There actually are checkpoints, instead of having to drive all the way to a mission after you fail it, it starts you at the beginning of the mission proper. This alone was way more forgiving, because the part I hated the most was driving all the way to and from missions.
Either way, it's a great show of my absolute favorite part of any zombie game/movie: the in-universe media coverage. Be it the anchor trying to remain stoic as they report the impossible, the crazed sherif giving instructions to "Shoot 'em in the HEAD!" or writing on the walls (thank you Left 4 Dead), I LOVE that part of zombie media.