Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned Review for Xbox 360

New story. New bikes. Same mayhem. Rockstar adds the best value on Xbox Live to date

By David Uruena, Feb. 19, 2009
 
 

The Lost and Damned is a downloadable add-on game exclusive to the Xbox 360, so you can't play it without owning a copy of Grand Theft Auto 4. Despite TLAD being an add-on, the story itself is different to GTA IV and packed with enough content to warrant the 1600 Microsoft Points. You'll easily burn through ten hours following the story, and at least another eight for side missions, mini games, and character completions. Add to that the various new multiplayer features via Xbox LIVE and you have an experience that could potentially eat up all of your free time.

You play Johnny, the vice president of a biker gang called "The Lost,” who has kept things in Liberty City rather balanced while their president, Billy, remains behind bars. Now, with their real leader Billy recently released from prison, second-in-command Johnny has to follow his reckless leader's actions and survive the consequences.

Game Details

Produced by: Rockstar Games
Release Date: Febuary 17, 2009
Available on: Xbox 360
Online Feature: Multiplayer

To GTA IV owners, you're already familiar with what this type of sandbox game has to offer, and while the story isn't as deep as Niko's it is still as fun as it ever was, especially when playing through some of the crossover missions that connect it to the original story. The voice acting is superb and there is a good amount of varying missions to keep the game from becoming stale.

Most of the road missions involve riding around on your chopper with your entourage looking for trouble, and that makes for a fun experience that's probably a little different than what you've done before. You can call for bikes, back-up, and request weapons at any time without having to reach a certain point in the story. Rockstar improved the motorcycle handling so that you are able to take turns a little harder and ride a little faster without having to worry about being easily thrown off the bike in an accident. The game does a good job of keeping you out of cars and onto your chopper, riding in the open air with the rest of your gang buddies.

To give TLAD its own look & feel Rockstar added a rough-around-the-edges presentation to the Menu and gave Liberty City itself a darker and grainy look. You have your hangout, and you ride with a convoy in gang formation. Everything has a bit of a biker lifestyle feel to it and it works. And you’re not limited to just a couple of bikes. There are more choppers and cruisers, along with other bikes from the original game like standard nakeds, sportbikes, and if you're feeling brave, you can rock the scooter. You get a sense that more bikes are on the road and fewer cars clogging up traffic.

Just as in GTA IV, you also have optional mini games and side missions at your disposal when you complete the game or when you're just not up to following the main story. Mini games like arm wrestling, cards, pool, and air hockey are fun, while the side missions like Gang War and Street Racing add just enough to keep the game play experience fresh. With Gang Wars, players can use the newly added weaponry to take out rival gangs when the location of their hide-outs are shown on the in-game map. Street Racing is just as it sounds but with the added bonus of wielding weapons while you race to help eliminate your competition. It's a nice touch that is reminiscent of EA's Road Rash series.

If all the options above still aren't meaty enough you can always hop online and play the six new multiplayer modes such as Witness Protection, Own The City, Bike Races, Club Business, Lone Wolf Biker, and 'Chopper vs Chopper' where one player takes control of a helicopter trying to stop the other player from passing checkpoints on his motorcycle.

There are more weapons, more music, more multiplayer modes, more bikes, more vehicles, more races, and more achievements. You would be hard-pressed to buy GTA IV and not download The Lost and Damned. This amount of playability for an add-on is unheard of, and it would be a great addition to all Xbox360 GTA IV owners and a fun experience for any motorcycle fan.

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