After years of seeing zombies in games and movies, you, or at least someone you know, would probably have some thoughts on what to do if the undead were to attack tomorrow. That wasn't the case 100 years ago, though, so when the dead start coming back to life in Red Dead Redemption's world, nobody has a clue what's going on or how to deal with it. Reprising the role of protagonist John Marston, you become embroiled in the battle against the undead when the brain munching hits a little too close to home. And as Undead Nightmare's story unfolds, it becomes clear that similar events are playing out across the entire map from the original game. This horror-themed and often humorous add-on isn't the tour de force that Red Dead Redemption was, but it's great fun and a welcome excuse to return to memorable locations like Blackwater, Armadillo, and Chuparosa.
6282958 NoneAmmo is scarce early on so you have to make every shot count.
With that said, Red Dead Redemption's world feels very different in Undead Nightmare. A large percentage of the population is either dead or undead, the wildlife is different, and every town on the map has been overrun by victims of what the survivors believe to be some new kind of plague--caused possibly by immigrants, the government, or both. You need to liberate towns before you can accept missions or even sleep and save your progress in them, and although you can't head south of the border initially, you're free to tackle towns that you can reach at any time and in any order. Reclaiming towns for the living also affords you the ability to fast-travel between them, which you are likely to take advantage of on occasion, even if you enjoy lengthy rides through the wilderness.
When you enter a settlement that's under siege, your goal is to completely eradicate the undead presence. Survivors do a good job of assisting you if you share some of your ammo with them, but you should know that--at least early on--bullets are something of a commodity in Undead Nightmare because none of the stores that sell them are open for business. Regardless of what you choose to do with your precious projectiles, the clearing of every town unfortunately plays out in much the same way. You arrive in town, decide whether or not you're going to give bullets to the locals, and then do your best to kill rather than satisfy your enemies' hunger for brain meat. The problem is that while decapitations of the decaying are entertaining for a time, combat in Undead Nightmare isn't as much fun as it was in Red Dead Redemption. There are some sweet new weapons to play with, including a powerful blunderbuss that uses zombie parts for ammunition, but you're unlikely to ever need them.
Undead enemies don't pose as much of a challenge as their cowboy counterparts. The living-impaired don't use guns, don't use cover, and don't ride horses. For the most part, they just head straight for you, and they're only dangerous when they attack in numbers. Some sorely needed challenge and variety comes courtesy of three special zombie types, but even these faster, stronger, and retching reanimated are no match for the tactics that you're likely to employ once you get a feel for how your encounters with them play out. The easiest way to kill a zombie is with a headshot, and the easiest way to get a headshot is to forgo aiming from a distance and just squeeze the trigger after moving into melee range. It doesn't matter which zombie you're up against or which gun from Undead Nightmare's sizeable arsenal you have equipped because the result is the same. Alternatively, you can kill zombies with fire, putting the new torch weapon to good use. Waving the torch around and watching your enemies burn as they continue to pursue you is initially a lot of fun, but even this gets old after an hour or so. You're free to engage in traditional gunplay if you choose, of course, but it's unfortunate that Undead Nightmare never encourages you to do so, and it's disappointing that anytime you take position on a rooftop, you get to pick off the undead with ease because, like fish in a barrel, they can't climb ladders.
The torch doesn't kill undead instantly, but that only makes it more satisfying.