ARS: The retail release of Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City is a weird beast. A standalone disc with both the "Lost and the Damned" and the "Ballad of Gay Tony" expansions that doesn't require Grand Theft Auto IV, this is a $40 way to play both episodes without the hassle of downloading them from Xbox Live.
After playing both games for a number of hours, it's apparent what Microsoft paid for when it "bought" this exclusive content for the Xbox 360. The Grand Theft Auto games feature some incredible storytelling, but more than that we see just how the work put into creating the world of Grand Theft Auto IV has paid off. Releasing two expansions to take advantage of the work done on the front end, creating the miles of streets that make up the city, may seem like a money-grab, but the amount of work put into giving each episode its own character and flow shows that this isn't just a cheap cash-in.