Grand Theft Auto 4 was a game that, while great, suffered from being way too long and repetitive towards the end. By the end of the Niko Bellic story I thought I was done with GTA4 for sure but the first episode of Xbox360 exclusive DLC intrigued me enough to give it a download. I'm glad to say that that was a good decision on my part.
TLAD sets you up as Johnny Klebitz who is the vice president of a motor-cycle gang in Liberty City called "The Lost". Within the first 10 minutes of TLAD you start to see where developer, Rockstar, excels. In it's cinemetography, voice acting, character design and story setup. The game starts right after, chapter president of The Lost, Billy Grey gets out of rehab and takes back position of leader of The Lost. Previous to Billy being released, The Lost were a pretty chilled out bunch doing what had to be done to take care of Billy and pay the bills etc. As soon as Johnny gets knocked out of command tention builds between him and Billy.
Without giving to much away, I'll just say that the tone and overall mood of the game changes dramatically. In the beginning of the adventure you and your gang brothers feel happy and excited to be reunited with their leader and in the end I'll just say that things don't go over so well for The Lost and Billy Grey.
My big problem with Niko Bellic was that at the start of his story he came to Liberty City to start over and get ahead of his past of killing and dealing but in the end he just turns right back around and does anything that anyone tells him to do as long as they pay. Johnny never did anything that seemed unlikely for that character. Some characters from GTA4 including Mr. Bellic return but most of the drama in TLAD revolves around the status of The Lost as an organization.
As you would probably expect from a game based around a biker gang, you will be riding a lot of bikes throughout. If you're like me and had trouble riding bikes and not crashing all over the place in GTA4 then don't worry because the bikes have been improved and now feel heavier and less fragile. Argueably some of the best moments in TLAD were when you were riding as a pack on your chopper and listening to the chatter of your gang brothers over some classic rock song.
In my opinion TLAD has a better story, better characters and a better length but would not have worked as the main story of GTA4 for a few reasons. For one, their were no moral decisions throughout all of TLAD which played a major role in GTA4. If you play it how it was meant to be played you will be driving motor-cycles pretty much the whole time. I think I drove a car maybe 3 times and never once drove a boat or heli. There were also no girlfriends, I think only like 2 buddies to hang out with (that never called me) and only a few things to do outside of story missions (multiplayer aside).
As far as adding things to GTA4 goes, there were 50 some new tracks, a few new (awesome) weapons including a fully automatic pistol, a grenade launcher and an almost fully automatic shotgun and some new visual stuff. Still takes place in the same Liberty City albeit the most undiscovered, last part island of Liberty City, Alderney. TLAD also adds some new multiplayer modes which I'm not going to go into because I don't plan on laying them anytime soon.
TLAD works as it's own thing as apposed to an addition to the Niko Bellic story well because it offers something different and thats what Rockstar needs to continue doing with their DLC. TLAD offers a great story and cast of charcters that you will care about the whole time you're playing. For people that liked GTA4 all the way through or for people like me that liked GTA4 until it got too long, The Lost and Damned is a great way to spend $20.