You'll also find that these two games feature their own unique bonus content and mini-games. The Lost and Damned has its own Road Rage-inspired races, while The Ballad of Gay Tony features a number of base jumping events. There's also cage fighting, club management and all sorts of other odds and ends for you to do in Liberty City. Best of all, there's finally something new to watch on your in-game television. I won't spoil the surprise, but some of the new animated content is worth the price of admission alone. You'll also find new music and radio stations available to you, including the Episodes from Liberty City-exclusive Vice City FM.
Unfortunately I do have a few technical issues that I wish could have been resolved. Instead of adding all of this content to the world, you end up only being able to access it in the individual games. So, don't expect Niko to base jump or ride one of those cool new choppers. It's a shame that you can't take your favorite protagonist around the city to do all of the extra content; the implementation could have been more seamless on this disc.
On top of featuring a bunch of brand new single-player content, there's also an impressive selection of new multiplayer modes. Each game adds a new game type, be it base jumping (while people on the ground shoot rockets at you) or taking on the world in the most violent motorcycle street race imaginable. On top of that you get new locations to play in and a bunch of brand new weapons. Unfortunately you are again forced to choose one game over the other when playing these modes. There's no one game that has every online element, so you'll find yourself switching between the two titles just to be able to play the modes you like. While this isn't the end of the world, it's certainly frustrating that they couldn't figure out a solution that doesn't involve splitting the user base over three games.
For the most part everything else is exactly how it was in Grand Theft Auto IV. The graphics and sound are all the same (even if there are new radio stations and a graphic filter over the episodes), and the gameplay is exactly how you remember it. For some people this won't matter, but if you are one of those people who didn't get into the original then you won't be swayed by this budget title. There's an argument to be made that a year and a half later the graphics aren't nearly as state of the art. And I guess you could say that some of the gameplay is still a little wonky. But none of that bothered you before, then I don't see a reason it would bother you now.
What you get in Episodes from Liberty City are two phenomenal expansion packs that not only tell their own unique stories, but also add depth to the original Grand Theft Auto IV adventure. Both games are full of memorable characters and missions you won't soon forget. No matter if you buy the episodes online or pick up this disc, you're getting a heck of a deal. There's as much (if not more) content on this disc than there was in the original, and this time around it's a fraction of the price. For a deeper analysis about each title I recommend you read my individual reviews of the DLC. If you're a fan of Grand Theft Auto IV, then you owe it to yourself to see how the story concludes in Episodes from Liberty City.
If you're a fan of Grand Theft Auto IV and want to know how the story ends, then you have no excuse not to pick up Episodes from Liberty City. This is a budget title that adds two new stories, tons of memorable characters, more weapons and enough online modes to keep you satisfied for months to come. Best of all, these games do the impossible - they make Liberty City feel fresh and brand new again!
Page 2 of 2