Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned



Full-frontal male nudity shocks in hefty expansion with matu
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game doesn't offer many positive stereotypes of motorcycle gangs (who are violent law-breakers), women (many of whom are strippers or prostitudes), immigrants (such as the criminal Nico from Eastern Europe), Jewish people (The Lost's VP, who can be vicious at times, is referred to as "The Jew") and politicians (mostly dirty ones).


Players can use all kinds of weapons (automatic 9mm, sawed-off shotguns, pipe bombs and grenade launchers) to kill people in this game, including innocent civilians and police officers. You are a member of a violent biker gang and killing others is very much a part of the game-play. Players will see blood but not gore. But will see extreme situations like pushing someone's face into a spinning motorcycle wheel as punishment.


While there is no hidden sex game as was found in GTA San Andreas, this game does show full-frontal nudity with a male congressman getting a massage.


The game is laden with swear words including "f--k," "motherf--ker," "sh-t," "damn," "hell" and many others.


The game doesn't show any real brands but the music is licensed.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Gamers will see cigarette smoking, drinking (including doing shots with friends...before riding bikes, no less), and some drug references (including the "President" of your biker gang who comes out of rehab at the start of the game).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game GTA IV downloadable expansion is most definitely not for children, tweens, or teens (under the age of 17). It is even more controversial than its predecessors because this game has full frontal male nudity. The game lets you lead a life of crime as part of a motorcycle gang with plenty of gang violence (including pushing someone's face against a spinning mototcycle wheel in a bike repair shop), relentless foul language, drugs and alcohol, and sexual references. The star rating given to this game is based on quality of gameplay within this adult genre of video gaming and is not an endorsement of the violence within the game.

What's it about?

Forget everything you know about downloadable content ("DLC") for your video games, such as extra songs, a bonus level, or a new multiplayer map. Rockstar Games' GRAND THEFT AUTO IV: THE LOST AND DAMNED (1600 Microsoft Points, or $19.99), the first of two planned episodes for Xbox 360 owners of Grand Theft Auto IV, redefines what's possible in DLC with the beefiest game expansion to date. But as with the main game, The Lost and Damned is laden with mature content and should be kept away -- far away -- from children.


Is it any good?


Rather than tackle missions by yourself, this expansion is all about "gang banging" with your crew, such as riding (or racing) the streets in a pack and partaking in many gang wars together. The hogs handle nicely, so there shouldn't be a learning curve when it comes to the controls. As with past "GTA" games, The Lost and Damned can get quite violent, even from the first scene when someone's face is pressed against a spinning motorcycle wheel at a bike shop.

Along with the new single-player missions, the downloadable game offers many new multiplayer modes including the ability to smack opponents off their bikes while in a race to the finish line and a co-op mode where you can either protect a bus filled with informants or ride a hog as part of The Lost gang determined to destroy it and the snitches inside. Needless-to-say, the content is designed for a mature gamer and for someone who enjoys the virtual, visceral thrill offered by past "GTA" bad boy games. With this in mind, it truly is a fun ride worth considering.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Rockstar likes to push the envelope and garner controversy over its games? Why did they have to put full-frontal nudity in the game if it's not integral to the story? Do they correlate media outrage with extraordinary game sales? Do players expect Rockstar to stir up controversy with each of its titles, including the Manhunt and Bully series? Families can also talk about the impact of video game violence on players and why so many parents question whether GTA games are appropriate for kids. On an unrelated note, should Rockstar make this game available to PlayStation 3 owners instead of delivering an Xbox 360 exclusive?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360
Available online?Available online
Developer:Rockstar Games
Release date:February 17, 2009
ESRB rating:M for Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol

This review of Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 10 years old February 21, 2014

Not as good as TBOGT or GTA 4 but still is an entertaining game.

There is more sexual content than The Ballad of Gay Tony and Grand Theft Auto 4 combined, but only in campaign. Strip clubs aren't that bad though but something a kid under 14 should try to stay away from. The violence is optional just like sexy stuff, you can kill people but there are no rules, this is an "open world" game after all. (There is no gore or blood.) The swearing is only in the campaign. There is some drugs and drinking in the strip club's bar and campaign.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bystuckeyco April 23, 2009
Teen, 15 years old Written byrogersr12 April 7, 2009


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide