How do you make the best game of the year better?
Rockstar Games believes the way to accomplish that is by releasing a constant stream of downloadable content.
The company did that with two episodic packs for “Grand Theft Auto IV” that added replay ability for the game more than a year after it was released.
Rockstar did the same this year with its fantastic summer release “Red Dead Redemption,” giving my likely pick for game of the year even more value.
Two free downloadable content packs have been released so far, adding some new challenges, characters, perks and co-op modes to the game. Shortly after the game’s release, Rockstar released two paid packs that added new multiplayer modes and maps.
The most recent pack, however, is the highlight of the downloadable content.
“Undead Nightmare,” which was released in late October, is the first truly episodic pack released as downloadable content for the game.
There is no hidden message in the title.
A zombie outbreak has filtered to the wild west, and it’s up to “Red Dead Redemption” protagonist John Marston to save the day.
A number of recent games have added some sort of zombie modes -- much like vampires, zombies seem to be trendy right now -- but often those just have the player fighting through waves of zombies. “Undead Nightmare” has a mode like this too, but it comes in addition to the story mode that you can play through.
While you’re certainly expected to exterminate some zombies throughout “Undead Nightmare,” this pack adds new missions and quests.
You play through the same wide-open map from the original game, but the world is tweaked to fit the new genre.
In keeping with the supernatural theme, Rockstar adds some mythical creatures to the world, including a unicorn and Sasquatch to go along with zombie animals.
The story mode of “Undead Nightmare” will add a few hours of gameplay, and the extras and multiplayer can add even more. The pack really fit in well with its release around Halloween.
Don’t let that dissuade you, though. This pack is a ton of fun, and it’s reasonably priced at $10.
“Red Dead Redemption” was such a great game that stands on its own, but “Undead Nightmare” (really any of the three paid packs) presents a nice excuse to return to the game.