GTAIV: The Lost and Damned – Reviewed – Xbox 360

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The Lost and Damned comes to us as the first bit of downloadable content from Rockstar for it’s award winning title Grand Theft Auto IV, which was released last year. As most of you know, the DLC is exclusive to the Xbox 360 and rumour has it that Microsoft paid around $50 million to keep all of it Xbox 360 only.

That means that Microsoft have some high hopes for the DLC, which means that the pressure was definitely also on for Rockstar to pull a substantially special rabbit out of it’s hat. Last week, we posted up our first impressions on The Lost and Damned DLC pack and if you have no idea what it’s about, then you may want to skim through that first.

The real question on everyones minds is whether or not the DLC is worth it, especially because we have to fork out for the game as well as the bandwidth.

Read our full review to find out if buying the Xbox 360 version just for the DLC was actually worthwhile.

Lost and Found

It’s just another day in Liberty City, but not for The Lost MC biker gang. Today the leader and president of their motorcycle club, Billy Grey has finally been released from the “chookie” and is a free man once again. You are not him, oh no, you are the Vice President of the club and Billy doesn’t take very much time to remind you of that fact. The characters in the game are interesting and believable and really allow you to get sucked into another Liberty City story. However, if I could make one complaint, it’s that voice actor used for Billy Grey is clearly too young and his lack of a rough, worn-through voice actually pulled me out of the experience and just didn’t fit in.

You take on the role of Johnny Klebitz, who is a man who loves sticking it to “the man” along with all of his Lost brothers. The Lost MC has been surviving in Liberty City for a long time, but things are starting to go a little pear shaped and when Billy and Johnny, who have been lifelong friends, stop seeing eye to eye on many of the club’s dealings, things start getting a little sour.

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Almost all of you who are thinking of downloading The Lost and Damned DLC have already either finished GTA IV, played the living hell out of it or at least toyed around in the game for a couple of hours before losing interest. If you fit into that last group and felt a little overwhelmed by the scale of GTA IV or even just found that the story didn’t pull you in enough to keep playing, keep reading because you may have just found a solution to get your moneys worth out of the game after all.

I am going to assume then that all or most of you know what GTA IV has to offer and what the game has to offer, so I am going to mainly focus on the DLC itself and what it brings to the table.

A Tale of Two Cities

The Lost and Damned is definitely not just a little bit of extra content slapped onto GTA IV, but actually shows you a side of Liberty City that you may not have noticed before. The entire feeling of the game is different, which is accompanied by using a variety of techniques that take you out of the world of Niko Bellic and thrust you straight into the gritty, rock and roll world of a biker gang that does all that it can to stick it to “the man”.

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Some of the changes are hard to miss, while a lot of them are so ingeniously subtle that a lot of people will know that the game feels different, but never really think about why. The font used in the game has been changed to a dirty “Wild West Tavern” style and the colours of the menus and map icons have been changed as well, these are obvious and expected, but then there are the little things.

To change the overall atmosphere of the game, Rockstar have firstly added a very light film-grain filter (which can be turned off in the menus) to add some extra grit to the visuals. Rockstar also want you to feel like the new character Johnny Klebitz, so they keep you in his natural surroundings as much as possible. You will be spending a lot of your time on the third island in some very trashy areas, whenever you venture into upper class areas, it’s usually because you are up to no good. As can be expected, your much needed cellphone is also a little banged up and not exactly the best in town.

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The gangs custom bikes have also now been tweaked to handle a lot better than the usual bikes, and you even have your own personal bike which you may grow very attached to, and even require it when traveling in formation in your gang. When I played GTA IV, I found that after a while I would stick to using Taxi’s as my main mode of transport just because traversing the large city often became quite a chore.

In The Lost and Damned, I found that with the new bike dynamics, I am more than happy to hop on my chopper and drive to wherever I need to be. Not only do the bikes handle a lot better, but it seems like they have also made it a lot more difficult to get flung from the bike in a collision. The game, or maybe more specifically the custom bikes, are almost always tuned in to the Liberty City Rock radio station as well, just as it would be and also helps to keep you in the right mood.

All of the small tweaks and changes really do come together to make create a truly new and unique feel to the game, you will be driving around the same streets that you spent hours on in GTA IV, but somehow, you feel like you are in someone else’s world, with a different point of view.

Continued on Page 2

Last Updated: February 26, 2009

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Nick De Bruyne

Video games writer, editor and critic since ’08. Living and breathing video games, movies and cars since the 80s. Follow me on Twitter if you love tons of gaming talk, and @pennyworthrevs for fun stuff and links.

  • janrik

    but offers around 16 hours of gameplay with it as well as more multiplayer modes. 16 hours equates to around the same playtime it takes to finish Call of Duty 4, then Gears of War 2 and then catch a movie afterwards with a buddy

    … maybe if you play on noob easy. :devil:

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