Grand Theft Auto IV
The Lost and the Damned
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Rockstar have created a truly unique addon
for Grand Theft Auto IV called "The Lost and the Damned" which is a
fully fledged GTA game that can be downloaded via XBox live.
Unfortunately for PlayStation 3 users, this is a XBox 360 exclusive and
unlike the Russian mafia in the previous installment, it's all about
The story revolves Billy Grey, the
president of the Lost Motorcycle Club who returns to the world after
spending time in rehabilitation. Unfortunately when Billy
returns, he discovers that his club has turned into a professional
criminal organisation and their gang arch rivals, The Angels of Death
now have a strong truce with them.
Billy is a traditionalist biker with
old school motivations and values and this new direction for the club doesn't sit
too well with him which creates an uneasy tension with interim president
Johnny. It's a classic Grand Theft Auto storyline that features strong
social commentary about a variety of issues within the United States.
Of course, the classic gameplay of the series still remains,
however where this current game does shine is through the characters,
the story and good old fashioned action that in my opinion, makes this a
more entertaining game than Grand Theft Auto IV. Unlike the
aforementioned game, the characters in The Lost and the Damned are more
relatable and realistic than the ultra violent, clichéd and gruff Nicko.
In its essence, the game is a true sandbox game that allows you to
explore almost every facet of this fictional gaming city that contains a
plethora of entertaining missions from easy to some quite difficult. Add
in a wide gamut of mini-games that are all linked to the well scripted
story and feeling the hum of the "Harley" really lets you get lost in
this decent game.
The mini-games in the title are quite fun
and involve activities like arm wrestling and even a Tetris clone which helps spice
up the main gameplay or just gives you that entertaining break. Although
some may see the Lost and the Damned a carbon copy of GTA IV as you are
playing in the same city, I tend to differ as it's a different
perspective on this interactive world, told from the perspective of
these rough and tough bikers that don't take no for an answer.
elements that made GTA so strong are still present in the title from
police chases to taking out competitors in some most unusual ways that
when matched with the sandbox approach, it's almost up to the gamer and
gives you a sense of ownership to what and when you want to do things.
The developers have fixed some of the complaints from the
previous game with the introduction of new checkpoints during missions
which means you don't have to start from scratch again which is
definitely the way the series should have started.
Once you have finished the single-player game which should take most
gamers between 15 - 20 hours to successfully complete, it's time to take
on multiplayer aspect. Rockstar have ensured that this is still a strong
suite of the franchise and have added a new mode called Lone Wolf Biker
that has the gamer playing against a team of gamers. Chopper vs Chopper
is another great addition that lets gamers challenge each other with
bikes and helicopters, you really need to see it in action to appreciate
it. Of course, there's the classic Team Deathmatch and some other
enjoyable multiplayer games that almost makes this more than just an
Graphically, the title is on par as the previous game, Grand Theft Auto
IV as it's virtually the same city, with new characters that are
all extremely well animated and work well with the gaming environment.
This is probably the most realistic virtual gaming city that I have seen
and hopefully Rockstar can sell this engine to other developers, for
instance, a Super Hero game set in the world of GTA would be fantastic.
There's new radio stations which has always been a strong point to
the series and needless to say, the voice acting of this current
installment is extremely professional as per all good Rockstar games.
At the end of the day, GTA IV: The Lost and the Damned is a great addon
for the series and is not just a quick money making addition to the
series but rather something substantial to this franchise. With great
characters, a brilliant gaming engine, there's little if any to complain
about this addon that we could happily recommend to all people who have
the original GTA IV and loved it. I think the addon is actually better
as it's more contained and some of the nuisances have been fixed from
the previous game.
Get your motor running and download this now!