Dirty Bomb is a free-to-play multiplayer FPS with microtransactions developed by Splash Damage, the same developers of games like Brink and the multiplayer component of Batman: Arkham Origins. Now, before you write this game off as mediocre just based on that sentence, I have some surprising news. Dirty Bomb is not a bad game. Sure, it’s laden with ludicrously expensive microtransactions, and it feels like a Call of Duty wannabe at times, but there is some true quality in this game.
There are four classes you can play as for free, two of which rotate in a similar fashion to League of Legends. Each class not only has unique weapons and health, but they all have different abilities as well. While one mercenary can call in airstrikes, another can throw sticky bombs which can be remotely detonated. On top of that, you can purchase or unlock cases which will give you a random loadout, each with (hopefully) new weapons.
Now, to talk about the microtransactions. Sure, you could buy new characters or loadouts with the credits you grind from matches, but the game’s not betting on you doing that. No, what they’re looking for is for you to spend some money on the game. And while some of the characters are reasonably priced (6 dollars could be a lot worse), others are just insane (10 dollars for a guy with a minigun, really). Loadouts also cost 3.50 a pop, and for weapons with just slightly different stats and new skins, it’s not worth it.
However, questionable buisness models aside? Dirty Bomb is great fun! The controls are the standard FPS fare (expect to click Left Mouse Button a lot), and it won’t take long for anyone who has played a shooter the past few years to get into the swing of things. Aside from your obvious movement and interaction controls, the game also gives you the option to wall jump or bunnyhop around arenas, leading to a very fast paced feel.
Instead of your normal deathmatch fare, games focus on accomplishing objectives rather than killing as many enemies as possible. Thanks to the nature of some of the objectives, teamwork is a real focus here. Enemy players can gun you down in seconds, so the squad that is better coordinated and sticks together is going to be the squad that wins.
Something I must note about Dirty Bomb before players dive in is that this is still a beta, and it shows. Balance is just laughable at times, with the game seemingly going out of its way to encourage spawn camping. In a recent session, a good chunk of the time was spent with me and my squadmates pinning enemies down with constant gunfire, killing them seconds after they spawned in. While this is sure to be fixed later down on the road, just be prepared to experience some frustration if you take the plunge now.
So is Dirty Bomb worth your time? I’d say so. Sure, it won’t revolutionize the online First Person Shooter market, but it’s very competent. If you have no problem sticking around with the free classes, or dishing out a little cash for the unlockable mercenaries, then you really can’t go wrong with Dirty Bomb. And hey, you could always do a lot worse when it comes to free shooters.
Dirty Bomb was downloaded for free by the previewer and played on the PC platform