Developer: Rockstar North
Review by: Dan Braun
Grand Theft Auto IV’s The Lost and Damned expansion is a mediocre addition to an outstanding game, but it does have some decent additions and improvements that will appeal to gamers who are looking for a little more from the title.
The plot of the expansion centers on an up-and-coming member of “The Lost,” a motorcycle gang that plays a minor role in the progression of the original game. The gang is essentially at war with itself, along with many of the other denizens of Liberty City.
Both the plot and side missions are all standards of the genre: escort, exterminate, escape, etc. So there is really nothing new in this arena, but a new mechanic has been added to the game that enhances the overall spirit of rolling with a motorcycle club. Now players are expected to ride as a pack and monitor the progress of fellow gang members in order to build a cohesive, unstoppable force to own the roads. In theory, it is fantastic, but the idea seems underdeveloped, and is erratic when trying to access during a firefight.
Concerning combat, two of the major improvements come from the addition of impressive new weapons and an obvious boost in difficulty that is definitely welcome after the cakewalk of the original game. Sadly, these are really the only places where the game shines.
Technically, the expansion looks and handles the same as GTA IV, save for some tweaks that allow motorcycles and bikes to handle much more fluidly. Unfortunately, the dialogue, plot and voice acting have taken a turn for the worse, as the pervasive machismo ambience of the biker gang is overwhelming, to say the least. Many interactions between bikers just play out as multiple gay jokes on the way to one bigger gay joke. It is unimpressive, tedious and almost offensive.
For those gamers who absolutely need to extend their time in Liberty City, the expansion is worthwhile, as it provides at least eight hours worth of missions in which to get lost. However, anyone looking for something innovative or original will be damned to think this will suit those needs.
Fore more info, www.rockstargames.com/thelostanddamned