It’s amazing how many zombie video games there are. Even when video game companies want to cash in by just tossing zombies into popular series that have nothing to do with horror, I totally get sucked in. That’s why I played the zombie edition of Red Dead Redemption. But how can it stack up to an offshoot of go-to horror series Resident Evil?
RED DEAD REDEMPTION: UNDEAD NIGHTMARE
Zombies in an Old West period piece. My worst nightmare, and not in a good way. Period piece or not, I played anyway. Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare is really an action game disguised as a zombie game. It’s not a “scary” game, and there’s not much horror atmosphere, although it is freaky when you’re running through expansive paths through the woods and zombies come racing after you and your horse.
Yeah. Horse. You have a horse, which adds to the bulk of the annoyance of the game. Trying to run and shoot or fight off zombies without running your horse into a ditch glitch is a pain in the horse’s ass. Or wait until your ass gets dragged off your horse’s ass by zombies and he gallops away, leaving you swarmed. Fun.
Even though there’s somewhat of a story about looking for an antidote after your wife and daughter are infected, the majority of the game is spent fighting zombie hordes that take over all these different towns. You seriously have to go from town to town killing EVERY zombie. You have locals there to help you, but if you accidentally shoot one of them, they turn on you. And after you cleanse a town of zombies and leave, making it “safe,” the cotton-picking zombies can come right back. It’s just a repetitive exercise in running back and forth from town to town…on a horse.
You also have to cleanse cemeteries loaded with relentless monsters and ghosts, face off against fricking zombie wildlife, and chase unicorns around fields and forests (one of the gayest parts of any video game I’ve ever played). After the game is over, it’s weird to find yourself standing there as a zombie cowboy with a zombie horse and freedom to do whatever you want in the game environment! And all you can really do is go kill your own kind—zombies just continue overrunning all the towns. I feel like I’ve left the good folks of Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare in permanent living dead limbo on my Xbox 360.
RESIDENT EVIL: REVELATIONS
Every time a Resident Evil game is released that isn’t a part of the main storyline, it usually promises to be a return to the roots of the series like long time fans of the franchise hope.
Resident Evil: Revelations brings back Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, which is awesome. It also gives you the option of “classic” tank controls. But this is really just a way for Capcom to tell old schoolers to stop the whining about bringing back the original feel of the series; if you switch to old style game play, you quickly discover the controls suck. But that’s because Revelations is not a classic tension-building atmosphere Resident Evil game. Like newer entries in the series, it’s essentially an action-shooter completely dependent on quick movements and aiming. So I have to say, the modern controls are fricking flawless in the game.
The game succeeds in having a more genuine horror feel than Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6 since all you are fighting are monsters, not crazy villagers and dudes with guns. However, there aren’t any zombies! It’s all mutated creatures—on a ship! Remember the light gun game Resident Evil: Dead Aim? It’s sort of like that…without the zombies. While it’s not a two-player game, you always have a partner with you, and each chapter has you playing different characters. Plus, it brings back some of the puzzle-solving and search and find aspects of the original games.
Other than mention of the T-virus, this is a freestanding story. No Raccoon City, no Umbrella, no Wesker, no Ada Wong, no typewriters to save when you want. It is, I believe, more of an offshoot of the ridiculously overreaching storylines of Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6. I miss the contained conspiracy days in isolated labs and mansions—now it feels like the whole world is just loaded with villains with their own unique viruses to unleash on the masses. How is any human being even alive anymore?
The game introduces a unique scanning gun that shows you items you can’t see with the naked eye. There’s a gun upgrade system, but it’s pretty limited and virtually pointless. The 3D map and directional system also suck, and many of the halls and levels of the ship look alike, which makes it really confusing to get to your next specified location to complete a mission, but the game is still loads of fun and gets better as it progresses. Best of all, despite the dratted autosave feature, I was never left having to replay frustrating sections over and over again. It was smooth sailing (on wimp difficulty).
My biggest issue with Resident Evil: Revelations is the nightmare water segments. Yes, there are underwater segments. Diving, having to come up for air…and sea monsters. I fricking HATE sea monsters as much as I hate the horror of vents and sewers!!! But I did kind of like the final sea monster boss battle. He was pretty cool.