The Lost and Damned – First Impressions

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So really late last night I finally got the chance to sit down with the new GTA IV DLC pack “The Lost and Damned’ for around about an hour and a bit.

Now for all of you that missed the actual fact sheet of what this DLC has to offer, here is a basic rundown before I get to my own impressions. Basically, what it says on paper is that you are going to be playing a new character, in a storyline that takes place at the same time as GTA IV and even intersects it at points, with new vehicles, new music and a few new multiplayer modes.

So that’s what the fact sheet says but those fact sheets don’t always do a very good job of actually telling you what you are in for.

So how’s it looking so far?

From the moment the introduction starts rolling, you get a very straightforward feeling that yes, you are in the same Liberty City that you know so well, but no, this definitely isn’t the same game as GTA IV.

In fact, I has a warm fuzzy feeling come over as I realised that this is the first time I have felt the same proper Biker Gang vibe from a game since I played the Lucasarts adventure game Full Throttle on my PC so very long ago. Good times.

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Being a first impressions post, I am not going to go into too much depth, but there are a few interesting changes to The Lost and the Damned that makes it quite different from GTA IV. On a basic technical level, it seems as though a film grain filter has been added, to give a bit more or a rough look into the game as well as different menu themes and fonts that all cater to the “Biker Gang” way of life.

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One of the main differences, and it’s actually a big one in terms of the history of GTA is that in the Lost and Damned, you are apart of a gang, and not just the lone ranger who does his own thing, as you are used to.

Your clubhouse is full of gang members, who all greet you when you arrive and hang around so that you can do some activities such as arm wrestling or a game of high-low.

What I did quite like, is that for a lot of missions you travel as a gang and in formation, meaning that you have to keep in formation whilst your gang cruises it’s way to the destination. It’s not all for nothing though, because if you stay in formation, you get bonuses and healing as well.

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With the usual vehicle dynamics in GTA IV, you may think that staying in formation could be somewhat of a chose, but it looks as if Rockstar have altered the vehicle handling somewhat to make the bikes a lot easier to drive and a lot more responsive.

The story is quite interesting so far, and whilst it’s going to be very difficult to get the main character as interesting and entertaining as Nico Bellic was, I am quite interested to see how things play out and where this story will take me.

Last Updated: February 19, 2009

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.

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