Kim's Video Game Review: UNDEAD NIGHTMARE
Published: December 13, 2010 - 2:10pm
The new DLC for the popular and addicting Red Dead Redemption video game is something to be enjoyed. Not only is it one of the best zombie shooter games I've ever played it was hard to believe this was just a downloadable patch.
The game starts off after the events of Red Dead Redemption. Our hero John Marston is enjoying an evening with his wife and son, but also wondering where Uncle is. After they all turn in for the night Uncle makes his appearance, of course as a snarling blood-thirsty zombie and attacks the family which leads to Abigail and Jack to be turned into hungry zombies themselves. As John, you have to hogtie the two and set out to find the cause and hopefully a cure to save your family. Along the way you'll run into characters from the original game alive and dead, or undead alike.
The storyline is really intriguing with over six hours of game play which is similar to that in RDR only set for the new zombie scenario. The quests include searching for missing people and returning them to their families and, of course, clearing out towns and graveyards of the undead making them safe for nearby civilians. Side quests include hunting down mythical creatures like Sasquatch and the Chupacabra and taming the Four Horses of the Apocalypse and eventually a Unicorn. Taming each of the four horses is rewarding due to each of the horses having unlimited stamina plus a couple of them have benefit such as the horse War can set all your enemies a blaze when they come in contact with the horse and Death causes the undead heads to burst upon contact.
Rather than having any currency in this game like in Dead Rising 2, this game is all about the ammo. In the beginning of the game ammunition is scarce and you need to quickly think of a way to stay out of harms way while taking heed to that number one Zombie killing rule which is aim for the head. The controls cause this to be a problem. While I greatly enjoy both Red Dead Redemption and Undead Nightmare, the controls are a bit of a pain in the ass, especially in quests where you must clear out a graveyard and you have hordes of undead chasing after you because you are expected to stay within a certain perimeter sometimes the controls wouldn't agree with me and I would roam to far away to where I would have to restart a quest over and over again. It was one of the few times I've actually considered chucking the remote controller through the television. Regardless, I would miraculously finish the quest and move forward with the storyline. Word of advice before starting one of these quests stock up however you can on ammunition. I was amazed that I had over 200+ in ammunition and it dwindled rapidly while I completed it.
You get a variety of weapons in this game much like in the original RDR and as you progress throughout the game you get upgrade on weapons. The weapon selection is pretty much what you get in RDR but with four new additions: the Blunderbuss, Torch, Holy Water, and Boom Bait.
The Blunderbuss is a shotgun weapon that can blow a group of undead antagonists into bits. The ammunition for the Blunderbuss are pieces of undead you collect and then convert for the weapon, but here's the downfall to the Blunderbuss, while it's useful and seems practical due to the ammo for it being obtainable anywhere, if you use it on any undead you get nothing from them. It destroys everything on the Undead. So no ammo for you're other weapons nor the Blunderbuss itself. Also it noticeably slows you're speed after you fire it because you automatically reload it. So it puts you in a dilemma if you're being tailed by a large number of zombies and you can't get away fast. Also sometimes it won't kill all of them. Maybe it was just me, but I would see in videos where the Blunderbuss just destroys a group of walkers and whenever I attempt it there are always a few stragglers coming for me still. Regardless it's a fun weapon to have and use once you get it.
The Torch and Holy Water basically set the undead on fire. Now while that may not seem very great it's actually quite helpful. Because remember this players. Those undead morons bump into each other. Holy Water has saved my rear end on more than one occasion and the Torch is a good last resort weapon for if you burn through your ammo like me.
Boom Bait works a lot like the Monkey Bombs in Call of Duty: Black Ops. It's a combination of Undead Bait and Dynamite and draws the zombies to the area its in then blows the goons to pieces.
A complaint I have about one of the weapons in both RDR and Undead Nightmare is the sniper weapon. I hate that it zooms in so close. I wish it was more like the sniper in Halo where you can multi-click a button to zoom it to the range you want. I would think I would be at the angle I need to be to take aim at one of the walkers but once that scope view came on I would have to scroll around a bit to find something to shoot at, it gets annoying especially in a side quest where you have to save someone far away from being devoured, which I hardly won... stupid scope.
There are different types of zombies in the game. Some are the typical zombies that are slow for the most part until they get close and then there are some that really fast called Bolters and hard to hit in the head. There are others that are big and fat and basically rush you to knock you to the ground called Bruisers and there are also one that spitters called Retchers which I'm sure I don't have to clarify to anyone what they do.
Rockstar Games spared no expense in this patch. This was by far above my expectation considering I don't really expect much from DLC in regards to details and story. This delivers a creepy new soundtrack and the effects and landscapes are dramatically changed for the new storyline. Nothing seemed to have been looked over. The game play can get intense and never once bored me. The problem I had was bringing myself to stop playing. A fantastic patch to a fantastic game. While it is definitely campy at times it is must play to anyone who is a fan of zombie based games or a fan of Red Dead Redemption or even a fan of shooter games. Continuous fun from start to finish and worth the $10 on the Playstation Network or 800 Microsoft points on Xbox 360.