Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned - recenzja gry
Apparently, it is slowly becoming the rule that the Grand Theft Auto series electrifies players not only with the premieres of subsequent installments, but also with the entire surrounding surrounding it. We had the Hot Coffee mod scandal, the poor optimization of GTA IV , and now there is the annoyance caused by the temporary regional blockage of The Lost and Damned expansion pack. For six hours, Polish players tried to circumvent the restrictions, with more or less success. Fortunately, the first of the two announced expansions is now available to all Poles. So we take the opportunity and test the new production from Rockstar Games.
The story of the add-on begins more or less with the arrival of Niko Bellic in Liberty City. The main character of The Lost and Damned , Johnny Klebitz, is the vice president of a motorcycle gang called The Lost. The intro shows how, after a period of self-reign, Johnny and other bikers go to get their boss, Billy Gray, who is just finishing drug rehab. The meeting takes place in a calm, cheerful atmosphere - everyone greets the boss with respect and rejoices at his return.
The problem comes when Billy learns what has happened to the gang in his absence. Klebitz entered into alliances with other criminal groups and sold, inter alia, your boss's bike to save the gang from financial trouble. This is how the confrontation of the two most important people in The Lost begins. So we have Bill, a popular drunkard, adventurer and hedonist, and on the other side of the barricade stands a somewhat power-hungry and ambitious Klebitz. A man who is not afraid to object to his leader's decisions - and those seem sacred in the world of Liberty City riders.
The plot in The Lost and Damned is built on the basis of both this conflict and the events known from the base game. Although the stories presented in GTA IV and TLaD overlap in several places, you cannot get bored here, mainly because of the main character, who is definitely different from Niko Bellic. An immigrant from the Balkans is a man who - excluding his cousin Roman - cares only about money and revenge, while Johnny Klebitz is devoted to his gang. It is The Lost group and its characteristic system of values that are the most important for the new hero. Money, Ashley's ex-girlfriend, or even Billy Gray's boss, are of secondary importance to Klebitz.
All the missions that Niko Bellic completed in the base in cooperation with Johnny Klebitz reappear in TLaD. As announced, Niko does not say a single new word - the player simply watches the same events again, presented from a completely different perspective. We see how the first Bellic job ended for Johnny, what happened to the money when he tried to sell the diamonds, and how miraculously the stones ended up in the garbage bags that Niko had to collect in the stand. After playing TLaD, everything falls into a logical whole - we get to know the motives, connections and a different view of some elements of the plot.
Bellic actually accompanies Johnny throughout the game. If he is not physically present, he makes himself known through radio stations broadcasting news about Niko's activities. Having listened to a few messages, I remembered the missions involved. It is also worth adding that the creators wink at the players about the origin of our immigrant - as we remember, the game in no way informs which country Niko comes from. Not even the members of The Lost gang, who talk about Bellic, wonder if he is a Serb or a Pole. Playing TlaD, you come to the conclusion that Liberty City is actually a small town - Niko and Klebitz, though they rarely meet, still interact with each other. If one of them were missing, it would suddenly turn out that the other has a much poorer life.
Both Johnny and his brothers from The Lost gang are serious people. So they are not the basis of humor in TLaD . There are no more characters like Little Jacob, Manny "savior of the streets" Escuela or Brucie Kibbutz. Out of the funny characters, only Roman Bellic appears, and he appears in TLaD only for a moment. Situational and verbal comedy dominates here. The most amusing situations are those presented in cutscenes, such as Klebitz's meeting with a distinguished butler or the appearance of an effeminate lawyer at the headquarters of The Lost gang. Also, don't forget the congressman who, to put it mildly, has nothing to hide.
The dating system as well as making and maintaining friendships have been significantly modified. The former are practically non-existent - the only significant woman in Johnny's life is his ex-girlfriend, drug addict Ashley. Instead of typical friendships with NPCs we meet, we are dealing here with developing a kind of brotherly bond with other bikers. The more often we take part in races and attacks on alien gangs, the more Johnny feels close to his brothers. The most trusted people fight better and are more resistant to attacks. If they die during a task, new brothers will appear in the next mission, inexperienced and not very close to Klebitz. The portraits of the fallen land on the wall with the inscription "Memorial" in the headquarters of The Lost gang.
As can be seen from the above words, the friendship typical of GTA IV does not exist in TLaD. That is why places such as cabaret clubs, bowling alleys and bars do not exist in the world of Johnny Klebitz. Instead of them appears, among others simplified card game, armwrestling and the aforementioned motorcycle racing. Johnny also does not use the services of clothing stores, and a leather jacket and jeans are permanent elements of his outfit.
The aforementioned chic is not only a small gadget, whose only task is to diversify the appearance of the game. Maintaining the right speed and adapting the track to other riders has specific benefits. While in formation, Johnny's machine repairs itself, and the hero regains energy (when it is full, the armor regenerates). While it is completely unrealistic, it is very useful for longer missions. I would also like to add that during the game I had a strange impression that the traffic on the streets of Liberty City was reduced while driving in formation. As if the authors wanted to make room for a gang moving around the city.
The motorcycle races that were developed for the add-on deserve attention. Racing is not innovative in itself, so the developers added the possibility of using a baseball bat while driving. If the need arises, you can slam the jaw of a rival right next to you. Depending on the force that we put into the blow (it can be regulated by the length of holding the appropriate button), the injured competitor may either temporarily lose control of his machine or even fly off it, losing many precious seconds. Opponents can, of course, pay us back for good. Admittedly, you cannot fall off the motorcycle, but you can suddenly change the direction of travel - by all means. If this whole idea brings you to the game called Road Rash , then I would like to congratulate you on your taste and memory. Anyway, the guys at Rockstar Games apparently know and like RR too , as Johnny Klebitz is referring to on his issues just before the race.
Playing TlaD, I felt surprised every now and then. In the world of GTA IV, I had spent about a hundred hours before and earned an achievement awarded for completing the game one hundred percent. Nevertheless, at the very beginning of the expansion, I was surprised that the designers managed to get something more out of Liberty City. As part of TLaD, I visited a few alleys that I had never known existed before. On the other hand, the dialogues positively surprised me with their brilliance and ingenuity. What's more, game experts will surely notice that some of the mission ideas have still not been used (until now, the use of a fire truck was not required). It cannot be denied that Liberty City can still be liked. I also suppose that on the occasion of the premiere of the second DLC, Rockstar will also not implement all the ideas that can come to mind.
The long-known songs broadcast by radio stations in Liberty City have added a few more noteworthy tracks. In addition to artists such as Bathory and Busta Rhymes (which we announced in mid-February), Motley Crue, Iron Maiden and Ath the Gates also appear. Liberty Rock Radio and Liberty City Hardcore were the most richer. As can be seen from the list of performers and station names, TLaD offers strong sounds, definitely reminiscent of the rough and tough lifestyle of the riders from The Lost. In addition to music, you can also listen to new commercials and conversations with guests invited to the radio.