Red Dead Redemption has been something of an Esquire obsession since it first rode into town last May, blending the hallmarks of every famous Western worth its spurs with Rockstar's enthralling, open-world gaming style and sharp social commentary. While three subsequent add-on packs have already provided even more ways to carve up the Wild West, today heralds the release of its final slice of downloadable content. And it's a bloody triumph.
Undead Nightmare marks the conclusion of one of the most ambitious and entertaining video games ever created. Redemption was all about a lone gun seeking to escape his past while the world around him struggled with modernisation. Undead Nightmare, on the other hand, sees the same hero seeking to escape an army of flesh-eating ASBOs while the world around him burns. The new America is overrun with zombies, and only John Marston can stop them.
Red Rum had seen better days
A brand new single-player story, the game pitches you straight in at the deep end, forcing you to search for a cure for your wife and son, while dodging all manner of blood-gorging strangers. Cue some fearsome new weapons (including a blunderbuss that fires the body parts of fallen zombies), the ability to tame the four horses of the Apocalypse (each of which has some useful, undead-razing powers), and plenty of sharp satire - bigotry, politics and our appetite for blood and guts all come under attack. Consequently, the days of ambling through the desert admiring the scenery are long gone. In Undead Nightmare, you don't slow down for long, or you'll get eaten.
Meet the new grave generation
As well as the single player campaign, there are also two new multiplayer options. Undead Overrun is a two- to four-player co-op in which you resist wave after wave upon zombies using everything from phosphorous bullets to holy water. The game only ends when the last player falls. Land Grab, meanwhile, is a more conventional offering in which participants fight for control over a section of land in various familiar Red Dead settings. Enjoy.
Words by Henry Farrar-Hockley
The Undead Nightmare DLC costs £7.99 on PlayStation Network or 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live. (You will need a copy of Red Dead Redemption to play it.)
Undead Nightmare will also be available to buy from 26th November as a stand-alone disc that comprises the Undead Nightmare Pack, the Outlaws to the End Co-Op Mission Pack, the Legends and Killers Pack, the Liars and Cheats Pack and all the Multiplayer Free Roam modes released to date, for £24.99. (You will not require a copy of Red Dead Redemption to play this.)