As we mentioned on Tuesday, Kikizo, Games Radar, IGN and CVG (amongst others) were all treated to an exclusive look at The Lost and Damned - the first installment of downloadable content for Xbox 360, which is scheduled for release next month. So far we've counted 33 new screenshots amongst the previews.
Here is a general summary of what the new previews tell us:
- Rockstar say that the length of the episode is approximately one third of the main GTA IV storyline.
- Johnny (the main character) is the vice president of motorcycle gang The Lost. His brother (Billy) is the leader of The Lost, and he has been sent to rehab to avoid going to prison.
- The storyline relates closely to that of the original game. You'll re-meet characters such as Niko, Elizabeta and Playboy X - and you'll actually re-play some of the missions from the original game, except from a different perspective. For example, one of the missions involves the same scenario as "Blow Your Cover," except this time you'll play it from Johnny's perspective rather than Niko's.
- The Lost are currently at war with another biker gang called The Angels of Death.
- Billy has been frustrating Johnny by undoing a lot of the hard work he has put into the gang. Billy doesn't appear to be an ideal leader, and there is a lot of friction between the two.
- The first mission previewed is called "Angels of America." In this mission, Johnny must chase members of the opposing gang, and kill them using the sawn-off shotgun before they are able to tell everyone that the war is back on.
- The game has several new vehicles, including some motorbikes which are specific to The Lost. Johnny's starting bike is one-of-a-kind and cannot be retrieved if destroyed. However if you do destroy it, you can give someone a call who will deliver a 'similar' one.
- A new feature added to the episode is formation driving, which according to CVG "gives you some interesting rewards, such as a small heal for your bike or the initiation of dialogue between the gang members." This is done "by keeping yourself inside of a floating Lost emblem, which trails behind the convoy leader's ride at all times." In addition, "pressing down on the d-pad displays a whole list of bar-graph stats for your gang members." Talking to your biker buddies, defending them and saving them during battle will boost their stat bars, which means they become more confident and better fighters overall. If one of them gets killed, he'll be replaced by a rookie, so it's important to look out for them.
- One of the new weapons is the grenade launcher, in which grenades "pop out of the nozzle with an ever-so-satisfying sound effect, arch into the air with a trail of smoke and bounce around a corner before blowing enemies sky-high." Other new weapons include an automatic 9mm, a sawn-off shotgun, an assault shotgun, and pipe bombs.
- The Lost and Damned features brand new interiors which aren't available in the original game.
- Various mini-games are available at the safehouse - a hi-low card game, an arm wrestling game, TV you can watch (which includes new material), and you can also get weapons delivered there by Little Jacob. New internet sites have also been added.
- The radio stations are the same, except lots of new music has been added to Liberty City Hardcore, including a new (yet to be named) DJ.
- In terms of the HUD/menu appearance: the lettering on the pause-menu now has a rubber-stamped effect which appears red when highlighted, the health and armour bars are now white and blue respectively, and Johnny's phone has a different ("grungier") appearance to Niko's.
- A new grain fitler effect has been added, but Rockstar aren't sure if it will remain in the final version.
- Rockstar has introduced a feature which was badly missing from the main game - mid-mission checkpoints. This means if you die towards the end of a long mission, you won't have to redo everything.