Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned Review
Typically you expect a downloadable expansion to add a few new levels, maps, or missions to a game and then stop there. They mostly exist to provide a game's hardcore fanbase with a little something extra to add to their favorite game while providing a little extra revenue to the game company. Well now you can forget everything you thought you knew about DLC. The Lost and Damned is the most impressive downloadable content to be made available for a game since, well since the first game DLC appeared on Xbox Live. The Lost and Damned is more like an entirely new game than it is an expansion for Grand Theft Auto IV, and everyone except those who flat-out did not enjoy Grand Theft Auto IV will be very impressed with what they see once the multi-gigabyte download to their system is complete. If you have a nearly full 20 GB hard drive (or none at all), this game expansion should inspire you to order one of the new 120 GB updates. It's that good.
In The Lost and Damned, you play Johnny Klebitz who's acting as president of The Lost motorcycle gang while its president Billy is spending some time in forced rehab. In Billy's absence Johnny has taken the gang in a new direction by focusing its activities on less-destructive pursuits. When Johnny returns, he wants the gang to return to high-risk drug trafficking and destructive wars with rival gangs. The conflict between Johnny and Billy drives the story in The Lost and Damned, but the story arc doesn't necessarily go in the direction that you'd expect it to. Make no mistake about it, Johnny is as much a criminal as Billy, and as Johnny you'll be forced to take on some missions that will have you doing some things that may not sit well with you. The story is also a bit dark for a GTA game, playing more like a violent biker movie and missing most of the trademark humor the series is known for. The grittier feel of the story is even extended to the game itself which has added a grainy filter to the graphics.
The Lost and Damned comes with far more than a new storyline – there have been a number of additions, tweaks, and changes to the gameplay of GTA IV. You get 20 new vehicles, a handful of new weapons, and even 50+ new music tracks and a new TV show. However, all of this content is strictly for The Lost and Damned. Switch back to GTA IV itself and you're back to things being the same as they've always been.
The core gameplay and mission structure remains the same in The Lost and Damned, and the story missions fall into the same categories as those in GTA IV. There are some changes to the game, though, so the experience is not entirely the same as it was in GTA IV. First of all, the mechanics of a motorcycle-based expansion sent shudders down the spines of many GTA IV veterans. In The Lost and Damned, motorcycles are easier to control all around, from high-speed cornering to jumps and stunts, and it's a lot harder to be thrown from your bike. You'll love how the bikes handle in The Lost and Damned so much that you'll avoid taking a car whenever possible, which fits perfectly with your new role as a member of a motorcycle gang.