Dust off your copy of Grand Theft Auto IV because Rockstar has offered one of the best downloadable content packs ever released for a game in The Lost and Damned. Delivering over 10 hours of story gameplay, you’ll be treated to new races, gang wars and mini games. If you’re tired of riding around Liberty City, kick back and enjoy some of the new music and television shows. Rockstar’s packed in a lot of new stuff, all for the price of 1600 MS Points, or $20 in what we call money.
The Lost and Damned bring us to Liberty City’s less travelled areas, specifically Alderney and the biker gangs that infest it. Playing as Johnny Klubitz, vice-president of biker gang The Lost MC, you’ll find yourself in the midst of a power struggle as your chapter looks to find its place within the world. With the release of the Motorcycle Clubs President, Billy Grey, mayhem and violence are once again the norm and the peace and prosperity the club had under Johnny’s guidance is now gone. The gang find themselves involved in a war with their arch rivals, The Angels Of Death. This can only mean bad things for everyone.
Gameplay is as tight as ever. Most of the time you’ll be riding bikes around Liberty City but don’t worry, Rockstar listened to the complaints and made the experience much smoother. Handling a bike is easier and more responsive, making it a more enjoyable experience. New weapons have been introduced, from the sawn-off shotgun, to the street sweeper you’ll find yourself taking on opponents in new ways. The biggest improvement, in my humble opinion is the addition of mid-mission checkpoints, making dying during a battle a little easier to handle.
Another interesting concept added is riding in formation with the club. When riding with other members of The Lost, a logo appears on the road indicating where Johnny should be within the pack. Staying in the logo gives all the riders a health boost. Lastly, when battling it out you can call gang members for backup on missions, having them earn more experience and become more deadly. If they die during a mission they’ll be replaced by a new recruit, but the recruit will have less health and less skill stats than their recently deceased comrades. This makes for some interesting tactical scenarios.
Besides its immersive single player campaign, The Lost and Damned also features new multiplayer additions. There are new street races on bikes where you fight on the move Road Rash style, new multiplayer battles titled ‘Witness Protection’ where one gang tries to eliminate a bus carrying witnesses while their opponents provide protection as the police. There’s also the all out gang war in ‘Own the City’ and a ‘Chopper vs Chopper’ mode where a bike takes on a helicopter.
The game could be called a standalone game in its own right, with over 20 new missions, a new plot, online multiplayer modes and side missions you’ll get every penny you paid. The most impressive aspect of the The Lost and Damned is that the gaming experience feels fresh, despite it being set in familiar territory. You’ll find yourself exploring new areas and new people. You’ll also run into some familiar faces since The Lost and Damned’s narrative exists during GTA IV’s main story. The Lost and Damned is probably the best DLC you’ll ever get for a game.