Lost And Damned Fansite Event: Tuesday
I woke up at about 5:45 AM USA time. I usually have less than 6 hours sleep at home, so I got roughly that last night and I feel ok. The battery died in the laptop so I plugged it in to charge it, but for some reason the stupid touch pad doesn't work when it's plugged in on charge, so after about an hour, I unplugged it and I've been writing up some more notes.
It's currently 8 AM and I'm gonna try to contact the other webmasters in the next 30 mins. We're going for a walk and to take some photos and stuff before we come back to the hotel later on to head on over and play The Lost And Damned!
At about 10:30 we all met down in the hotel lobby and talked for awhile about what we were going to do. Before we left, Blair (Illspirit from GTA4.net) arrived so once he got checked in, we went for a walk in the city. Our plan was to walk from our hotel to Rockstar Games offices and sneak our way in, a bit like last time which failed epically, but after walking for 2 hours and quite literally walking at least 3 or 4, maybe even 5 miles, we were about 400 buildings away from their offices so we got the subway back towards our hotel (after we figured out how to use the bloody machine). We were going to give getting into Rockstar another try, but Chris got a phone call saying some of the other the other fansite webmasters had arrived, so we went back to the hotel instead.
We found Kyle (Kodo from GTAGaming) waiting for us, and then about 10 minutes later Casey (Zidane - GTAGaming) and Gerald (GTAWarehouse) arrived too. We all went to our rooms for a bit, then we met downstairs at 13:40 where a van took us to Don Hill's club near the Holland tunnel. We had to wait outside for quite awhile as Rockstar didn't have everything set up, but eventually we were let in at about 10 minutes past 2.
Inside was very cool indeed. There were a few motorbikes up on the stage, and there were a load of TV's and 360's set up with the game running. We got in and all stood around expecting a talk or something, but all we got was "what the hell are you guys waiting for? Go play!"... So we did!
The Lost And Damned
I did the first couple of missions which were pretty cool. Driving in formation with your guys looks awesome. The AI dudes who follow you are a bit insane and will speed around corners crashing into all sorts of objects including cars and bus shelters. The handling for the bikes, as we heard in the previews, is definitely improved. You can actually handbrake the bike and it 'almost' feels like how the handbrake worked in the GTA3 series games. A lot of people hated the bikes on GTA4, but they have been vastly improved for this downloadable content and you will enjoy driving them.
Like I said, I only played 2 or 3 missions then spent most of my time driving around kiling people with the sawn off shotgun. One of the missions I did play involved driving to a motel type area with a flatbed truck, killing a bunch of angels of death and stealing their bikes and driving them up a ramp onto the truck. Once you had them all you just had to take the truck (and bikes) back to the drop off point. Simple, but still fun.
The menus and stuff look pretty cool. It's all grungy looking, with a similar font to the one we have on our website navigation headers. As you'd expect from the boxart, the main colour in the menu is red. I saw a bunch of stats and stuff, and I noticed that after completing the first mission I had 2.71% (ish). There were stats for things like Seagulls exterminated, number of air hockey games won and stuff like that, so those are some hints about what's in the game. You also unlock an achievement after the second part of the first mission.
The cell phone looks pretty cool. Like the gaming website previews say, the phone is similar to Niko's and works in the exact same way, but it's all dirty looking and you've got a "Lost" logo in the background.
The cheats from the regular game all work, although I presume there is a bunch of new ones, especially for the biker weapons and maybe the new bikes.
After two hours or so, which was split up by a nice bit of pizza and plenty of free drinks, we played multiplayer. There are 8 modes to choose from which are kind of themed on some of the original multiplayer modes. You've got the obvious deathmatch, and team deathmatch game modes, and also the races but with the ability to swing bats on the bikes. Push B to swing right and X to swing to the left. If you hold down the button then you can build up your power.
As I discovered rather unfortunately, it takes about 3 hits in the face to kill someone. And if you get killed right at the start of a bike race, you're screwed for the rest of it... No chance of catching whoever is in first.
We played some other game modes too. There's a territory grabbing game quite a lot like the gang wars in GTA San Andreas. You enter enemy territory and there are a few AI characters who you need to kill. If you kill them all, you get that area. If there's an actual player enemy in that area, you need to kill them. Basically if there is a player alive in their territory, no one can capture it. I think this was called "Own The City".
Another great game was Chopper vs Chopper. Me and Chris were the only guys who played this mode. It's only 2 player, and basically one guy is on a motorbike and has to stay alive as long as they can. The other guy is in a helicopter which fires explosive rounds. Once the helicopter guy kills the other guy, you swap and so on until the time runs out. It's really fun and it's pretty damn scary having explosions going on all over and the screen shaking really badly.
Another game mode which I can't remember the name, is basically a game of tag. One person is "it" and has to drive around the map through checkpoints. The score is based on how long you've been driving, but the time only increases if you keep getting checkpoints. Everyone else, literally, has to kill the main guy. Whoever kills him then becomes the new "it" guy and so on. It's so fun and actually quite funny watching like 10 people speeding after one guy all across the map.
After we'd finished playing the game, Rockstar gave us a bunch of Lost and Damned (The Lost and The Angels Of Death) tshirts. They then gave us all custom Lost and Damned themed Xbox 360 elites too! Then we got a goodie bag with even more free stuff, like a GTA4 pool cue and more shirts. There were a bunch of Lost and Damned stickers in the club too, so I grabbed all of the ones which people left behind. I counted them earlier and I've got 40 sheets of stickers which is pretty cool. I'll be giving some of them out to the members on the website.
After we'd got back to the hotel, we had about 40 minutes to chill out then a few more Rockstar guys came and met us. Amazingly we met our third Mike from Rockstar along with a woman called Cath. We got a cab to a barbeque restaurant and had some food. I got some ribs. Then we walked a few blocks to the empire state building and went up to the top. It looks amazing from up there at night, made especially better by the completely clear sky.
After coming down from the building, Rockstar stuck us in a limo which took us back to the hotel. A few guys went up to their rooms, but the rest of us went down to the hotel bar and had a chat about all sorts of stuff, but quite a lot about our websites and the different GTA games. Bill and Diego from Rockstar came around and met us again and we had a chat with them. He was saying how Rockstar are really appreciative of our support, and they want to let us do trips like this a few times a year to see all of their new games and stuff which is pretty damn awesome. Hopefully that will go ahead in the future. They also wondered if we would cover all of the Rockstar products on our websites, which actually sounds like a really good idea. I've got nothing but love and respect for Rockstar for their amazing hospitality, so I think from now on we're going to cover all news and information from all of Rockstar's games.
Anyway at 2 AM we all went to bed. Guess what we're doing tomorrow?!
Too bad. I can't tell you yet. Been sworn to secrecy by Rockstar Games about this! You'll find out next week.