Rockstar Games is showing off the content this weekend at the New York Comic Con, and I was lucky enough to get some hands on time with the game today.
The section they’re showing off is a graveyard battle. It’s a side mission that’s similar to the gang hideout missions that you play in the main game, in that they can be tackled at any time and aren’t required for the story. There are new graveyards that have popped up around the country, and if you want to help quell the zombie population, you can enter one to start up the mission. Once you do a coffin will be marked on your map and you have to head over and set it on fire with your torch (a new melee weapon that’s useful for taking out zombies as well). But you’d better be ready- because this sets off the zombie horde. They start climbing out of graves all around you and coming at you for disturbing their resting place, and the more coffins you set on fire the faster they start appearing.
It’s best to take out as many as you can before burning the last coffin, because these suckers are fast, dangerous as hell at close quarters and it’s very easy to get completely swarmed by them if you don’t dodge and roll as much as you can. You’ll want to keep as much distance between you as you possibly can, and Dead Eye really is key here for nailing them with crucial shots and keeping them off of you. Headshots are obviously the way to go here, although regular shots can still take zombies down. The speed and ferocity of their attacks makes the experience feel much more frantic than anything in the main game- if you’re like me you’ll get eaten a couple of times learning how best to evade their attacks.
Besides regular zombies there are a couple of different special types you’ll encounter. One guy crawls around on all fours, achieving ridiculous speeds. Another large one will hurl his bulk into you and knock you on your ass, the better for the other zombies to bite at you. And there are even the below-pictured zombies that glow an eerie green and spit goo at you (hmm).
Fortunately you have a few new weapons at your disposal. The first is the aforementioned torch, which can be swung at zombies to set them on fire. Zombies on fire are still dangerous, of course, but they won’t be for much longer. A more immediate solution is the blunderbuss, an absolute beast of a weapon that splatters zombies into fine red mist. The best part about it? You load it up with body parts looted from corpses- zombie ribs and such. Exploding them doesn’t leave anything behind so you’ll have to use other weaponry to get more ammo.
As you’d expect the violence has definitely been amped up here. Certain headshots will take off pieces of the zombie’s heads, and the blunderbuss just absolutely decimates them. Sadly there are no screens to share with you of this beautiful piece of aggression but here’s some regular ol’ shotgun fun.
After killing most of the zombies in the graveyard, a zombie boss appears. He’s a character you might recognize, and doesn’t take much more than a headshot to go down, but it’s apparent that you’re going to have a lot of familiar (although rotten) faces appearing here.
Unfortunately they’re not telling us much about the story just yet, but it does have a definitive slot in the Red Dead Redemption timeline. (Possible spoilers ahead!) It will take place around the same time that John Marston goes back to his home to settle down near the end of the game. Rather than a couple of easy and relaxing farming tasks he receives word that there’s this horrible disease going around the country, and sets out to find the cure. Rockstar isn’t saying whether the whole thing’s just a nightmare or what but the eerily, foggy look certainly seems to indicate it as such.
But a few confirmed things- as you can see from the screens, you can expect to see zombie horses, lions, dogs and bears. There will also be bats floating around the now fog-strewn landscape, as well as some more animals that they’re just not talking about yet. The game will have its own save spot (much like the GTA:IV downloadable packs) so you can jump into it whenever you feel like it.
They’re saying this pack will take around 5-7 hours to complete, although you’ll be able to get a lot more time in it. Much like with the main game, you can take your time and see the sights and enjoy it for quite a while longer.
I came away from demo pleased with how different the game feels with the mere inclusion of this new enemy type, and while I’m as sick of zombies as the rest of you I really enjoyed what I played. Expect Zombie Nightmare to hit quite soon!
If you’re attending the New York Comic Con this weekend, try and check it out for yourself. You definitely can’t miss the Rockstar booth…