be thrown to distract the undead and can even be booby trapped with dynamite. Be warned though, ammo tends to be in short supply, so you’ll need to loot bodies and keep a look out for treasure chests as you go.

Pitting 2-4 players against increasingly large and powerful waves of zombies in an endless challenge where death is the only real relief, Undead Nightmare’s new online multiplayer mode will feel familiar to players of Gears of War’s Horde mode or Call of Duty's Nazi Zombies.

A meaty new single player campaign featuring RDR's best bits, and perhaps the series' best multiplayer to date.

It gives you a certain amount of time to reach a series of coffins located in cemeteries across the map. If you can make it past your enemies and reach your objective in the allotted time, you’ll be rewarded with new ammo and weapon upgrades, which you’ll need to tackle the next wave of zombies and reach a fresh objective. It’s not an entirely original scenario, but it provides hours of team-based fun, and it’s a real blast when things get particularly chaotic the further you advance.

In addition, Undead Nightmare features a selection of extras previously released for the original Red Dead as downloadable content. These include the Outlaws to the End pack, which offers six multiplayer missions for 2-4 players, the Legends & Killers pack, which introduces fresh multiplayer maps and the Tomahawk Axe, and the Liars and Cheats pack, which features fun distractions like multiplayer horse races and poker games sessions, as well as introducing the explosive rifle.

Worth dying for?

Undead Nightmare introduces a meaty new single player campaign that features all of Red Dead Redemption’s best bits while essentially reinventing the game. It also boasts perhaps the best multiplayer offering of the series to date in the form of Overrun, and a host of other multiplayer content to keep players busy. Perfect for those looking to expand on the original game and a great entry point for newcomers, this is Wild West gaming – albeit with a rather large twist – at its finest.

GAME's Verdict
plus points
  • Zombies, zombies and more zombies.
  • Successfully reinvents an already great game.
  • The best multiplayer offering in the series yet.
minus points
  • Cross-country travel can take too long.
  • Some zombie battles can feel repetitive.
  • Not for non-western or non-zombie fans.

Review by: Tom 'Still Living' Ivan
Version Tested: PS3
Review Published: 09.12.10

Published: 09/12/2010

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