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Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned
TLAD cover.png
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned art
Developer(s) Rockstar North
Publisher(s) Rockstar Games
Distributor(s) Take-Two Interactive (retail redemption code)
Xbox Live Marketplace
Series Grand Theft Auto
Engine RAGE
Euphoria (motion engine)[1]
Native resolution 720p
Platform(s) Xbox 360
Release date(s) XBLM: 17 February 2009
retail: 29 October 2009
Genre(s) Sandbox, third-person shooter, action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Rating(s) BBFC: 18
ESRB: M
OFLC: MA15+
PEGI: 18+
System requirements Grand Theft Auto IV for Xbox 360, an active internet connection, Live Gamertag, and Hard Drive with 1.78GB free space.
Input methods Gamepad

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned is the first of two episodic expansion packs developed for the Xbox 360 version of the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, developed by Rockstar North. It was released on 17 February, 2009.[2] It is the third expansion pack game in the Grand Theft Auto series (the first since Grand Theft Auto: London, 1961, released in 1999), and the twelfth release overall.

The Lost and Damned features a new protagonist, Johnny Klebitz, who is a member of Liberty City's biker gang The Lost, a gang which is featured in missions throughout the course of Grand Theft Auto IV. Dan Houser, vice president of creative development at Rockstar Games, claims the episode will show "a different side of Liberty City".[3] Jeronimo Barrera, Vice President of Product Development for Rockstar Games, has said that the episodes are experiments because they are not sure that there are enough users with access to online content on the Xbox 360.[4] Take-Two Interactive's Chief Financial Officer, Lainie Goldstein revealed that Microsoft was paying a total of $50 million for the first two episodes.[5]

A combined standalone disc-based package titled Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City, which does not require the original Grand Theft Auto IV game to be played, was released and contains both The Lost and Damned and Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony.[6]

Contents

Gameplay

Perhaps the biggest new feature in The Lost and Damned is the availability of mid-mission checkpoints. The player is thus spared repeated trips to a given location in order to trigger a failed mission again — an oft-criticised aspect of the Grand Theft Auto series. However, The Lost and Damned expansion does not add this functionality to the main game. Checkpoints are only available by retrying the mission after it has been previously failed — going to the mission start point begins the mission from scratch.

The Lost and Damned otherwise features similar gameplay to Grand Theft Auto IV. Additions to the game include new weapons, such as a grenade launcher, Automatic Pistol, half of a pool cue and pipe bombs, as well as sawn-off and automatic shotguns and new vehicles, such as Johnny's custom-made motorcycle. However, his way of handling vehicles is less proficient than the way he handles any motorcycle. The player is able to telephone various members of the Lost to provide assistance. Terry, for instance, will drive to a location near to Johnny and sell him weapons and armor, while Clay can deliver a bike of the player's choice to him directly. Another addition to The Lost and Damned is gang wars. Once the player has completed a certain amount of them, weapons spawn in either the clubhouse and/or safehouse depending on how far the player has progressed in the story, and every subsequent 10 gang wars up to 50, a new weapon will spawn.

In an interview with IGN, the president of Rockstar North stated that the Lost and Damned would have a third of the number of missions as Grand Theft Auto IV, placing its length at approximately 10–15 hours, depending on how focused the player is on the storyline.[7]

The multiplayer modes are:

  • Witness Protection - One team is The Lost biker gang and they must try to eliminate a bus carrying witnesses while the other team is NOOSE who try to protect the bus as it delivers the witnesses to police stations around Liberty City.
  • Race - Racing on bikes with racers carrying bats and smashing each other, similar to the video game Road Rash.
  • Lone Wolf Biker - Free for all style mode where one player is the Lone Wolf and all other players must chase and kill that player to become the Lone Wolf. At the end of the game, whoever was the Lone Wolf for the longest time, wins.
  • Own the City - Try to gain control of the city section by section, based on San Andreas' gang wars.
  • Club Business - Like the original Mafia mode in GTA IV, but with a total of 8 players riding together as one gang. The player receives calls from Angus who tells you to carry out certain tasks for The Lost.
  • Chopper vs. Chopper - Helicopter vs bike. Bike rider tries to get through checkpoints while the helicopter tries to stop the biker.

Plot

Grand Theft Auto series fictional chronology

1961 - London, 1961
1969 - London, 1969
1984 - Vice City Stories
1986 - Vice City
1992 - San Andreas
1997 - Grand Theft Auto
1998 - Liberty City Stories
1999 - Grand Theft Auto 2
2000 - Advance
2001 - Grand Theft Auto III
2008 - Grand Theft Auto IV (The Lost and Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony)
2009 - Chinatown Wars


The story begins with Johnny Klebitz and all the members of the infamous biker gang, The Lost Motorcycle Club, driving through the night streets of Alderney. In a brief cameo, Niko Bellic, the main character of Grand Theft Auto IV, swears at a passer-by on the street as the gang drives past.

Johnny is the vice president of the gang, but has been the acting president for a year because the club's president, Billy Grey, has been in court-ordered rehab after being arrested for narcotics possession. As leader, Johnny has established The Lost throughout Liberty City by making truces and deals after suffering several financial troubles, mainly caused by Billy's poor leadership. The most notable truce is with The Lost's rivals, The Angels of Death, which has allowed The Lost to operate their drug deals and gun running operations more freely.

On being released from rehab, Billy immediately reverts to a life of crime and thus tensions quickly grow between Billy and Johnny, who believe the gang should go different ways. Johnny wants to keep the gang running smoothly, deeming war with other gangs as immature and bad for business, whereas Billy prefers acts of random violence and mayhem. As such, Billy quickly breaks the truce established by Johnny and a gang war erupts between The Lost and The Angels of Death, which serves as the main basis for the game. Along the way, Johnny becomes involved with Ray Boccino and the infamous diamond deal seen in Grand Theft Auto IV. Johnny also has to deal with his ex-girlfriend, Ashley, a drug addict who constantly gets herself into trouble.

Eventually, Billy is arrested after a failed drug deal with the Triads and Johnny takes over as President of The Lost. This immediately sparks a civil war in the gang, one side with Johnny, the other with Brian Jeremy, who is still loyal to Billy and believes Johnny to be responsible for Billy's arrest. Brian stages a coup against Johnny in which most of the Lost are killed, but Brian escapes. Johnny later arrives at Brian's safehouse and kills him along with the last of his goons, ending Brian's own chapter of the Lost. Shortly after, it is revealed that Billy is going to testify against the Lost in exchange for entering the Witness Protection Program. Johnny leads a raid on the state prison in Alderney, where Billy is being held, and personally executes him. Immediately afterwards Johnny discovers that Jim, a married man with a child and a trusted veteran of The Lost, has been killed in retribution for the botched diamond deal earlier in the game. The end reveals that the only surviving members of The Lost are Johnny, Clay, Terry and Angus. Their club and brotherhood destroyed, they decide to burn their clubhouse to the ground. The last shot is of them watching it burn, contemplating what comes next. Ashley promises Johnny that she will go to rehab, with Johnny wishing her luck.

At several points throughout the course of the game, the plot intertwines with events from Grand Theft Auto IV and is seen and played out from Johnny's perspective. These include Elizabeta's drug deal going wrong, and Ray Boccino's diamond operation (both of which were played from Niko's perspective in the main game). It is revealed that it was Johnny who kidnapped Roman Bellic and took him to the warehouse in Bohan where Niko eventually rescued him in the main game. It is also revealed that a seemingly random biker that Niko killed for Ray Boccino in the main game was actually Johnny's best friend, Jim Fitzgerald. Also, Niko's killing of The Lost member Jason Michaels under orders from Mikhail Faustin is mistaken for an assassination by The Angels of Death, re-igniting the gang war between them. The ending movie shows key points in the original story line, such as Niko and Roman finding their home and cab business destroyed, and Niko executing Vlad, with The Lost riding in the background. One of the missions also involves Tony Prince from The Ballad of Gay Tony and provides Johnny's perspective to the first piece of plot to the expansion's storyline.

Soundtrack

Apart from the original Grand Theft Auto IV soundtrack, several new tracks were added to the radio stations in the expansion. LCHC - Liberty City Hardcore and Liberty Rock Radio saw the biggest addition of new tracks, to go with the expansion's overall biker/rock theme. LCHC also got the addition of a new radio show dedicated to extreme metal hosted by Max Cavalera.

Additional tracks were added to the rotation of The Beat 102.7 (with DJ Statik Selektah & Funkmaster Flex) and Radio Broker as well as a new radio show on the talk station WKTT; The Martin Serious Show (a parody of Shock Jock style radio programs).

Development

The content was first announced during Microsoft's 2006 E3 press conference on 9 May 2006.[8] Peter Moore, the then-head of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business division described downloadable content as "epic episode packs", and not just an extra car or character. A press release during the conference said that the packs would add "hours of entirely new gameplay" to the game.[9] On 20 February 2008, it was initially announced that the extra content would be introduced starting August 2008.[10] As part of its second quarter financial reports Take-Two announced that the downloadable content had been delayed and would be released during the first quarter of its 2009 financial year (November 2008–January 2009).[11] On 13 November 2008, Take-Two executive chairman Strauss Zelnick warned that while they were aiming to release the first episode pack by January 2009, the date may have had to change to the second financial quarter of 2009 (February-April) depending on the completion date.[12][13] The 17 February release date was eventually announced one week after Zelnick's warning.[14]

On 10 November 2009, a new patch for the PC version of GTA 4 added five Achievements from The Lost and Damned. This has increased speculation of the PC version getting the DLC. [15]

Reception

The game was well received by critics who cited its improved motorcycle mechanics in comparison to the previous games, good voice acting, addictive multiplayer component and other new content which added many hours of game time. Complaints with the game have included auto-aiming issues and weak gang AI, the former being a noticeable problem in the original game.

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 90/100[16]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8/10[17]
GameTrailers 9.2[18]
IGN 9.0/10

Controversy

Parental advisory group Common Sense Media issued a public warning about the expansion pack due to a full-frontal nudity scene during one of the cut scenes. They claimed the game was "more controversial than its predecessors" because it featured "full frontal male nudity".[19]

Many players reported "freezing" issues subsequent to download from Xbox Live. The source of this problem is not yet known, nor has Rockstar Games officially responded. Slashgamer.com has recently published an article summing up the extraordinary number of message-board threads devoted to the topic.[20]

References

  1. ^ Boyer, Brandon (2007-06-29). "Product: Grand Theft Auto IV Using NaturalMotion's Euphoria". Gamasutra. CMP Game Group. http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=14526. Retrieved 2008-04-03.  
  2. ^ Bramwell, Tom (2009-01-22). "Rockstar prices GTAIV: Lost and Damned". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/rockstar-prices-gtaiv-the-lost-and-damned. Retrieved 2009-01-22.  
  3. ^ "'Grand Theft Auto' yields road to the 'Lost and Damned'". USA Today. 2008-11-20. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2008-11-19-gta-damned_N.htm. Retrieved 2008-11-20.  
  4. ^ "Grand Theft Auto IV: Rockstar Experimenting with Episodic Content". Kotaku. 2008-02-11. http://kotaku.com/354716/rockstar-experimenting-with-episodic-content. Retrieved 2008-02-12.  
  5. ^ "Take-Two F2Q07 (Qtr End 4/30/07) Earnings Call Transcript". SeekingAlpha. 2007-06-11. http://seekingalpha.com/article/38017. Retrieved 2007-06-17.  
  6. ^ "Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Reports Second Quarter Fiscal 2009 Financial Results". Take Two. 2009-05-26. http://ir.take2games.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=385948. Retrieved 2009-05-27.  
  7. ^ Surette, Tim (2009-02-16). "GTA IV: The Lost & Damned In-Depth". IGN. http://uk.xboxlive.ign.com/articles/953/953328p1.html. Retrieved 2009-02-16.  
  8. ^ Gibson, Ellie (2007-07-11). "E3: Microsoft'sConference". Gamesindustry.biz. http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/e3-microsofts-conference. Retrieved 2008-04-08.  
  9. ^ Surette, Tim (2006-09-27). "X06: Duo of XBL GTA4 packs confirmed for 360". GameSpot. http://uk.gamespot.com/news/6158823.html?sid=6158823. Retrieved 2007-04-01.  
  10. ^ "GDC: GTA IV Episode 1 - August, 360 exclusive". ComputerAndVideoGames.com. 2008-02-20. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=182934. Retrieved 2008-02-20.  
  11. ^ "GTA IV DLC for Xbox 360 delayed". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=146825. Retrieved 2008-06-06.  
  12. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (2008-11-13). "Chinatown Wars gets temporary cease-fire". GameSpot. http://gamespot.com/pc/action/grandtheftauto4/news.html?sid=6201044. Retrieved 2008-11-15.  
  13. ^ Graft, Kris (2008-11-13). "Take-Two: GTA IV DLC "May" be Delayed". Edge. http://www.edge-online.com/news/take-two-gta-iv-dlc-may-be-delayed. Retrieved 2008-11-15.  
  14. ^ Gibson, Ellie (2008-11-20). "GTA IV DLC to be released in February". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/gta-iv-dlc-to-be-released-in-february. Retrieved 2009-01-23.  
  15. ^ Purchese, Robert (2008-11-11). "PC Lost And Damned Achievements seen". Eurogamer. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/pc-lost-and-damned-achievements-seen. Retrieved 2009-11-11.  
  16. ^ "Grand Theft Auto 4 The Lost and Damned Review". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/grandtheftauto4thelostandthedamned. Retrieved 2009-02-22.  
  17. ^ "Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned Review". Eurogamers. http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/grand-theft-auto-iv-the-lost-and-damned-review?page=2. Retrieved 2009-02-22.  
  18. ^ "GTA IV The Lost and Damned Review". Gametrailers.com. http://www.gametrailers.com/player/45644.html/grandtheftauto4thelostandthedamned. Retrieved 2009-02-22.  
  19. ^ "Parents Group Warns Against Lost And Damned Nudity", Wired.com, February 21, 2009
  20. ^ R[1] Slashgamer.com. Retrieved on 3-15-2009. http://www.slashgamer.com/2009/03/04/many-reports-of-freezing-problems-for-gta-ivs-dlc/

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