This review is aimed at The Ballad of Gay Tony rather than the entire pack. Boy is it fun!
Oh my god! How could I even love an expansion!
I mean it's not even a proper game but yet so fresh and way better than the original.
First of all, let's start of with The Lost and Damned.
Nothing special, no improvements. Same style, easy to be honest. Not much new content. Certainly short and actually, it's a disgrace to the title "GTA". It just wasn't right. The storyline just went to a more serious style and didn't really want you to explore the city. Mainly because GTA IV had contained all the stuff the Lost and Damned did so not much differences.
Now to the real deal. The Ballad of Gay Tony.
Simply inone word, it is plain awesome. I don't know where to start. I thought Rockstar had just completely lost it after the creation of the Lost and Damned. GTA was getting too serious and too realistic, taking away the chaotic craziness and pure entertaining fun the previous games had.
But guess what, the last 2 GTA products were just to try out something different. Now they have switched back to the crazy style. The true way GTA was meant to be.
Graphically, not much has changed but the textures are a bit more high so more physical details (such as gun wounds, wrinkles etc.) look more real and adds variety to the several citizens roaming around Liberty City.
Liberty City itself has gone through some improvement over time. Some more restaurants are dotted around and there are some other buildings out now in the city. But otherwise it's the same place except in higher detail.
On to the gameplay. It still has the great cover system but it hasn't changed. The gun play is the same but now it's actually fun. You really do want to you use your weapons cause you've got a few extra weapons and the storyline is a bit more lighthearted so you don't have a care in the world. With the original GTA IV, it felt like The Sims, more responsibilities. Girlfriends, friends, cousins (I just really wanted to put a bullet through Roman's head).
Now it's still around but it's not as serious. In other words it doesn't feel like a chore. Which is good.
The missions are better and look more cinematic. The cutscenes look like they were imported straight from great 80s action flicks cause all the car chases and gun fights look crisp due to the great camera locations. Driving also feels a bit more sharper now but still the Euphoria physics engine exists with the heavy gravity making the car more realistic which is fine with me.
The audio is really what is top-notch about this game. Some classic disco tracks and more recent remixes of RnB hits are present, which all sound great. In fact it makes you want to drive about. In GTA IV there wasn't much entertainment offered by the several radio stations so I often took a cab so I could save time and avoid the average soundtrack. So less cabs, money saved and enjoyable.
The missions don't feel the same this time around. A bit more variety. The game is also pretty long. It lasts for about 13 hours (excluding GTA Lost and Damned which provides and additional 8 hours of gaming). For $20 it's a bargain. In fact, if you don't have the original GTA IV game, avoid it, and buy this. It's cheaper, new and fun if not even better.
I'd give this game 9.8 but I have to round it off to the nearest multiple of 5, which is 10.