4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1 Good+1 Bad= Mediocre Bundle,
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This review is from: Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and the Damned
This add-on was a bit of a mixed bag for me. The graphics engine is holding up pretty well being two years old and looks rather good. There is an option to turn of the grain in the menu and I advise that you do because without grain the game looks a lot better. The missions at the beginning are pretty boring and monotonous. Basically you go after the rival gang and kill them. After you get past the first maybe ten missions the game gets more interesting along with the story. I feel like the characters in the gang could have been branched out more, because I didn't really know who was who. It does connect a few times with the story of GTA IV and you get to fight alongside Niko on a few ocassions.The story does kick into gear a few hours in and ends on a satisfying final level. I wish the game developers could take out the first few missions because a lot of people will get bored of them and stop playing the game, which is a shame because there are some fun missions to play. The end does feel rushed and some characters are left on the sideline in the final few missions. Like Niko and other characters that Johnny meets throughout the game.
The gameplay is mostly the same as GTA IV with the exception of the gang and motorcycle controls. The bikes drive better and make turns with a lot more precision. Some weapons and vehicles have been added, but considering you drive a bike 99 percent of the time its hard to notice the vehicles. The weapons though are pretty cool. There is an automatic shotgun that obliterates cars in seconds along with pipe bombs that can be thrown like grenades. The cover system along with the auto aim really feel dated and need an overhaul. There just too stiff when compared to some other games in the third person genre namely Uncharted.
The gang itself is pretty fun to ride with. It is annoying to follow Billy around, but its nice to have backup at the touch of a button on your cell phone. If members of your gang die they are replaced with worse members. I accidentally shot one of my members in the face because he was stupid enough to walk in front of my shotgun. I really wish they would have made the crew invincible or at least let them re-spawn after the current mission, because the guys you have at the end are really stupid.
A major flaw in the game is the lack of med kits. They are added at the end of the game, but for most of the game you are left to committing suicide before a mission to get full health. Another problem besides that is that you ammo does not return to pre death state when you re-spawn. You start with the same ammo that you died with which is really annoying when you can't get to a gun shop during a mission. Also there is male nudity in this add on. Why must we see a mans family jewels but the women are covered up. Does Rockstar not know it's audience?
Overall a decent game. If they could have taken the first few levels away it would receive a higher score. Another problem along with a slow start is that it can be beat in seven hours. Now I know what you're saying it is just an add on, but I expect more compared to the forty hour campaign from the original. There are some bike races and arm wrestling modes added in, but you'll get tired of them very quickly. Riding in a gang of bikers is a cool concept, but I wish Rockstar would have worked on making some better missions to keep your interest. Overall 3.5/5
The Ballad of Gay Tony is the true sequel to GTA IV. It is right off the bat a whole lot more interesting than The Lost and the Damned. The graphics are more colorful in this ad-on due to the "gay" color scheme. Which has a lot more glitz and color compared to the other games. I really like the scheme because it brightens up Liberty City and it's no where near as dreary as the normal game.
The story in this game is a lot more absurd than The Lost and the Damned, but that is a great thing as it is a lot of fun. The characters are zany and power hungry and are fun to work with throughout the campaign. You are Luis who is the right hand man to Gay Tony. He runs night clubs and Luis has to keep his partners happy by helping them do odds and ends jobs. The final level and end of the story itself are very well done, and I can only hope these characters are in a future game, but if not at least they got a great sendoff.
A cool feature that is added is the mission select option. Once you beat the game you can go back and redo any mission which is pretty cool considering there is a good number of them I want to do again. There are some new vehicles added like a tank which blows the police and any bystander to hell, a good handling muscle car, and a helicopter with missiles among many others. Another fun feature is parachuting which is very welcomed when online and your buddy decides to bail out of the helicopter leaving you to die. Now you just pull your chute and get even with him when you hit the ground. Perhaps you could use the new shotgun with explosive shells to settle the score.
Unfortunately the gameplay issues that plagued TLAD are still there in this one like the cover system and overall gunplay mechanic. Thankfully there are not a lot of gunplay missions and the ones that do exist are not nearly as handicapped by these issues, and are fun to play unlike the missions in TLAD.
Overall this add on is everything that made GTA IV great along with some great new features that made the experience even better. The game time is about nine and a half hours which is a great length for me and it also doesn't drag on like other titles of that length. The characters are another reason to buy this game. They are really fun to watch and interact with. This is a great game that is well worth the money. 4.5/5
This set is a great deal if you want to play both titles. I can't recommend the Lost and the Damned though. If you are a completionist then you might as well buy the set with them both, but if you want to save money then just buy The Ballad of Gay Tony and just leave TLAD alone as it is more pain than fun. Overall 4/5
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Initial post: Aug 5, 2010 8:59:04 AM PDT
Jason D. Mossman says:
Nice review, thanks.
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