Double The Liberty City Fun
GTA: Episodes from Liberty City combines Johnny and Luis' story together one disc for those that may not have GTA IV anymore, or have enough space to download the Episodes. 40 bucks will get you roughly 20+ hours of that great GTA gameplay, and some new modes and tweaks to the games multiplayer. Since Many have already played The Lost & Damned, I'm going to start with the Ballad of Gay Tony.
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Although the title may suggest you play as Tony Prince, the nightclub owner of two clubs in Liberty City, you actually control Luis Lopez, Tony's Head of Security for his clubs, as well as his business partner. Tony gives Luis a chance to have a life and support himself after Lopez returns from doing time in prison. Throughout this episode, you will work for new and old faces that have been mentioned in the main story of GTA IV, and most are just as outrageous as you would expect them to be. The one that sticks out the most for me is Yusif Amir, the Arabian Business mentioned by Playboy X a few times when playing as Niko Bellic. This guy is pretty funny and over the top, and gives you some of the coolest missions you'll play in the Ballad of Gay Tony.
So Niko was an immigrant searching for the american dream in Liberty City while helping his Cousin Roman, and Johnny was apart of a Biker gang looking to calm his leader Billy down, and now Luis has someone to help out as well. Tony Prince has got himself into a bind with his excessive drug use and borrowing money from people he doesn't regularly associate with, and now Luis must deal with him while trying to please his mother and still manage to run security and Tony's clubs. The Nightlife atmosphere is pretty cool, and Luis can dance in the club with the ladies in the game, take part in drinking games, and most importantly watch over the club for anyone acting suspicious. The Security part wasn't that fun to me, but it's nice to see the great club atmosphere with all the people dancing around and the way Luis moves around when in the clubs.
Besides the new story and missions to complete, TBOGT adds a slew of new weapons, cars, and items to use in Liberty City. The one that may stick out the most to me is the parachute, which allows you to jump out of helicopters and freefall, which is pretty awesome and even included in Free mode where you have an infinite amount of parachutes to use. These are incorporated into the missions that require them nicely, and are a ton of fun to use.
The New weapons are a great addition as well. Theres the .44 Pistol, Explosive Shotgun, Assault SMG which is my favorite of the new weapons, the surprisingly powerful Golden SMG, An advanced MG that is pretty devastating, and new advanced sniper rifle with more power and a better zoom. These make missions a lot easier as long as you're packing one of these new weapons. These are also included in multiplayer which makes those modes really fun as well. The new vehicels are pretty nice with a few more helicopters to use to get around faster, and in the new car races, your vehicles can be equipped with Nitro, so you can race at blazing speeds all around Liberty City.
Overall I really enjoyed the Ballad of Gay Tony and all the new weapons and the addition of a parachute make the game more fun to play whether you just want to goof around and start rampages, or free roam with friends. 4/5
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost & Damned
The first few missions I played as Johnny Klebitz showed that Rockstar really know how to deliver engaging content. The Lost & Damned is set in Liberty City, but has a very different feel from the time spent there as Niko Bellic. In the beginning of the episode you are the vice president of The Lost, One of the Biker Gangs in Liberty City, and you will spend a lot of time on the new 2 wheeled machines Rockstar has added.
Thankfully motorcycles are more maneuverable than playing as Niko and are also integral to many of the new missions. Team work is also a key feature in the episode. Most missions allow and encourage Johnny to call up some fellow Lost members to help him out. Doing so will upgrade these characters and also allow them to carry more powerful weapons.
Without giving too much away in terms of the story, expect to clash with a few biker gangs and various old and new characters that the Lost & Damned brings. Johnny is less likable than Niko in my opinion, but he does have a few caring characteristics which is why many believe him to be a great member of the gang.
A nice addition to the episode is a slew of new multiplayer content. There's still the typical deathmatch and team-deathmatch, but many new mode include Racing on motorcycles with bats reminisce of Road Rash, and an cooperative mode where players must complete missions as a team and ride in a gang formation. 5/5
+ 2 great games on one disc
+ New weapon, vehicle, and gameplay enhancements
+ Fun New Multiplayer modes in TLAD
- Exclusive Radio Station only for the Disc. Those who download the game get no Vice City.FM love
How does it look?
There are some nice enhancements to Liberty City including a bit better lighting and in TBOGT you can see the whole city when high above
How does it play?
Just Like the Regular GTA IV gameplay with some new additions that are welcome including better bike handling
How long does it last?
It took me roughly 10 hours to beat both episodes, and there is still plenty to do after you beat them
Is it a buy or rent?
Well if you bought The Lost & Damned already, I would say buy the Ballad of Gay tony on Xbox Live, or the Disc if you have never played the first episode