After a highly-infectious undead plague spreads across the frontier, John Marston does anything he can to find a cure.After a highly-infectious undead plague spreads across the frontier, John Marston does anything he can to find a cure.After a highly-infectious undead plague spreads across the frontier, John Marston does anything he can to find a cure.After a highly-infectious undead plague spreads across the frontier, John Marston does anything he can to find a cure.After a highly-infectious undead plague spreads across the frontier, John Marston does anything he can to find a cure.
- Captain Vicente De Santaas Captain Vicente De Santa
- (archive sound)
The first thing to say is that this is not a whole new game, even though it is being sold with the other online DLC, it is not anywhere near as long as the main game in terms of game-play or story. That said, it took me as long to finish this as it did to finish Fable 3 – the latter costing me £50 and being disappointing, the former costing me around £4 from Xbox Live Arcade (it was on sale). It is also a very different game from the main RDR. Obviously the biggest change is that you are no longer in a Western, you are in a horror movie that happens to be set in the old west. Although it is very much imprinted onto the RDR world, the nature of the story means a lot has changed. For example the simple pleasure of hunting is gone – you can kill the undead creatures but there are less of them and there is no use for their remains (in RDR you could sell them). The biggest change for me though is the sandbox element of just riding around, bumping into strangers or watching the sunset from a mountain top. You can still do that but generally the random encounters are going to "turn" on you, and sitting around admiring the graphics is not such a good idea since the zombie threat is there even in the early stages of the game. It is not a big loss but this game does require you to have your guard up – fields and hillsides that previously contained skunks, rabbits and low-threat coyotes now have gangs of undead wandering and waiting to break into a screaming sprint when they see you.
This also makes things a lot harder – particularly if you are not going the "too easy" route of casual aiming setup. Unlike the animals and people of RDR, you can unload all your ammo into the undead, but unless you hit the head, all you're going to do is slow them down for a second or two. This is not too hard when confronted by a few individuals or a few groups because the Dead Eye makes head shots quite easy – problem is when that runs out and you still have about 10 running directly at you. And it will run out because in this world you no longer have the only limiting factor being money – here there are no shops, no money and supplies are generally low, even looting bodies and corpses doesn't give you much. Draining your Dead Eye or your ammo to deal with a random group of undead is not always a good idea because you really don't want to be in a position shortly afterwards of needing it and not having it! It isn't incredibly difficult – it just means that you mostly play the game like you did in the original RDR when moving around Tall Tress, always on the lookout for the fast-moving and deadly bears – here a zombie 100m away can very quickly be a pack of 3 or 4 sprinting at you, and of course in Tall Trees this is made even worse by the bears being undead! It is very gory but it is all done with good humour rather than being about fear and horror – and I say this as someone who bailed out of AMC's The Walking Dead after 50 minutes. The blood-soaked humour is fun and the makers obviously listened to their community if one judges by the little segment involving "Herbert Moooooooon"! It is told with dark humour but the story still engaged me and folded well into the main RDR story without ever being part of it in reality – the splatter effects are funny and additions like the Apocalypse horses and blunderbuss remind you not to take it too seriously. And while it isn't scary per se, it is still easy to get panicked whenever the undead are closing in – trying to get on a roof in an over-run town can be particularly stressful! So on one hand this game is a welcome reason to play as John Marston in the familiar old west again (and in a great value game) but on the other hand it also provides a new gaming experience as the undead do significantly change the way one plays – everything may essentially be the same game-engine, controls and maps wise, but the approach of the player has to be different since the rules have changed. I very much enjoyed the game for what it was – I preferred the traditional western of the main game, but Undead was a really fun and imaginative way of extending the game's value at comparatively low cost.
- bob the moo
- Feb 19, 2011