Game Console doesn’t ordinarily cover downloadable content (DLC) because of its sometimes token nature. Often, it can be a very short tagged-on extra mission or a collection of five extra cars for a racer, which realistically could have been included on the initial disc.
That’s why Rockstar Games is loath to call its upcoming Grand Theft Auto (GTA) release, The Lost and Damned, “downloadable content”, instead referring to it as “episodic content”. Instead of tagging on an additional environment as per most DLC we’ve seen (which is usually limited in scope owing to the large file-size downloads), Rockstar is utilising its existing asset base – Grand Theft Auto IV’s incredible Liberty City – to tell another story in the GTA universe.
With the player assuming the role of biker gang member Johnny Klebitz, it’s a story that intertwines with that of original GTA IV protagonist Niko Bellic (owing to some mutual acquaintances), but is an entirely different scenario in its own right.
While there’s no indication at this stage of the length of this “episodic content”, Rockstar aims to set the standard for DLC and claims that the experience is more substantial than many other games released on disc. I got to play three missions from the upcoming download. Notably, one of the missions sees you revisiting an encounter from GTA IV, which includes a cameo from one Niko Bellic.
As a different character – an established citizen of Liberty City with a host of connections and vehicles at your disposal – you get a much different insight into the world of Grand Theft Auto. Characters that were short with Bellic may be warmer to you, providing you with a more thorough understanding of what makes them tick.
With an entirely new story focusing on a different set of characters, new weapons, vehicles and even music and news for Liberty City’s radio stations, The Lost and Damned is the first breath of new life into gaming’s most ambitious environment.