Dave Cook checks out the downloadable Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned

The first of two episodic downloads for last year's console hit is much darker then the core game. Playing as new lead Johnny Klebitz. Vice president of biker gang The Lost. it's up to you to diffuse a Violent gang war. Unlike [)TQVIOUS episodes. there's more focus on sguad play. Your crew Wlll cover you as you pick off enemies. but should they fall in battle they are gone for good. The ones who surVive get stronger wrth each light.

Improved bike handling means yoo can engage in high speed pursuits With relative ease. There are new race side misSIons that let you club bikers off their hogs With your baseball bat. lt's cheating, but hugely satisfying. Gang War Side missions are straight-out chase and gun battles. made more enJOyable with your team by your side.

Most downloadable content offers up new maps. a few new weapons and perhaps new playable characters. but Lost and Damned is another ballgame entirely. With a well-written. dark and at times. shocking story. and offering some 12 h0urs' play time. you'll feel that you‘ve just invested your cash Wisely. It is also full of nods to the core game. as Johnny‘s story weaves in and out of Niko Bellic‘s. keeping you interested to see what familiar faces are gomg to pop up.

With plenty of mis5ions. actiVities such as air hockey. and over an hour of new songs and radio chat. this is easily the most generous console expanSion ever made.

I G TA IV: The Lost and Damned (Rockstar) 00000 is available now on Xbox LIVE

16 THE LIST ‘53 Man; At" .‘t‘ ~-

Electric dreams

Online listening is undergoing a radical revolution in an effort to beat the pirates. Hamish Brown reckons Spotify will Change your life

hen tisers‘ initial

response to a new piece

of sol‘tw are is a dishelieying "This is lree’.". it’s worth installing. Although Spotil‘y launched last year. it was imitation only until last month. .\'ow eyeryone's tree to join. and they haye been. with the millionth signing up in early March.

Spotify is a .small application lor Windows and Mac which allows you to stream music l‘or tree. The interface looks like iTunes and the streaming is instant ~ you can eyen pause using the spacehar. The sound quality is pretty good at around lhl) kh/s and you can Use it on more than one computer. meaning your playlists are stored with your account. In short. it’s akin to haying eyery piece ol‘ music eyer recorded in your iTunes music library. l'nlike l.a.st.t‘m. you can listen to whole albums without interruption. l'nlike Limewire. it doesn‘t till your machine with treacle. l'nlike torrent sites. there‘s no tediotis searching and waiting. There‘s no l)R.\I either. meaning Linux Usersjnin the party too.

What’s the eatch‘.’ Well. there isn't one. There are a few audio ads in the tree yersion it' you can tolerate Zane Lowe regularly

telling you how great Kings ol‘

Leon are. it‘s a comically small price to pay. The ad-li'ec \ersion is £9.99 a month or UN a year.

The content is terril'y ingly comprehensiye. Pretty much eyerything recorded by Boh l)y Ian. Kate Bush. Neil Young. liit’ii‘k and New Order l\ there. ”the it long hard think about that. (an. :\|ice ('oltrane. Sigur Ros. .\'ico, The Phantom Band’.’ .-\II there.

So what‘s not to like‘.’ 'l‘hcre are a few absences. l'alling roughly into three categories: massiy e acts who opted out for now (Led Zeppelin. Beatles. Metallica. .-\('/l)('. most Radioheadl. smaller labels that hayen't signed tip yet (no l‘vtlga/il and some lahels who are prohahly


huilding their own \ersioii i\\’.irpi. The music licensing is country specilic. so it won‘t work ahioad and it's Hot ayailahle at all ill the [8. It tlil'l'ers li'om |.ast.lm in that theres none ol the social sltill such as messaging. lriends or comiiicnls

no had thing lor some and the Spotily radio station liinctionality ls L'Hlllltlclcl} lit!) \\ll'L‘. ’l‘llL‘l.L‘-\ also no sign (ii a mohile \ci‘sion or links to download music through the site. so no music on the moye. Ilow e\ er. despite it being a potential 'i'l'imes killer". there's no reason why an il’hone application shouldn't appear il .\pp|e are comtortahle enough with a l.ast.lm one.

The genius of Spotil’y is in how they approached the maior lahels. 'l‘he majors know they now haye to ‘compete with tree and to them Spotil'y represents the lll'\l way to do that Spotify see their competition as l’iratehayorg and torrent sites rather than i'l'unes or Ania/on mp} store and it enahles monitoring who listens to what and in turn. targeted adyertising.

(iiyen the tiny royalty lee paid per track. something about this model is going to lime to change perhaps more ads or the remoyal ol' the tree yersion. l'ntil then. enjoy.