Review by Mephistofun
"Missing the point of 'adding content' and charging extra for it. Grand Theft in more ways than one."
What do the gameplaying public want from DLC? Paying for a new outfit seems cheeky. Playing through the same levels again wearing a new hat? You'd probably see that as a waste of money at 200 points. How about paying 1600 points for it.
Boil down The Lost And Damned and look at what you get. Firstly you are not advancing the same story. It's a different story so you lose all your safe houses, your map goes back to its' default settings and you lose those weapons your collected for Nico.
You get a different safe house. You get a different set of mini games. You get a different story but you get no NEW areas to explore. There are some changes to the online side of things but its' the same, slightly empty playground you had before.
The content is worth half the points, maybe even 1200 at a pinch. The story is not as charming as the main one but it has a few standout moments. Bike handling is tweaked to make them a better proposition for drive bys than a a car but the arm wrestling and card mini games barely make a difference and once you realise that you actually lose all of Nico's money and hard earned bonuses from the main game you may well feel cheated. It's with good reason. This doesn't add any content. It is a new game using the same map.
If this was launched in the high street as a stand-alone game surely we'd think Rockstar were being lazy! It's not far from EA games releasing another FIFA for the European cup a few months after releasing a very similar FIFA (Add a year here), and then an identical World Cup version a few months later. Except EA does at least tweak the game engine each time and does actually change the way the game plays. Rockstar has paid the voice over actors to read a new script and made some new missions. I might have accepted that but then doing the bare minimum and then, on top of that, taking the bulk of content away from the main game to get it to work?
If I want to play the game from the beginning again I can just choose New Game and it costs me nothing.
It is a very unimaginative way of extending the life of the game.
Remember that you can get San Andreas for 1200 points. In that you get fire truck missions, ambulance missions. Taxi missions that work better, more RPG elements, more interiors and frankly, compared to The Lost And Damned, a better story.
The only reason to by this DLC is to see what happens in the story and that alone isn't worth the extortionate price. It wasn't worth 1200 points! Halve the price to 800 and it starts to look fair.
When Bethesda can make entire new areas to explore AND continue the story And they can add new weapons that actually change the way you play AND allow you to continue using the same character for less money AND they finished making the main game in the first place (I still think there is glaring evidence to suggest GTA 4 wasn't finished) this DLC is soul-crushingly disappointing to see.
I would love to see Rockstar use DLC to fill in the missing bits of the main game and ADD content. Instead they seem to blinkered to notice that the competition looks increasingly more fun and better value for money.
Adding content ADDS content. The Lost and Damned simply takes large chunks out of the main game and replaces it with DIFFERENT content. I've been had for the second time by Rockstar. The next DLC must do better. It isn't the worst DLC ever but it is certainly nowhere near what you'd expect for full price, let alone an extra 400 points.
Graphics: 6 No advancement. Nothing new.
Sound: New voices, new music but you'll barely notice it. 6
Gameplay: Play the game environment again for just 400 points more than anyone else charges for entirely new content.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 08/03/09
Game Release: Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned (EU, 02/17/09)
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