Playing through Sleeping Dogs was a ton of fun recently and I was bummed after I finished the game 100% completion and have literally nothing left to do in the game. I was wanting some more open world goodness. Then I remembered that I bought the copy of GTA 4 on PS3 that has all the expansions packed in with it and I have yet to play them. So, If I were only to play one of them which one should I go for assuming I decide to throw it in and start one of them up?
So Ballad of Gay Tony or Lost and Damned?
Lost and Damned. If only because chronologically it works better that way. I had a lot of fun with both, but Lost and Damned is probably the better of the two story wise. Though BoGT was a bit sillier, if I recall, and had some good Brucie stuff.
Lost and Damned is grittier and more serious. You get a sweet sawed-off shotgun and a grenade launcher.
Ballad of Gay Tony is sillier and more over-the-top. You get a sweet auto shotgun with explosive rounds that can blow up everything and some sticky bombs.
It's all a matter of what kind of story/missions you want. Having played both I believe they are both worth finishing.
I actually appreciated The Ballad of Gay Tony a lot more. I feel like it might've started a little slow but when it picked up it really blew its predecessor, TLAD, away in terms of the events of the latter missions, if I remember correctly. It also added a lot of nice content that definitely extended its replayability for me more so than TLAD.
I think Gay Tony is a lot better. Plus it has mission checkpoints. Don't remember if Lost and Damned had mission checkpoints or not, but I definitely remember them taking a lot of the frustration out of playing GTA in Gay Tony. I would at least try them both, though. Besides the commonality of taking place in the GTA gameplay framework, they are very different experiences.
Gameplay-wise it is Ballad of Gay Tony, but story-wise it is definitely The Lost and Damned. I actually think I enjoyed TLAD more, and to some degree by a long shot. There was definitely something about the characters, tone and the grittiness to the story.
I like them both. The gameplay and missions in TBoGT are better, but the story and setting of TLAD is better. You should probably play TLAD, then see if you still want more GTA4. If so, then play TBoGT. Playing TBoGT first will probably make TLAD seem less fun by comparison.
Definitely prefer L&D over here, too. Johnny Klebitz is easily my favourite of the three GTAIV protagonists and I much prefer the grittier, grungier style of the L&D over The Ballad. The Ballad is still pretty fun as well, and Gay Tony is a really goofy character who reminds me of Rosenberg from Vice City, but the actual drama and story is better and more consistent in L&D. Gay Tony kinda flutters about at points (like story threads concerning Luis' mum and his gang-banger buddies), even if it's also got some solid comedy in there with Brucie.
Oh, and riding bikes is so much fun in The Damned (mixed in with the sawn-off shotty!) and it overall manages to perfectly capture the feel of rollin' within a biker gang. That's probably the one point where The Ballad faltered for me; I never felt like I was actually living the high life as some successful club manager. There was a disappointingly small amount of clothing to select from, you only had one apartment, and the actual club-management side stuff was pretty weak. Then again so was the strange level-up mechanic for your fellow bikers in The Damned, but it still more successfully delivered on the tone it was going for than The Ballad I think. The Ballad's Drug side-missions are much better than The Damned's Biker Gang side-missions, though.
They're both definitely worth playing because some of the best moments are watching as each story connects and affects one another. The Damned's in particular paints an even more noticeably harrowing light unto Niko's story for how much your seemingly small actions cascade across Johnny's story. And The Ballad's is especially fun because you get some additional time with an even more sadistic and intimidating Bulgarin. Also there's Yusuf 'Arab Money' Amir.
Anywhoo you've probably already made your purchases by now, but I wanted to post anyway because I love talking about the GTAIV DLC!
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