AVANT Subfloor's First Impressions of DIRTY BOMB
In a market dominated by heavyweights titles like CS:GO and Call of Duty, competing for success in the first person shooter genre is certainly a challenge. Despite this, developer Splash Damage looks up to the task with Dirty Bomb, their charming PC shooter currently in open beta.
If the name Splash Damage is familiar, you may remember them from their controversial 2011 release Brink. Don’t let that discourage you; Dirty Bomb is a fantastic teamwork-focused shooter that is very easy to pick up, and difficult to put down.
Anyone comfortable with first person shooters will feel right at home with Dirty Bomb. The game rewards consistent accuracy and firefights don’t come down to who shot first, rather who can land the most headshots while jumping off of the environment to avoid being hit.
Currently featuring 12 mercenaries (classes) and promising more on the way, you’re instantly able to jump into a match with the default Skyhammer class and feel like you’re making a difference. Dirty Bomb’s depth really becomes apparent when checking out the other mercenaries on offer, as each merc’s unique playstyle ensures everyone will find something to enjoy. The big, tanky rhino lets you be the front line of your team, soaking up damage and peppering enemies with your minigun. However if that’s not your style, nimble mercs like Proxy use their speed to wall jump and dodge enemy fire long enough to blast away with their shotgun.
Character customization comes in the way of loadouts, an all in one item that determines your weapons, perks and skins. Splash Damage has done a great job of ensuring those who want to stay free-to-play can do so, and not be at a disadvantage when fighting a player who’s dropped money on a premium loadout. The loadouts have also been balanced really well, as the differences in perks are minor and mostly come down to personal preference rather than one set being outright better than another.
Dirty Bomb currently features two similar objective game modes, as well as a ranked queue for those looking to take the game more seriously and enter into its rapidly developing competitive scene. One disappointment is the lack of a party system in casual modes, meaning those looking to play with friends will have to all join the same server and hope it doesn’t fill up before everyone gets in. Not a huge gripe, but getting five or six friends together can sometimes be a hassle.
Overall, Splash Damage is doing everything right with Dirty Bomb. The game requires $0 from your pocket, you instantly feel like part of your team, and the gameplay rewards teamwork and good mechanics rather than who’s got the numerically best loadout equipped. The competitive scene gets bigger every day, and Splash Damage are constantly responding to community feedback in the forums and on the DB subreddit to improve the game. Whether you’re looking for a fun shooter to play with friends, or the next big e-sport, you should definitely be checking out Dirty Bomb.
Written by Luke "Subfloor" Gougeon.