mussbus999's Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360) review

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The Lost and Damned Review

The Lost and Damned is a download available on the Xbox Live Marketplace, PSN, and for download for PC for $20, respectively.  The expansion, while still being an expansion, is an entirely new game with new characters, story, weapons, vehicles, activities, and multiplayer modes.  While there are no new areas to explore, TLAD features the Rockstar brand of storytelling that everyone has come to know and love.

Johnny Klebitz, VP of The Lost
Johnny Klebitz, VP of The Lost
The Lost and Damned stars Johnny Klebitz, the Vice-President of a Liberty City biker gang, The Lost.  The story picks up when the president of the gang, Bill y, is released from therapy and is ready to stir up some trouble.  However, Johnny has star ted leaning towards this silly little feeling called "maturity" and is un willing to simply go in guns blazing for everything.  Billy plays the "Lost Brothers forever!" card on Johnny to make him follow Billy, and the story and the gang itself unravels from there.  Overall, it seems like the whole gang is kind of washed up and tired, as shown by the frustation that is caused by the in-gang fighting and the talk of starting a family or slowing down.  The story, while not being as deep as Niko Bellic's tale, is still very interesting and fun to play through.  While Johnny is smart and makes wise desicions, there is something about him that just doesn't make him that likeable.  He doesn't have much of an interesting history, and the story is not as fun as a deep tale of vengence and revenge.  Either way, Rockstar's hilarious, fun, but deep way of storytelling is evident throughtout the whole game and is fun from start to finish.

In addition to the new story and characters, there is a new central hub,  The Lost clubhouse.  This acts as your apartment like in GTA IV, complete with a stripper, bar, pool table, arm wrestling matches, and a poker table with people playing a
Johnny riding with his Hexor
Johnny riding with his Hexor
little Hi-Low.  Along with these new activites, there are more races and gang wars.  Races are straight out of Road Rash and could not be more fun.  The races are now raced on only motorcylces and everyone is equipped with baseball bats.  Now, for some people who have played GTA IV and shudder at the words "motorcycle races" and are reminded of GTA IV's not so great motorcylce handling, fear not.  The bikes now have improved handling and control much smoother than GTA IV's bikes.  Along with the super-fun new races, some brand new shiny bikes have been added.  One of the new bikes is Johnny's special Hexor.  It's a chopper that is always at The Lost clubhouse and can be delivered by calling Clay, along with any other bikes you have found.  All in all, there are a whopping 18 new motorcycles added to the game.

Along with the new motorcycles, the aresnal of weapons has increased.  The 6 new weapons, including a gernade launcher, double barrel shotgun, automatic pistol, and (my favorite) the combat shotgun.  Just like in GTA IV, all guns will be available by calling up a friend and can be purchased in the back a van.  While all the original guns and weapons are still able to be used, these new weapons add to the unique, gritty personality of the Lost and Damned.

There are a handful of new competitive multiplayer modes in TLAD as well.  Included in these modes are Witness Protection, Chopper vs. Chopper, Lone Wolf Biker, and updated motorcycle race modes.  Witness protection involves one team being the cops and one team being The Lost.  The cops are trying to protect the witness bus while the Lost are simply trying to blow up the armored bus.  Chopper vs. Chopper is a fun and interesting mode.  One person is on a motorcyle passing checkpoints throughout Liberty City, while another person is in an attack helicopter that is trying to take down the person on the motorcycle.  Lone Wolf Biker involves one poor sap as a biker while everyone is simply trying to take down the biker.  The race mode is now all motorcycle races, not to mention that everyone has baseball bats. 

The Lost and Damned could probably be sold as an entirely brand new packaged game.  The story probably take anyone from 10-12 hours, and that's without doing gang wars or any other side missions.  In addition to a new story, new guns, motorycles, characters, side missions, and multiplayer modes are all included into one, simple $20 download pack.  Rockstar has changed the definition of DLC.  While most DLC is simply a couple new missions, cars, or maps, Rockstar went all out and completly expanded on a game that was already without faults.  Either way, TLAD is quite the enjoyable ride for newcomers and veterans of GTA IV.


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