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Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned review

$20 (around £14) via Xbox Live

Manufacturer: Rockstar Games

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

Good things come to those who wait. First Rockstar pushed the original release date of GTA IV back six months, then the game's first DLC (downloadable content), "The Lost and Damned," wasn't made available until almost a year after GTA IV's release.

Good things come to those who wait. First Rockstar pushed the original release date of GTA IV back six months, then the game's first DLC (downloadable content), "The Lost and Damned," wasn't made available until almost a year after GTA IV's release.

I guess when you've created one of the most popular gaming franchises ever, you can do whatever you damn well please because gamers know they're going to get a great product.

"The Lost and the Damned" is no exception, and while it may start slow, its got enough action and new content to make it well worth the wait.

See also: Grand Theft Auto IV review

The Lost and Damned: Easy Riding

In "The Lost and the Damned" gamers play as Johnny Klebitz, the second in command of a motorcycle gang called The Lost. Johnny is a leveled headed sort, as criminals go, but is constantly at odds with reckless gang leader Billy Grey.

Billy, who was recently let out of prison, is just aching to take out his pent up frustration on the other biker gangs in Liberty City - consequences, and you, be damned. Initially Johnny is resigned to soldier status (steal this, kill that), leaving gamers with the feeling that they've seen all of this before.

But once you take over the gang, the characters in "Lost and Damned" become more developed, and the rest of Johnny's world opens up to more opportunities for you to wreak havoc.

Much of the gameplay is standard GTA shooting and driving fare, but there's more to the "Lost and Damned" than that. There are new motorcycle street races to win (knocking your opponents off their bikes by nailing them with a bat never gets old), relationships to cultivate, side stories to complete, mini-games to play (air hockey, arm wrestling), gang wars to win, and dirty laundry to be washed.

New music, weapons and vehicles also help give Liberty City a fresh feel. And when you get tired of playing with yourself, gamers can always go online to try out the five new multiplayer game types. Finding ways to occupy your time with Johnny is an easy thing to do.

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The Lost and Damned: Damned if you Don't

"Lost and Damned" isn't without its flaws. The storyline isn't particularly interesting, and while it alludes to some links in the original GTA IV plot, it never really connects the dots. Unlike the charismatic Niko, Johnny never truly comes into his own. Most gamers won't feel much of a bond with him and because of that his successes (and ours) don't carry much weight.

And where is that trademark Rockstar humour? Aside from two cut scenes where I saw more junk than in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", there were few laughs to speak of.

Gamepro.com

Grand Theft Auto IV The Lost and Damned Expert Verdict »

Microsoxt Xbox 360
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Grand Theft Auto IV
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

Even with some minor hang-ups this is a must buy. It offers so much content it could easily be called GTA 4.5. With a gameplay time hovering around 10 hours (or even 20-30 if you choose to experience everything) "Lost and Damned" is a must own for any GTA fan, and sets the bar ridiculously high for other developers when it comes to what downloadable content should be.

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