Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned Game Poster Image
Full-frontal male nudity shocks in hefty expansion with matu
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 22 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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).

Violence

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.

Sex

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.

Language

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

Consumerism

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).

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 year old Written byzen_cat February 27, 2009

Encouraging gang violence in a FUN way >_>

My daughter went to school with a little boy (age six) who played this game at home with his 16y.o. brother and his 'posse.' I was a classroom mom and... Continue reading
Parent of a 4, 6, and 8 year old Written bykphilbin February 19, 2009

Please read ratings. And use them

Don't let your kids watch NC-17 movies. Don't let them play M games. It's that easy. If their friends parents let them watch NC-17 movies, hav... Continue reading
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 some... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byrogersr12 April 7, 2009

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.

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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.

Talk to your kids 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
  • Price: $19.99
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Rockstar Games
  • Release date: February 17, 2009
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood, Intense Violence, Nudity, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol

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