Russ Pitts runs us through some of the features in the zombified DLC of Read Dead Redemption.
Go to Source (The Escapist – EscapistMagazine.com)
New release slate led by oft-delayed PS3 racing title, Nintendo’s Wii gorilla revival installment; Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time, Michael Jackson The Experience, Undead Nightmare Pack also out.
This week’s new release slate isn’t quite a cornucopia of blockbusters, but it does include two hotly hyped exclusives.
Championing the week is the release of Gran Turismo 5, the long-awaited, oft-delayed PlayStation 3 racing simulator from Polyphony Digital. GT5 will feature close to 1,000 vehicles on more than 70 tracks in 20-plus locations. With a massive budget of $60 million, it is also an official licensee of several major racing circuits, such as NASCAR and the World Rally Championship. A sample of the PlayStation 3 exclusive, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, was released in April 2008, garnering decent reviews.
Gran Turismo 5 was originally unveiled for the PlayStation 3 back in 2006. Since then it has faced numerous delays, missing its first shipping date back in March of this year where its release was put on indefinite hold, before later being delayed again past its November 2 release date.
Another prominent system exclusive due out this week is Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Nintendo Wii. The title was developed by Retro Studios, the outfit behind the Metroid Prime series. The 2D platformer sees Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong return to action with many of the DKC series’ familiar trappings, from banana collecting and mine-cart racing to being shot out of barrels.
The Wii-exclusives don’t stop there. Also due out this week is Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time. From Ubisoft, the zany title follows the neurotic, misshapen rabbit-like creatures as they use a time washing machine to go back in time and alter history to their liking.
The King of Pop will once again hold court this week as Michael Jackson The Experience makes its debut. While the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of the title won’t ship until 2011, the Wii, DS, and PSP versions are out on Tuesday. The title displays the “breadth and depth” of Michael Jackson, with players dancing and singing along to some of his most famous songs. Those picking up the Wii version of the title will earn one of Jackson’s famous props: a facsimile of his iconic studded white glove. The glove will be bundled with copies of the game for a limited time.
Gamers looking to fight the undead can pick up the Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare Collection at retail this week. The content bundle will arrive in stores November 23, giving those who don’t own Red Dead Redemption an opportunity to play the game’s add-ons without needing the original disc. The package will include all four of the previously released downloadable content packs: Undead Nightmare; Outlaws to the End; Legends and Killers; and Liars and Cheats. The retail collection will also include all previously released multiplayer free roam modes and will sell for $30.
Game Republic’s Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom also hits the PS3 and Xbox 360 this week. The game focuses on cooperation between two lead characters, one of them a roguish youth who returns to his homeland after its population is decimated by spectral warriors controlled by a “dark force.” Once said youth arrives in the kingdom, he teams up with Majin, a horned creature with a mysterious past and the ability to evolve throughout the game. Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom’s gameplay has players directly control the youth, who in turn can give the AI-controlled Maijin orders to fight off enemies and overcome obstacles.
For further details on the week’s games, visit GameSpot’s New Releases page. The full list of downloadable games on the PlayStation Store, Xbox Live Marketplace, and Wii Shop Channel will be revealed later this week. Release dates are based on retailer listings and are subject to change.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 21
Donkey Kong Country Returns–Wii–Nintendo
Raving Rabbids: Travel in Time–Wii–Ubisoft
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 22
Supermarket Mania–DS–G5 Software
Sniper Elite–Wii–Reef Entertainment
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 23
Challenge Me: Brain Puzzles 2–DS–O Games
Chuck E. Cheese’s Kart Racing–Wii–Tommo
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Unsolved!–DS–Ubisoft
Disney Tangled: The Video Game–Wii, DS–Disney Interactive
Drawn to Life Collection–DS–THQ
Fable III: Understone Quest Pack–X360–Microsoft Game Studios
Football Manager 2011–PC–Sega
Hot Wheels: Track Attack–Wii, DS–THQ
Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom–X360, PS3–Namco Bandai Games America
Michael Jackson The Experience–Wii, DS, PSP–Ubisoft
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX–PS3–Namco Bandai Games America
Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare Collection–X360, PS3–Rockstar Games
Sherlock Holmes: The Silver Earrings–PC, Wii–Dreamcatcher
Silly Bandz–DS–Zoo Games
Spelunker HD–PS3–Tozai Games
Splatterhouse–X360, PS3–Namco Bandai Games America
Worms: Battle Islands–Wii–THQ
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 24
Gran Turismo 5–PS3–SCEA
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26
Marvel Superheroes 3D: Grandmaster’s Challenge–Wii–Marvel Comics
Zombears? Check. Sasquatch hunting? Check. Taming the Four Horses of the Apocalypse? Quadruple check. A $10 piece of downloadable content that rivals (and in some ways surpasses) full-priced retail releases in almost every way? You better believe check.
The Red Dead Redemption zombie-themed add-on Undead Nightmare skews one of the year’s most well crafted and thrilling narratives into an alternate universe filled with mythical creatures, never ending undead massacres, and epic/terrifying adventures that take full advantage of the richly detailed and expansive open-world established in Red Dead Redemption. In other words, say hello to the best piece of downloadable content you’ve ever seen.
When you consider that Rockstar San Diego was able to turn one of the best action-adventure games ever made into a genuinely frightening and heart-pounding survival horror experience while still maintaining the performance and presentation quality of the original game, it’s nothing short of spectacular. The acting, the writing, the animation work, it’s all, like Redemption, top notch, and really helps ground the supernatural narrative suprisingly well (which is no small feat given the game includes a depressed sasquatch and an actual unicorn).
There are tons of small details that we could talk about if you really wanted to. Like the fact that the main story lasts around six hours — longer than some high profile retail games — or that there are 27 towns that you must cleanse of zombies by assisting survivors and regularly checking in to make sure they haven’t been overrun again, or that there are four types of undead, or that you can use zombie body parts as ammo in the newly introduced blunderbuss to blast other members of the walking dead to pieces. And that’s just single-player. The new Undead Overrun co-op horde mode pits up to four players against waves of zombies that would make Left 4 Dead very proud. I mean, if bang for your buck is your primary thing, you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend $10 this year (or any year, for that matter).However, the reason Undead Nightmare is such an all around spectacular package, and why anyone who owns Red Dead Redemption should buy it immediately, is because it gives you exactly what you want out of a zombie apocalypse game: genuine terror but not at the expense of fun. One of my biggest problems with the Dead Rising series is that while it does offer you countless ways to lay waste to thousands upon thousands of infected, you are constantly burdened with requirements and time limits designed to make the entire experience more frustrating than fun.
Undead Nightmare opens with John Marston’s family being bitten by Jack Marston’s infected uncle. After hogtying his wife and son, and stashing them in their house for safekeeping, John doesn’t see his family again until the end of the game. He doesn’t have to run back every few hours to administer pain medication or a sedative to keep them from breaking loose from their ropes. The various tasks John does have to perform, like burning coffins to clear out graveyards, or providing survivors with ammo and helping make towns zombie-free, while somewhat repetitive, never come close to being frustrating or annoying, and because the developers did a great job by designing the look and feel of the zombies (the costume design is stunning by the way), you are constantly wavering between genuine anxiety and unabashed joy.
Like Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City, Undead Nightmare also gives you a chance to see familiar characters in an entirely new context. Granted, in this case, that context is a fantastical “alternate” reality, not simply a particular criminal subset, and it means you’ll encounter zombified versions of several Redemption characters, and familiar locations abandoned and ablaze, but it works in a kischy kind of way and adds to the overall tie-in appeal of the story.
The single-player campaign is clearly the star of the show here, however the new Undead Overrun horde-based mode is a fantastic addition and will provide countless hours of “Get off the ground now!!!”-fueled enjoyment as you scramble to climb onto rooftops while your friends attempt to hold back the unending hordes of undead long enough to keep you from becoming a zombie’s lunch. Sure, zombie horde mode isn’t original, but damnit if isn’t a whole hell of a lot of fun.
The DLC also adds a new Free Roam called Land Grab, which basically lets players claim areas around the map and try to hold it until the timer is up. It’s a fun little addition to the already varied Free Roam experience, which, thanks to the previously released Liars and Cheats Pack, now includes, multiplayer poker, Liar’s Dice, and horse racing.
As you can tell, there’s enough content in Undead Nightmare to keep you entertained for far longer than should be allowed by a $10 piece of DLC. And, honestly, if turning the greatest western game ever into a top notch zombie-infested thriller doesn’t impress you, I really can’t help you. For everyone else, look out! Zombie cougar!
Go to Source (G4TV.com)
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