Review by JManGT

Reviewed: 02/20/09

Finally DLC done right.

Long awaited GTA4 fans have waited for news on the episodic content. Finally the first of two episodes: The Lost and The Damned is here. And it will not fail to satisfy.

This time around you play as Johnny Klebitz, the Vice President (Second in command) of The Lost Motorcycle Club (you run into him occasionally as Niko in GTA4's campaign. The story revolves around the Parole of Billy Grey, the President of the MC. And how his leadership affects everyone associated in the club and the hardships they have to go through to survive. You will see familiar faces, and also work alongside Niko as you did in his campaign. The alternative perspective is really nice. Though some of the parts of the story seem a little weak. However you will fall in love (whether to love to love or to love to hate). And you will find yourself emotionally attached in one way or another to the charachters. Story isn't long, but it is worth price tag in itself

Most DLC just adds maybe a few missions, or vehicles, or music, or new modes. But never really combines any of them. This however is not. If you didn't need GTA4 disc, this could EASILY be considered it's own game. They added a lot of new tracks, commercials, skits to the radio, tv, internet, comedy clubs etc etc. They added a few new activities to have fun with your buddies, including air hockey, bike races with bats, gang wars, Hi Lo card game, and arm wrestling. Not only this, they added a bunch of new Bikes, about a handful of cars. new weapons which to say the least are completely mind blowing. As well as new Bike Physics making them overall enjoyable. As well as all new multiplayer modes implementing some of the new features. Rockstar could of easily pulled a fast one and divide these all up separately for a similar price tag, but instead, they go for the encore and put most other developers' DLC to shame.

Obviously, plays the same as GTA4 but the focus is changed in a few areas. You'll be finding yourself riding Bikes a lot more than you did with Niko because of the new physics and the awesome bikes, not to mention you can have most of them delivered to you on the spot. Money is harder to come by this time around, so you can't buy everything in the gun shop after awhile like you could with Niko. They seem to have made combat more robust, by adding a lot more charachters in a given place and adding a lot more explosive materials to play with. Some of the new weapons definitely liven things up, the average mission is much more difficult this time around but the new weapons are powerful enough to compensate for them.

To be frank, about 6-10 hours long if you do story only depending on your skill. But considering that is about the same length as most games these days. it automatically raises that bar by about triple since it's about 1/3rd the price as a full game. But you also got a bunch of side activities to do a well. And the new multiplayer modes have something for everyone.

It seems they added new things, as well as taking some things out. The skin options are definately more limited this time around, they took all the Annihilators out of free mode (which can be good or bad depending on your opinion about it). But the odd thing is, you can't find any of the new vehicles in free mode. All free mode really has different than GTA4 is the new bike physics and weapons. So people looking forward to cruising in their own bike gangs in free mode will be dissapointed, as bikes seem to be still just as rare as ever. The coop mode however fixes the number one complaint about the coop modes in GTA4, variety, you will not have to do the same thing over and over and over. The new mode takes a cache of missions, and combines them into one session throwing random ones at you at a time as you complete them. So it will take much longer for the coop to get old this time around. Chopper Vs. Chopper is perfect for playing with a friend, basically your in a modified annihilator chasing down a biker, and you have to kill him. It is pretty addicting. The standard death matches are back as well as other new modes such as Witness Protection and Lone Wolf Biker.

Unlike most DLC, The Lost and The Damned has something for all comers of fans for GTA. It has new missions and a story for the fans of the predecessor. New multi modes and features for those who only liked the multi. And new vehicles and weapons for those who just like to mess around getting wanted in Liberty City. Each improvement in each aspect is easily worth the price, let alone them all combined into one package. Why are you still reading this, if you have a 360, if you have GTA4, you would be a fool not to have The Lost and Damned to go with it.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned (US, 02/17/09)

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