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This GTA IV Moment brought to you by: The Wild West

by: Randy -
More On: Blog
I'd meant to scrawl down some of my impressions for GTA IV's The Lost and Damned over a week ago, back when it still held some timliness and immediacy for the faster-than-light travel that the internet speeds around at, but my assigned review for Afro Samurai absorbed my spare time.  My apologies.  But some of the imagery has gelled to me, soaked through my skin as if beer-stained black leather could adhere and then sponge into my pores like osmosis.

I, as Johnny Klebitz, the anti-hero with his head squarely on his shoulders, couldn't ignore the Wild West tinge that Liberty City draped itself in during the Lost and Damned.  Me and the Lost Motorcycle Club--the Lost MC--rolled through the town like horseback-straddled outlaws, the only thing missing being bandanas tied over the lower-half of our faces and ten-gallon hats getting blustered in the wind.  Even if Niko Bellic's HUD wasn't all crisp and shiny, the road-worn scratches that edged the mini-map now portrayed Liberty City through a tarmac lense.  And even during the initial reunion of the Lost MC with its not-so-long-lost president, Billy Grey, the color of the city bled into sepia tones over the entire urban landscape, as if the city were being viewed via camera obscura. I half expected tumbleweed to take measured hops across dusty intersections.  Even the Lost's clubhouse is situated in a delapidated brownstone building, some of the oldest construction in the city, with room only for someone to hitch their horse--their bike--in the thin parking strip out front.  And those bikes are as vital to them as a man's horse was in the 1800s.

All of these subtexts (never mind the playbill font) wholly transform Liberty City into an out-west dustbowl where the streets are dried-up ravines and the highrises are canyon walls.  I know that Rockstar San Diego is hard at work on the sequel to Red Dead Revolver, but until then, the Lost and Damned is a brilliant revisioning of a Western tuned to the sound of Harleys and patched-up leather coats.