Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned

What we liked:

+ Biker focus
+ Awesome new weapons
+ Great voice work
+ Story and Characters

What we didn't like:

- Weak Multiplayer
- Generic Mission Structure

DEVELOPER: Rockstar North   |   PUBLISHER: Rockstar Games   |   RELEASE: 02/17/2009
The definition of how to do DLC.

“The Almighty forgives, The Lost don’t.” A story of revenge, treachery, controversy, dirty politicians, and, most importantly, Brotherhood, the Lost and Damned tells the tale of a biker gang losing itself with a corrupt leader, a reinvigorated gang war, and a backstabbing underling. Once again Rockstar has managed to craft a tale that’s intriguing, surprising, exciting, and even a bit tragic, with the release of the Lost and Damned downloadable content.

You play as Johnny Klebitz, the Vice President of the Lost Motorcycle Club (Lost MC), just as the leader of the Lost is released from rehab. Upon his release Billy Grey receives a warm welcome and is accepted straight back into his position of leader of this chapter. Unfortunately, drugs have gotten to Billy in a hard way; he leads the chapter down the wrong path over and over again upon release. As Johnny, you have to not only attempt to convince Billy that what he is doing is not good for the Lost MC; you also have to clean up all his mistakes. This leads to shootouts thanks to the re-invigorated gang war with the Angels of Death (the rival motorcycle club). The narrative in the Lost and Damned really helps to drive the gameplay forward nonstop.

Not much has changed in the gameplay department in the release of this dlc. There are a few original missions and new weapons to play with, but this release sticks largely to the old time tested formula you know from the GTA series. Since it sticks so closely to the same mission structure from the past this new expansion isn’t likely to bring in any new fans to the series, which is unfortunate because the acting and storytelling in this entry is top-notch.

That’s not to say the new stuff isn’t really cool though, especially the new weapons you get to play with. The first new weapon you use is the sawed-off shotgun, which for some reason can really tear apart cars with ease. I didn’t use this weapon much because of the two shot limit before you have to reload, but the other shotgun featured in here is one of the best and most useful weapons in the game. After you get introduced to the auto-shotgun you will never want to wield a semi-automatic one again. This beast is super strong and can empty its barrel of the eight rounds it holds in seconds. Using that weapon for the first time was one of the coolest things I remember doing because it’s power is insane. You also gain access to grenade launchers, pipe bombs, and an automatic pistol, that are all really fun to use in the war against the Angels of Death.

The most important new thing is the heavy emphasis that is placed on bikes. You are after all part of a bike gang, and as such it never felt quite right to see Johnny driving a car. He belongs on the open road on a bike, not in a car. Riding in front of the gang leading them somewhere was another awesome thing you do in Lost and Damned. Turning around and seeing that I was leading six other bikers to participate in a gang shootout was really cool. You even have to stay in formation whenever Billy takes over as leader again when he wants to go somewhere. The bike stuff is handled expertly and is a really unique angle to take with this dlc.

There are also a couple of added multiplayer features included in the dlc. The coolest new gametype is the Chopper vs. Chopper mode. This pits a bike against a helicopter in a race to outdo each other. The player driving the bike has the job of getting to as many checkpoints as he/she can before the player in the helicopter shoots them to death. To help this out the helicopter has explosive rounds in his machine guns to make actually hitting the bike not impossible. The biker has a pistol that doesn’t really serve a purpose because the pilot and his machine are invincible.

To help out with how complicated it is controlling the helicopter, when you are in it you are untouchable. You can ram into buildings, fly into a bridge, the only thing I saw that actually hurt the pilot was when the one I was playing against flew into the water while trying to get me off a bridge, and it just flat-out killed him. The other new modes add a couple of twists like having to stay with the designated gang leader during multiplayer in order to get bonuses, and using the new weapons you can find in the single player. The multiplayer additions don’t hurt anything by being in there, but they seem kind of shallow and I can’t see anyone playing them for too much time.

For the $20 price tag you get a lengthy story, awesome new weapons to play with, and some new multiplayer stuff to mess with. I hope Rockstar continues to put out these single stories in dlc format, because as far as telling a story goes, these little installments work wonderfully. I can’t wait for the next installment in the grand GTA: IV storyline.

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