The cops are after you; so you grab a nearby motorcycle, ride down into the subway and onto the tracks. An oncoming metro then slams into your bike and you’re flung off into a wall. You pick yourself up, only to have a cop shoot you in the face. This is Grand Theft Auto.
The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony constituted last year’s exclusive downloadable content (DLC) for GTA IV on the Xbox 360, courtesy of a big Microsoft cheque. Presumably this exclusivity period ended, so we can finally play them on the other platforms even without the GTA IV disc. There appear to be no major differences between the two versions apart from three new radio stations.
Johnny Klebitz is part of The Lost motorcycle gang, and must deal with his manic leader Billy Grey. Luis Lopez is a high-rolling bodyguard for a gay club-owner, who goes by the unassuming moniker Gay Tony. Both these characters have one thing in common: their bosses are always getting them into trouble.
So if you’ve played GTA IV, you know what to expect here. It’s the same game running underneath, albeit with new weapons, vehicles, missions and things to do. In Lopez’s story you’ll have access to high-powered weapons, nitro, parachutes, and Tony’s night clubs. In Klebitz’s story you’ll be riding as part of a kick-ass motorcycle gang, which makes for some epic firefights.
GTA is an open world game set in a sprawling urban city. You can tackle the main missions, other activities, or just go out on a murderous rampage. Of course there’s online multiplayer as well. Although New Zealand received the Australian censored version of GTA IV, Episodes appears to remain uncut just like the DLC.
Made on top of a game now two years old, the graphics are looking slightly dated, but the two episodes are still well worth picking up. If you’ve been itching to return to Liberty City or if it’s your first time visiting, this is an affordable title that is well worth the trip.