|Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned|
Grand Theft Auto series
Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned or TLAD is the first of two episodes of downloadable content for Grand Theft Auto IV on the PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360. This episode features a new storyline, with a new protagonist - Johnny Klebitz, of The Lost Outlaw Motorcycle Club.
The game was first released as a download on Xbox Live on February 17th 2009 as an "Xbox 360 exclusive". However, recently, in GTA IV's fourth PC patch, The Lost and Damned's achievements were added to the PC version. At first, The Lost and Damned along with the second piece of downloadable content, The Ballad Of Gay Tony, were to be released to the PS3 and PC on March 30th 2010, but, due to Sony Computer Entertainment wanting to edit some of the radio stations, it was released on April 13th in North America and April 16th in Europe.
The Lost and Damned received critical acclaim, holding 90/100 (Xbox) and 88/100 (PS3) on Metacritic, and 89% (Xbox) and 94% (PS3 and PC) on GameRankings.
The episode features new missions, multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, and music/radio shows. It became available for download via Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network and costs $9.99 or 800 Microsoft Points. It is part of a disc-based title, "Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City", which does not need a GTA IV disc to be played and is bundled along with the second episodic content, The Ballad of Gay Tony, for $39.99 (around £25.00)
"Johnny is a very different character than Niko, with a very different background," says Dan Houser, vice president of creative development for Rockstar Games. "I can't go into too much detail on the story, because we try not to give away too much plot before the game is released. But I can say that the story will show you a different side of Liberty City."
"The story is not directly impacted by decisions you took in the main game," he says. However, "tons of details and mysteries from the main story get explained, so it will add a lot of color to the main story."
The stories for GTA IV, The Lost and Damned, and The Ballad of Gay Tony were written by Dan Houser and Rupert Humphries. All 3 stories happen at the same time, intertwining with each other.
The Lost and Damned's plot and tone consists of a dark, gritty lifestyle revolving around The Lost Motorcycle Club that operates in Liberty City. Billy Grey is the president of the club, who is the most reckless of all and leads the others in a stubborn refusal of rational methodology (even in the case of Johnny, when Billy frowns upon him for making peace with the Angels of Death). While the main protagonist, Johnny Klebitz, is battling rivals across Liberty City beside their gang he also associates with wealthy political congressmen, lower-class bikers and drug pushers, emphasizing the distinction between upper and lower class in America. The Lost own a clubhouse and mostly patrol throughout Alderney, North Algonquin, and South Bohan. Labeled as the most dangerous threats to personal safety in Liberty City, the Lost partake in drinking and drug abuse, gang shootouts, illegal racing, drug distribution, mere prostitution and motorcycle thefts. When Johnny Klebitz and his fellow bikers feel compelled to "put this place out of its misery" by burning it to the ground, it symbolizes the end of the Lost motorcycle club, as the pressures of authority, government, territorial gangs, and members either double-crossing the gang or becoming killed by the dozens prove that the club can no longer function from the enemies it has gained.
- Johnny Klebitz: Johnny is the game's playable protagonist, and vice/acting president of the Lost. He struggles to lead the gang with reason and, at the same time, is pressured to become more reasonable by "model citizen" types outside the gang (such as his brother or Thomas Stubbs), eventually realized when he gives up the clubhouse at the end of the game. His relationship with some Lost MC members (Brian & Billy) are low; though he respects some of the others (i.e. Terry Thorpe, Clay Simons & Jim Fitzgerald).
- Jim Fitzgerald, Clay Simons, Terry Thorpe & Angus Martin: Members of The Lost who Johnny interacts with the most. Terry & Clay are the arms dealer & road captain of The Lost respectively; Terry supplies weapons some unique to Johnny and Clay supplies him with bikes. They also provide Johnny backup when he's in trouble following the mission Hit the Pipe. Jim Fitzgerald is the Treasurer of The Lost, and is Johnny's best friend; he is an outstanding and unique member of the gang seeing how he has a wife (and child) and for being the most mature member of the gang, at one point claiming that he considered leaving it once he got married but only stayed due to his loyalty to Johnny. His age makes him a target of some jokes (45), though he is a responsible and different member of The Lost. Angus is disabled thanks in part to Billy Grey, though is still a member of The Lost.
- Billy Grey and Brian Jeremy: Billy Grey is president of the Lost and, as mentioned above, leads the gang in a pursuit of pride, fast times and a love of violence. His own immature sense of pride leads him to start a war with the Angels of Death and try to kill Johnny, dividing the Lost. He is very much a regressed child; one clear example is when Jason Michaels dies, he calls him "just a kid, but [...] the kind of man I'd want to be". Brian is his closest follower, almost a kiss-up with a lack of confidence, who rallies his own sanction of Billy-loyalist Lost members against Johnny after Billy is arrested.
- Ashley Butler: Johnny's ex-girlfriend, who he still defends when she is threatened by gangs or overdosing on drugs. Johnny's dissatisfaction with her throwing her life away is a major step forward in his maturity.
- Elizabeta Torres, Malc and DeSean: Elizabeta is a Puerto Rican female drug lord, while Malc and DeSean are black males in the Uptown Riders gang. Aside from personal growth, racism is also a theme in the Lost and Damned. While the Angels of Death are often called racist against blacks, Johnny and the rest of the Lost (apart from Billy, who insults Johnny's Jewish heritage) are much more open minded, having a black member named Clay Simons and cooperating very closely with Elizabeta, Malc and DeSean.
- Thomas Stubbs, Ray Boccino and Dave Grossman: All influential, white-collar men who employ the Lost for dirty work that they don't want to be seen doing themselves. Stubbs especially, they talk down to the Lost and are rare examples of the outside world come to influence them. Johnny sees all three of them as bad news because he is attached to his way of life, particularly seen when he harasses the Maitre'D before meeting Stubbs.
As read in the booklet included with Episodes from Liberty City:
Across the West River from glamorous Algonquin lies Alderney; home to industrial wastelands, strip malls, dreary suburbia and The Lost Brotherhood, a notorious biker gang along with band of thieves, murderers and drug-runners. The Lost have sworn to live by their own rules, above the law and in complete allegiance to the brotherhood. Billy Grey, the clubs President, has one set of priorities: Bikes, Booze, Babes and Blow; in any order and preferably all at the same time. His second-in-command, Johnny Klebitz, knows that time is running out for this gang of outlaws, and with money to be made in Liberty City, he is determined to make cash as quickly as possible before they all ride off into the sunset. Johnny has been in control of the club while Billy serves out a court-ordered stint in rehab. He has focused the gang’s activities on deals and truces, instead of petty vendettas, and has been making good inroads into Liberty City's organized crime world, even developing a working business relationship with the Angels of Death, long-term rivals of The Lost. One problem. Billy's coming home, and he's crazier than ever...
Johnny Klebitz, Vice President of the Alderney Chapter of The Lost Brotherhood, has been busy protecting the gang's business interests in Liberty City, and is loyal to the motorcycle club's President, Billy Grey, who was recently sent to rehab for heroin addiction after narrowly avoiding a sentence in prison. When Billy returns, his violent actions towards the gang's rivals, The Angels of Death, causes a previously established truce to be broken between the two gangs, threatening the Brotherhood's survival. When a member of the gang, the recently patched in Jason Michaels, is killed in Broker, Billy uses the opportunity to convince Johnny that the AoD were responsible for the murder, rather than the actual killer. In retaliation, the gang attacks an Angels of Death clubhouse and secures a large amount of heroin. The gang attempts to sell the heroin through drug dealer Elizabeta Torres, but the buyer turns out to be an undercover cop. After this, Billy introduces Johnny to Thomas Stubbs III, a corrupt Congressman who pays Johnny to help him stay on top politically. Eventually, Johnny's friend and fellow club member Jim Fitzgerald learns that the heroin was stolen from the Triads by the Angels of Death, so the gang attempts to sell it back to them, only to be betrayed. The police capture Billy.
Johnny has now been forced to take control of the gang, but member Brian Jeremy refuses to follow, having been fiercely loyal to Billy and blaming Johnny for his arrest. Brian attempts to create his own chapter, and Johnny is forced to kill him. In order to keep the brotherhood afloat, Johnny begins working with people such as Uptown Riders members Malc and DeSean, and eventually comes to help out Pegorino Family capo Ray Boccino after his former lover Ashley Butler asks him to. Through Ray, Johnny steals a large amount of diamonds from Gay Tony and attempts to sell them to the Jewish Mafia with the help of Niko Bellic, but the deal fails and Johnny manages to escape with the money, planning to keep it for the Brotherhood. An angry Ray kidnaps Jim and tortures him while holding Johnny at gunpoint, but the two escape. Johnny fights off several hit-men and learns from Ashley that Jim has died. He plans to attack Ray but is told by Stubbs not to, and instead focuses on Billy, who has agreed to testify against Johnny and Angus Martin so that he may be freed from prison. Johnny, Terry Thorpe, Clay Simons and other members of the Lost infiltrate the prison and Johnny personally executes Billy. Afterward, the remnants of the Lost burn the clubhouse down. The group stands in front of the blazing building contemplating what to do next. Ashley tells Johnny that she's going into rehab with Johnny wishing her the best.
The Lost and Damned received critical acclaim from critics; The Episode's Xbox version holds 90, while the PS3 version holds 88 on MetaCritic. On GameRankings, the Xbox version holds 89.81%, while both the PS3 and PC version hold 94%.
Many minor critics awarded the DLC with prefect scores, including AceGamez, Level7.nu, DarkStation, Total Video Games and G4 TV. X360 Magazine UK gave the DLC a perfect 10/10, stating "[The] Lost and Damned is an absolute behemoth of an expansion, providing a fresh perspective on the same city and setting a devilishly high standard for DLC in the future".
GameTrailers gave the game a 9.2/10, stating "One of the most robust pieces of downloadable content we've ever seen. We're used to getting a handful of hours, but we were surprised again and again that the missions just kept on coming. There's a certain level of déjà vu involved and more mission variety would be appreciated, but the new multiplayer options are practically worth the price of admission alone". GamesRadar awarded TLAD with a 9/10, stating "the story and acting are great, the missions are enjoyable and riding around on the retooled bikes is the most fun it's been in any GTA since Vice City. It's not going to change the minds of any Niko-haters, but anyone itching to delve back into Liberty City should grab it now".
The Official Xbox Magazine UK gave the DLC a 9/10, stating "for the price, it's unmissable, and it proves that Liberty City can support far more than the two pieces of DLC Rockstar has committed to". IGN gave TLAD a 9/10, stating "If the story and new characters were better, this would be the perfect $20 download. But as it stands, it's still the best available by a long shot."
Game Informer, GamePro and GameSpy all gave the game a 9/10, praising its gameplay. 1UP.com awarded the DLC a B+ (83/100 on Metacritic).
Eurogamer and Destructoid were less favorable towards the DLC, with both critics awarding it with 8/10.
- The PC version of TLAD includes an alternative Niko model used for cutscenes and Impossible Trinity missions. This model includes a grey suit similar to Michael's never seen before with a grey tie.
- The sky is always orange during the day, and dark blue when at night.
- Resistance of getting ejected while hitting an object with a chopper has increased.
- The Lost and Damned Official Website
- USA Today article
- Take 2 Games Press Release
- Gametrailers TV visit at Rockstar Games
- The Lost and Damned on Wikipedia