developer: Rockstar Games
publisher: Rockstar Games
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet, players: 1-16
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City for PC and PS3 is a set of two story DLCs for Grand Theft Auto IV, including The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. Contrary to equivalent expansions for other games available only in digital distribution, Episodes from Liberty City is purchased as a standalone, classic box product. The DLC does not require the base game to launch.
In The Lost and Damned for PC and PS3, the player assumes the role of Johnny Klebitz, one of more respected members of the titular The Lost motorcycle gang. Until recently, the protagonist was a temporary leader of the group, watching over the actions taken by the gang. When Billy Grey – the former leader of The Losts returns from prison, everything becomes more and more complicated. Valuable alliances Johnny has established are being broken, and a competitive gang – Angels of Death enters the crime scene fighting for control over different areas.
To a certain degree, the story in The Lost and Damned overlaps the events from Grand Theft Auto IV. Moreover, the player meets many characters from the core game, including Niko Bellic himself. New missions are what the expansion is made of mostly, and in most cases, these require the player to ride a bike. Also, the protagonist is not on his own, for the members of The Lost support him during many missions.
The Lost and Damned introduces new weapons into the game, including mainly a grenade launcher, a combat shotgun, a pool cue and a sawn-off shotgun. It offers new vehicles as well, mainly over a dozen of motorcycle types and some new trucks. The Lost and Damned features new activities and mini-games, such as arm wrestling. The multiplayer was improved and enriched with new modes such as Club Business (riding with other gang members and completing various assignments), Lone Wolf Biker (a player has to escape over a dozen enemies riding motorbikes) or Witness Protection.
In The Ballad of Gay Tony for PC and PS3, the player is put in the shoes of Luis Lopez from Dominican Republic. He is both a typical gangster and a personal assistant of Tony Prince – a night-club king nicknamed Gay Tony. For the most part, the protagonist spends their time at Tony's clubs, trying to keep him alive, for as it soon turns out, Tony is indebted to a wrong kind of people, and they are trying to get their money back at all cost.
The story is full of fast-paced combat sequences taking place both in the suburbs and city centre, as well as in different clubs. Apart from Tony, the player meets many peculiar characters, such as the eccentric Yusuf Amir.
Apart from the main storyline, The Ballad of Gay Tony features some important improvements and additions. Among these, adding golf carts deserve to be given notice, for this vehicle appeared first in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. A new helicopter was added, some powerful weapons as well (mainly an assault rifle, a shotgun firing explosive bullets and remote explosives). The Ballad of Gay Tony features luxurious limousines and yachts. Importantly, parachuting was implemented, which is invaluable when the player wishes to reach the ground safely. Additionally, the game offers simple and different mini-games related to the protagonist's visits at Tony's clubs.
The stories of both the DLCs are set in Liberty City – a place we have already visited in the base GTA IV. However, the metropolis was slightly expanded and improved since then. In The Lost and Damned, the player can enter a few previously inaccessible warehouses, and they visit the headquarters of the titular motorcycle gang. In case of The Ballad of Gay Tony, the player visits night clubs many times and travels through the subway tunnels. As it has became a standard in the series, a great feature of the game comes with the expansion of the radio stations, which received new kinds of broadcasts, new commercials and licensed tracks for the player to listen to. While The Lost and Damned offers mainly rock songs, The Ballad of Gay Tony brings lively electronic tracks one may expect to hear at a night club.
PC / Windows
Recommended: Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz, 2 GB RAM, graphic card 512 MB (GeForce 8600 or better), Windows XP/Vista