There must have been a mix up in the mail because somehow Rockstar Games, XBox 360 and SA Studios Global invited us to a special VIP preview of the new episode in the Grand Theft Auto IV saga: The Lost And Damned.What's different about this release is that it will only be available as downloadable content via Xbox Live to people who already have already bought the Grand Theft Auto IV game.
This exclusive new episode will be available from February 17, 2009. It features Johnny Klebitz, a veteran of The Lost - a notorious biker gang. In the story, Johnny has been creating business opportunities for The Lost in Liberty City, but his loyalty is to the gang and its president, Billy Grey. However, when Billy returns from rehab, hell-bent on bloodshed and debauchery, Johnny finds himself in the middle of a vicious turf war with rival gangs for control of a city torn apart by violence and corruption.
Developed by Rockstar North, the plot of The Lost And Damned intersects with the storyline of the original Grand Theft Auto IV. It's new missions offer a fresh way to explore Liberty City with new multiplayer modes, weapons and vehicles, and a diverse soundtrack with additional music.
To purchase the game on February 17th from 3:00am Eastern Standard Time, simply go to Xbox Live Marketplace with your Xbox 360 console and purchase the Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned download for 1600 Microsoft Points ($19.99). To purchase of this new episode requires a copy of the original Grand Theft Auto IV. However, you can play this new chapter even if you haven't finished Niko's story.
Playing as Johnny, you will experience Liberty City with the perspective of a member of a biker gang. This will include a new range of weapons including an all-new grenade launcher and sawn-off shotgun. There's also a collection of new motorcycles, including Johnny's own custom chopper. As a result, Rockstar has improved the handling and physics of the bikes to make them more realistic. When playing the game, you could appreciate the improvements. So if you're a fan of the GTA games, this episode has moved it up a notch.
With its exciting combination of first-person shooter and high-speed driving, Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost And Damned still offers an almost unique action experience that allows you to become fully submersed in Liberty City. And the new multiplayer options will only enhance this.
If we had to complain, it's that the vehicle dynamics aren't as good as the top driving games (like Forza 2, for example) and the shoot-em-up elements aren't as good as games in that genre (COD$, for example). However, GTAIV: TL&D delights with excellent graphics and problem-solving aspects not offered by similar titles.
For Xbox 360 owners, Grand Theft Auto IV saga: The Lost And Damned has moved one of the console's most enthralling games to a level where it has few rivals.