8th November 2010 - Its what we’ve all been waiting for. All us Western lovers and Red Dead enthusiasts - the first slab of Single-Player content for the great Red Dead Redemption! To stand out from the crowd of other single-player DLC though, Rockstar deliver yet another awe-inspiring adventure on par with the main game with originality and enjoyment. But unlike the main game, this adventure isn’t for everyone…
Warning: There be spoilers ahead. Turn back now if you haven’t completed the main game.
What do I get and why do I want it?
The Undead Nightmare Expansion tells the story of Red Dead Redemptions main protagonist, John Marston, as he sets out to try and find the cure to the overwhelming zombie apocalypse that’s befell the land. This is instead of putting players in the boots of Jack Marston, like the main game did after the story. This is the first clue to just how the expansion plays out overall; its not trying to be a serious, believable adventure like the main game. Its just having a bit of fun. And boy, what fun it is!
From the get go, its obvious that Undead Nightmare isn’t meant to be taken seriously. The Zombies are all just as you’d expect, and with a darker setting, could be quite frightening. But like most things Rockstar, the pack is full of humour, fun, and the occasional adult joke. Undead Nightmare features a story like any other Zombie-based storyline - a man must try to find a cure for the outbreak to save his own family. It doesn’t have much substance to it, and while that may be off-putting to some, Rockstar have managed to completely bypass the importance of this aspect with the pure enjoyment of once again running amuck and exploring the land of Red Dead Redemption. Its not often that a single downloadable content pack can completely re-deliver on some of the most important aspects of the main game, but this one has pulled it off with flying colours thanks to a new set of story missions, new creatures (ill get that in a moment!), new side-quest and a ton of zombie-slaying to be done.
With Undead Nightmare, you’re not just given zombies to kill and slaughter, but stray from the main quest and there is a ton of great additives to the land to be found. Side quests and a good amount of exploration see you encounter (and kill, if you like) the likes of sasquatches, a unicorn, the infamous Chupacabra, zombie-dogs/cats and even bears! Top it off with some tameable horse’s of the apocalypse and you have yourself a full-frontal wasteland of the dead and deadly that is great fun to be explored and conquered.
But while there is a fairly good amount of fan-service and strange animals to keep most happy, I was a little shamed to find that there were not enough legendary or mythological beasts to be found. Red Dead Redemption is the perfect game to put these things into, and this Undead Nightmare pack would have been the perfect chance. I want to hunt the legendary Jersey Devil, to track down a Witch, perhaps even some Werewolves. Along with the fact I wasn’t completed taken in by all there was to do, my only other complaint would have to be the sub-par storyline. As I mentioned, its nothing more than one would expect from something centring around Zombies, but its certainly much less than one would expect from Rockstar. The missions feel rushed, and characters sloppy and the whole thing ties together like a bad movie. While I do admire what Rockstar have done with this, I expected there to actually be some more to it. Its obvious Rockstar just wanted in on the fading fad of zombies before it was too late.
How much does it cost?
You can pick up the Undead Nightmare DLC for a fair price of 800 Microsoft Points, or go one step further and dig out a whopping 1600 Microsoft Points to get the whole lot of Red Dead DLC in one pack. And while that may be a lot, it’s a great deal for those of you who picked up the game late or simply haven’t brought the DLC yet. But for the Undead Nightmare-only price of 800, the poor 4-5 hour campaign may not be worth it, but overall you can find yourself easily losing 10-15 hours exploring the land once again and doing all there is to do. I may have a problem or two with the pack, but you cant argue the great price for what you can get out of it.
But wait - there’s more! If you don’t own the game, or simply traded it in for something else and still want to experience some good ol’ fashioned zombie-slaying, there is still hope! Releasing in late November, you can purchase a stand-alone DLC disc for Red Dead Redemption, featuring all the paid-for DLC without the requirement of owning the main game to play both online and offline!
Conclusion - is it worth it?
All up, Undead Nightmare is little more than a cheap cash-in on the ever popular Zombie fad. While it may be fading, there is still a lot of money in it. But nether less, Rockstar have still put their heart and soul into making this yet another great Red Dead Adventure. The story and story-mission aspect is quite lacking here, but like the main game, there is a ton of great things to do, and great creatures to kill - more this time, with the inclusion of some mythological beats and almost everything that goes bump in the night. If you’re not a man (or woman) who likes their zombies copious and angry, this probably isn’t for you, but for any Red Dead fan who gets tingly at the idea of cowboy zombies; you don’t want to miss out on this.
AAG SCORE: 8/10
+ Exploring feels fresh again
+ Great new creatures to hunt
+ Whole new single-player adventure
- Lacking storyline and missions
- Skipped on number of new beasties
- For zombie fans only
Reviewed and Written By John Elliott