Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare Xbox 360 Review

March 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Reviews & Features, Xbox 360, Xbox

Publisher – Rockstar Games – Developer – Rockstar San Diego – Genre – Action – Players – 1-16 – Age Rating – 18+ – Other console/handheld formats – PS3

Going by Rockstar’s past history with DLC, we all knew that sometime down the line we were going to get a chance to revisit Red Dead Redemption’s grand and harsh world, but when you consider that the mainline game is grounded in reality, no one could have expected the result to be Undead Nightmare.

Undead Nightmare is set shortly after John Marston rescued his family towards the end of the main game. It begins with John, his son Jack and his wife Abigail enjoying family life, nothing unusual about that and it can comfortably fit into the narrative set up by Redemption, but then the zombies come and change everything.

You read that right; zombies have invaded Red Dead Redemption, just as they have done Call of Duty. Characters also return from the main game and it’s often amusing seeing how they’re dealing with the situation, that’s if they’re not a member of the undead themselves anyway.

There's undead horses to ride, though they're not quite as well behaved as the living ones.

It’s hardly a surprise that the addition of zombies has transformed the game from a cover based shooter into a run and gun and since it wasn’t designed as such to begin with, aiming can occasionally feel too cumbersome to take on the undead hordes, though the dead aim ability goes a long way to easing this in the more crowded of situations.

In the early stages of Undead Nightmare, ammo is a precious commodity that you must not be wasteful of. A good way to conserve ammo is by using your torch to burn the undead, sadly this is a bit messy, and not only in a burning rotting flesh kind of way, as the melee system is a bit awkward. It only takes a few missions until the ammo levels start increasing, though, and when it does, the zombie heads can begin popping, just as they’re made to do.

There’s a lot of that to be doing too, as missions – both mandatory and optional – generally task you with wiping out a certain amount of zombies, it’s a good thing that it’s enjoyable then, whilst the DLC is not long enough for repetition to set in too much. There are fetch quests in there, too, and as a whole, there’s not much imagination or variety in regards to mission design.

There’s a generous helping of content in Undead Nightmare. There are towns all over the map to save from the undead and missing people to be rescued amidst the zombie crisis.  If you’re a completist that must do everything before returning a game to your shelf, then you’re probably looking at half a dozen or so of hours.

In Left 4 Dead fashion, there are different varieties of zombies.

On top of this, there’s also some new multiplayer additions.The Undead Overun mode sees you teaming up with other players to fight off waves of zombies, whilst Land Grab is essentially King of the Hill, both modes are enjoyable.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare is a surprising alternate take on the main game and whilst it never hits the heights of the primary game and is a bit cumbersome on occassion, it still further cements the fact that, in terms of DLC, Rockstar really knows their stuff, not only in offering value, but also a high level of quality at the same time.