Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . The Lost and Damned gives you everything you could possibly want in a Grand Theft Auto expansion pack. It offers more action, more crazy characters and more incredibly sticky situations. It also features a fantastic story that manages to tie everything in the original GTA IV together in surprising ways. If you're a GTA fan, then you have no excuse not to pick up The Lost and Damned! Rating: 85%
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned
  • Review Score:

  • A-
After putting so much time into last year's stunning Grand Theft Auto IV, I wasn't sure how excited I was to visit the crime-ridden streets of Liberty City again. But like any good vacation, the moment I arrived in town I was immediately won over. Grand Theft Auto IV's first expansion pack, The Lost and Damned, may not include a new city or that many new colorful characters, but it does have a fascinating story that manages to feel different enough to differentiate itself from the past Rockstar Games titles.

You play Johnny Klebitz, a minor character in last year's GTA IV who just so happens to be in a biker gang known as The Lost (he's also the first Jewish protagonist in the Grand Theft Auto universe). Like all of the biker gangs you see in the movies, The Lost is made up of a motley crew of low-lifes, junkies and other assorted criminals. The leader of the gang, Billy Grey, just got out of rehab and is looking to catch up on old times, which involves stealing other people's bikes, starting a few unnecessary gang wars, and smuggling in some hot diamonds. And so your adventure begins.

GTA IV - The Lost and Damned (Xbox 360)

Seeing as this is a Grand Theft Auto game you can expect to do a lot of errands for Billy. Most of the first half of the game involves you doing your part to cause trouble and take out those who oppose you, in other words you'll be forced to do the same sorts of missions that made this series so popular in the first place. Before long Johnny will start to gain a little power, and you'll suddenly go from taking orders to calling the shots. Veterans of Rockstar Games' popular franchise will no doubt start to recognize some of the cliches in the story, but the game's two dozen missions do tell an interesting story that has a satisfying conclusion.

Although it's hard to tell at first, this expansion pack's story runs concurrent with that of the Grand Theft Auto IV narrative. In fact, some of the most memorable parts of the game involve you interacting with many of GTA IV's color characters. Not only do Elizabeta Torres and Ray Boccino make an appearance, but fans will also be happy to see favorites such as Niko and Roman Bellic show up. While most of the game has you focusing on your own troubles, from time to time you'll end up having to run a mission that involves one of the Bellic boys. One of the missions is pulled directly out of Grand Theft Auto IV, only this time around you see it from Johnny's point of view. It's little moments like this that flesh out the original game's story and make you feel like you're really experiencing something epic.

The truth is, those who weren't especially happy with Grand Theft Auto IV will continue to not be happy with this game. The Lost and Damned doesn't attempt to fix the problems that some gamers had, instead it adds to the experience by giving you context, perspective and sympathy for everybody involved. Johnny isn't as instantly likable as Niko, but by the end of the game you will feel like you've been through something emotional that is bigger than the people involved. This point is hammered home when you start to see how the little things you did in GTA IV affect the characters in The Lost and Damned, and vice versa.

GTA IV - The Lost and Damned (Xbox 360)

As a $20 expansion pack you can't expect the game to be as long and deep as last year's GTA IV, but The Lost and Damned certainly tries to convince you that it is. The game runs around ten hours, though I could see that ten hours quickly turning into twenty (if not more) if you complete all of the side missions and mini-games. And that's just the start of it, the game also features brand new TV channels and a couple of new radio stations (with more than fifty new songs added). Throw in a dozen new motorcycles (with improved handling) and you have yourself one of the most impressive expansion packs I've seen since Bethesda unleashed Shivering Isles two years ago.

What struck me about The Lost and Damned wasn't the story or the new radio stations (neither of which I cared much for), but rather how different the tone of the game was. In Grand Theft Auto IV the whole city feels fresh and new, thanks in large part to the fact that you play an immigrant who, like you, is experiencing this huge city for the first time. In this expansion pack you already know the city, so instead of being fresh and new, Johnny sees this city as being old and run down. It's amazing how much the developers can do to your perception of this city when playing with graphic filters and the atmosphere. For much of the game I genuinely felt like I was playing in a brand new city, yet deep down I knew this world like the back of my hand.

comments powered by Disqus