When you hear about the first mission of a designer who might be a good project to play, you usually gets insecure about the origin of this information, because... hey, it's a newcomer. Fortunately, this is not the case to be insecure. Bribed: Blood Money requires almost everything we're needing today in this community for a Mission-Pack. From perfect shooting scenes, to amazing and flattering use of effects turns the first huge project by a newcomer into one of the most charming gameplays already presented by a designer in the story of DYOM, which is not wiped out by the defective plot and writting, which, between us, every first project of a designer will have.
First of all, I want to say to the OP and readers that this review is being given only to James Lucas' part, because the only part I played was that. The presentation was quite good, two main characters who are rivals, fighting for their own lifes and goals against each other. Even reminds me of Jimmy's The Invisbible System. Yet, you can see the difference from far away. One: this time, player can choose the main protagonist (even though, from what I can see, people played with both of them, ignoring that possibility) (and I'll be honest, I played with one only), and two: Your style is way different than Jimmy's. Remarkable only by the fact that this MP here is way more gameplay focused. And let me tell you: what a superb gameplay. Cutscenes, even not having a perfect timing, were realistic, objects in some missions were perfectly placed, even thought in others there were mistakes (I will comment about mistakes shortly), amazing and badass scenes, perfect using of slow motion feature, great sequences of fighting and shooting (and here we have mission 4 of Chapter 2: to be fair, one of the best sequences of shooting I've faced in years) and the best about this MP: a wonderful domain to use effects to keep a realistic scene/sequence. All I must say about it: Bravo!
Even thought this review might look for a perfect note until now, Chapter 1 started being a little bit weird because of the intense introduction, having already in the first missions lots of action to show why the MP came for: to kick some asses. But something that bothered a bit was the afterwards: you did tried to make a story wised part, which at same time that broke a little bit of the game's atmosphere, also was unsucessfully to empathize the main character (personal opinion, so it won't downgrade your pack). Yet, nothing to be shamed of, it's a recurrent error even in the movies. And here is something we need to talk not just to you, but for the designers in general: long distances, even necessary sometimes to make the player breath between long sequences of action, must not be abused for a long period of time. So, if you're going to make a huge distance (let's give an example: LS to LV), do it once in your chapter, and in a period you know the player won't be bored. Try making a test afterwards and not using the "play after selected" feature and you'll notice what I'm talking about. But again, nothing really huge because everyone here does that.
Fortunately, for every huge project developed in a long period of time, something is noted after playing many missions together, one after another in a normal sequence: the progress and development of the mission's quality. And luckily, the development here started still in the first chapter. A great first confrontation from both characters were amazing to see and a great attractive to the following missions, giving us the taste of "something more", which, for our luck, we wouldn't have to wait more time to have it. And here, we have the Chapter 2, the great top of quality missions of this pack in my modest opinion. It combines the already mentioned sequences of desperate fighting with lots of action and, of course, shooting as hell. Missions here had a few break between the shootings, but nothing really relaxing, which turns it to be a bit frenetic. I personally enjoy these moments, but there might be people here who doesn't (again, not a reason to upgrade or downgrade the note). Even the weird lines and the poor twists (will talk about it later) don't spoil too much the great experience this chapter was.
Talking about the final now, which, for me, it was wise to start pointing some mistakes of the whole pack on it. First, the final wasn't much developed and presented as a final, mainly because you didn't felt exactly in the final, except because you see that is the final mission. A cliche designer would tell you to create a strategy to warn the player about it, like: "this is our final confrontation, prepare yourself!". But of course, it's cliche. I'd say: let's create something better. Maybe a climax, or the best battle of the pack. Then follow to a relaxing moment, or more action. But here, only an acceptable robbery and a poor final confrontation were made, having a predictable ending, which here it's not your fault, because (spoiler alert) if you don't kill anyone, it's weird; if they turn friends, it's even more weird; if you kill both, you're a pain in the ass. But seeing this final, it's possible to understand that it contrast a lot with what the gameplay of the pack was in the other missions, but it resembles a lot with the story. Character development is a bit weak, you're not really attached to him, even choosing him in the story. Twists are really nonsense in a few aspects (false deaths usually are in every used case, that's why the Marvel movies were so weird lately) and the writting, even being acceptable, sins in some repetitive and even embarrassing lines, who makes you to wish the cutscene end up already and get to the gameplay part. But not something so relevant and desperating, it doesn't take off the amazing experience this pack was for me.
Bribed: Blood Money have almost everything a pack needs to be on the top of the list of the most enjoyable experiences that every designer provides to us. It combines greats sequences of action and shootings, with a huge variety of gameplay and an excellent experience for the lovers of GTA-Storylines MPs. Not even the clear story mistakes and awkward twists were able to take this pack of the list of the best MPs of this year, giving me the total freedom to say that it won't be a surprise to see this in the Awards this year.
9/10 - AMAZING
+ Greatest effects
+ Superb sequences of gameplay
+ Possibility to choose the main character
+ Good object placement
+ Quick development of quality
+ Variety of gameplay
- Poor story
- Nonsense twists