Red Dead Redemption is one of the very few Western video games to get it right, and people loved it. DLC was the obvious next step, but I don’t think anyone could have seen this one coming. While Undead Nightmare is similar to the main game in many respects, it’s almost an entirely different experience altogether.
The story follows John Marston once again after he returns home to his family, but this time he finds himself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse of sorts. The meat of the story has less to do with what causes the outbreak and more to do with John’s interactions with the many interesting characters from the main game, both dead and alive. It’s a lot of fun to see these great characters again, and it’s one of the best parts of the entire experience.
On top of the dead coming back to life, you also have lots of other supernatural happenings: sasquatches, unicorns, chubacabras, and even the four horses of the apocalypse that you can tame and ride yourself. While the world you are exploring might be similar, the idea that there are plenty of new things to be found adds a lot to experience.
The mission structure is the same as the main game, with a few slight changes. As you meet up with older characters, you do missions for them that progress the story and help to find out how to stop the zombie outbreak. A lot of the missions are a blast, but some of them tend to be really tedious, feeling more like small chores than anything else. You will find yourself picking flowers and doing fetch quests more often than you would like.
Another problem is the wait time between certain missions. At two points during the story, the game will tell you that you have to wait a few days before you can begin the next mission. This gives you time to explore and do survivor missions (which are like stranger missions) and also help find lost souls (similar to hunting down people from wanted posters).
The downside is no matter how many in-game days pass, you will never know when exactly the next mission will appear. This is a way of the game practically forcing you to do side quests that should be optional, but aren’t. I found myself unable to move on with the story until I cleared most of the “optional” missions in the game. Not to say these optional things are not worth doing, but they really drag down the experience for those who want to just go through the story.
Despite all of this, shooting zombies in the head never really gets old. Undead Nightmare is a fun time, provided you are able to look past the game’s questionable mission structure. It’s a worthy expansion to Red Dead and one that provides you 6-8 hours of content for a very low price.
Pros: Shooting zombies in the head is something that never gets old; its fun seeing characters from the main game again; the endgame reward is excellent
Cons: Some missions can be tedious; some long wait times between missions drag down the experience