Zombie Week continues as logan j. fowler saddles up for some zombie shootin’ …
When I first heard of Undead Nightmare, I was stoked; Red Dead Redemption was my favorite game of 2010 (and it remains one of my favorite games to this very day), and I immediately got the downloadable content when it was available for sale on October 26th (appropriate date, nearing Halloween) later that year through the XBOX live network.
Undead Nightmare picks up right where the original Red Dead Redemption ended, sort of like an alternate reality sequel of sorts. John Marston, the protagonist, is seen conversing with his wife and son. All of a sudden, a man referred to only as “Uncle” comes to the family farm and chomps down on John’s wife, who bites her son. Turning into undead folk, John hogties the two, places them in the house, and then sets out to see what is causing all the ruckus and what he can do about it.
Undead Nightmare, from the beginning, is not easy. In fact, I may even say that while Red Dead Redemption is not a walk in the park, the game seemed far less frustrating than this one. Or maybe, that’s the point? In any case, when hordes of zombies head towards Mr. Marston, you take aim and fire at will, but you must hit the head in order to wipe them out for good. This adds tension the game because you must fire, which makes you run out of bullets pretty fast. Your character must reload and move quickly, otherwise you’re dinner. The frustration sets in when you can’t move away fast enough, the zombies move at lightning pace and attack you, or you’re all out of your “red dead” meter, which is a bar that allows you to slow down time to attack with more ease. However, once this bar runs out, you better pray you’re a good shot.
Frustrating? Yes. But like I said, that may have been the game developers’ angle; after all, this is a horde of zombies coming at you, and any gamer might find glee in repeating elements only to better their skill. While Undead Nightmare is frustrating, it’s not a frustrating game so much that it will turn players off. Rather, it’s just practice for those hands resting on your PS3 or XBOX360 controller, as your “trigger fingers” get better with time and patience.
Undead Nightmare is a gorgeous game visually, as was its predecessor. The landscapes are breathtaking and the amount of detail Rockstar games gave to it makes it a fully realized world. There’s nothing quite like the backdrop in both this games, and honestly I could ride around on my horse for hours if I didn’t fear a pack of undead would eventually find me.
Sound-wise, the game is top notch. The voice actors did an incredible job once again, and musically, Undead Nightmare strikes a balance between spooky and supreme. Riding around in the dead of night just hearing piano keys that hit the right note (no pun intended) add a lot to the game’s atmosphere.
Undead Nightmare is definitely worth the price of purchase, for any zombie lover, any Red Dead Redemption lover, or both. It expands a universe we have come to know and love while adding a touch of horror to the proceedings, and rest assured riding around as one of the best video game characters in recent memory shooting zombies may not be a cakewalk, but your mass desire to get better at picking off the undead, along with a gorgeous setting, great music, and characters, is what makes Undead Nightmare a bloody good time.