7 Jan

The Lost and the Damned

Filed under: PC Games 2 Responses

It’s not a Grand Theft Auto game if you don’t shoot cops in it.

I’m not quite sure why I bought Episodes from Liberty City. I was only lukewarm towards Grand Theft Auto IV but I guess seeing it on sale must have temporarily addled my brains. So far I’ve finished one of the two included episodes, The Lost and the Damned and these are my impressions. I’ll probably get around to finishing The Ballad of Gay Tony eventually but I’m not particularly enthusiastic at the moment.

  • It’s basically more of the same of Grand Theft Auto IV. If anything, the on-foot controls seem even clumsier than before. I think this was deliberate to convey the fact that the main character in The Lost and the Damned, Johnny Klebitz, isn’t quite the killing machine that Niko Bellic is. But the focus here is on riding motorcycles and it certainly feels that the controls here have been much improved.
  • Despite some reviews lauding the story, I feel that, if anything, it’s even sillier than usual. The conflict between Johnny and the president of his motorcycle club, Billy Grey, is painfully contrived and telegraphed. The game tries hard to look clever by making it obvious that the events in the game occur during the same time as the story from the original game, so you’re seeing some of the same things from a different point of view. But it just makes thing messy. At one point you’re at war with another motorcycle gang, then you’re at odds with the Chinese triads. Then you help out but are betrayed by the Mafia. It just makes no sense.

  • The dialogue is just awful. Since I just got done with watching The Wire and know what good gangster dialogue actually sounds like, it’s especially jarring. What’s worse is that most of the dialogue is just for flavor and does nothing to tell you what’s actually going on. For example, when you do missions for Elizabeta Torres, almost all of her dialogue is about berating her subordinates or making stupid jokes rather about the mission.

Liberty still looks and feels great, even if there’s not much to the game.
  • The game adds a new mechanic about riding motorcycles in a convoy with your gang but it has strangely little effect on gameplay. The game tells you that correctly staying in formation with your gang heals damage but then you never actually go into combat in a convoy. It’s mystifying. There are plenty of combat in which you have multiple gang members helping you out, but it’s debatable how much help they are. They rarely ever manage to kill any enemies.
  • Despite that, the gunplay is decent with a passable variety of weapons. One cool mission has a bunch of enemies hunting you in the streets of Liberty City instead of the other way around for a change and you have the option of leading them into an ambush. The final mission is pure action all the way, though somewhat over the top compared to the tone of the previous missions.
  • The city itself is still as fantastic as ever. The most fun I had in the game was simply running around doing my own thing. I wandered around the tunnels of the subway and discovered that there are homeless people staying there. I spent a couple of hours doing nothing but mugging and beating up people in the park and running away when the police showed up.

Overall, I’d say that it’s pretty average but falls far short of what other open-world games have done. At this rate, I doubt that I’d buy any sequels.

Johnny Klebitz
Being in a gang means that you get to call for backup, even if they’re rarely of much help.
Written on January 7 2011 and is filed under PC Games. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “The Lost and the Damned”


Also, how’s the DRM? I assume you bought it on Steam? Which means you’ll have to connect to steam and then Rockstar Social CLub and then GFWlive. :s Is the Rockstar Social Club still up?


The Social Club is still up and connecting to both it and GFWLive was no problem. However, it’s also not strictly necessary. If you play only single-player, you don’t have to connect to either service at all. The Social Club screen has an offline mode that you can select for this purpose.

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