Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare Hands-On Preview

RDR Undead Nightmare

Red Dead Redemption is easily one of my top games from 2010. Everything about it, from the look to the control to the sound to the music, is expertly done by a developer who really knows how to create an interesting tale. What will happen, then, when the Old West gets a little more undead? That will be seen when the first expansion, Undead Nightmare, hits the DLC scene later this year. Having tried the new chapter at New York Comic Con, I can say that it definitely seems like Undead Nightmare will keep the high standard of Red Dead Redemption alive.

John Marston takes the spotlight again, and he is knee-deep in the dead. Seth, everyone’s favorite grave robber, has unsettled something in the ground, and its inhabitants are not happy about it. Marston, ever the fixer, now has to travel the entire scope of the land and fix the zombie outbreak. In the demo I played, I was in Odd Fellow’s Rest, and I had to burn five coffins (seemingly in a ritualistic fashion), then rid the graveyard of any remaining zombies. Eventually, a "boss zombie" would appear, and after he was dead, Odd Fellow’s Rest would be complete. The zombies don’t start attacking until you burn the first coffin, but when they do, your work will be cut out for you.


Red Dead Redemption‘s zombies are a new breed of walking dead. They’re not slow shamblers a la Resident Evil, nor are they sprinters like Left 4 Dead. These fit right in the middle, slow enough to outmaneuver while running but fast enough to be right up your butt again. Taking a nod from Left 4 Dead, Rockstar also included a couple of "special" zombies to contend with. There’s a fast zombie who will catch up to you no matter how far you run, a larger zombie that will charge you, and let’s not forget about zombified animals. All of the undead here can take a few good shots before they go down, but that’s what the expansion’s new weapon is for.

The blunderbuss is essentially a high-powered shotgun, reducing any zombies unfortunate enough to be right next to Marston into bloody chunks. Ammo, understandably, is limited, but what’s cool about the gun is that those bloody chunks can be used to reload the gun, basically giving the zombies a taste of their own medicine. I unfortunately didn’t get to partake in that particular feature, but the rep assured me that it was every bit as satisfying as it sounds. 


Undead Nightmare, though a Lost and the Damned-esque diversion from the story, will fit right into the Red Dead Redemption universe, bringing the same combat we know and loved into a more horror-themed environment. If you like some Red Dead, make sure you get Undead.


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Author: Jason Fanelli View all posts by
Jason lives and breathes gaming. Legend tells that he taught himself to read using Wheel of Fortune Family Edition on the NES. He's been covering this industry for three years, all with the Node, and you can see his ugly mug once a week on Hot Off The Grill.

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