Dirty Bomb Beta Impressions | MOUSE n JOYPAD

Dirty Bomb Beta Impressions



Take a glance at Dirty Bomb and I can guess what other game comes to mind without a second thought, Team Fortress 2. It’s got the same sort of cartoony art style, it doesn’t take itself all too seriously compared to the FPS genres most notable names. That’s not to say Dirty Bomb is the free game you and your friend choose after scouring Steam for a simple, fun multiplayer session, Team Fortress 2 still holds that spot. Dirty Bomb aims to be more than meets the eye, Dirty Bomb is a competitive team-based FPS.

Their motto, “work together or die alone,” fits. I learned that pretty quickly once I got into the game. In fact, so much so that there are no Team Deathmatches or Free-For-All’s for selfish minded individuals to find their home in. In my time with Dirty Bomb, there was an objective mode and a stop watch mode, both however relied on accomplishing certain goals or stopping the opposite team from accomplishing their goals. There’s not much point in being skilled at the genre if you can’t work as a unit in this game. And I do hope it stays that way and they don’t add in some of those standard modes thereafter.

In that sense, Dirty Bomb is probably narrowing down its demography, but with the right marketing, it can certainly find its niche in the FPS genre. Personally, I’m the last guy you want on your squad of eight (the max amount you can have on your team), I’m not skilled at FPS’s and in this hyper competitive game, I’m way out of my depth. Nevertheless, I set out to follow Dirty Bomb’s instructions, don’t be a dick, and play the objective, there were a few others but it basically boils down to those two key tactics.

One of the issues, and I use the term issue real loosely here, that I came up against, was that all of the matches felt extremely one sided. When I’d be lucky enough to land with a squad that knows what it’s doing, it was more or less a massacre. The flip side happened a lot too, I’d run out of luck and fall to an ego driven squad filled with players who, well, weren’t exactly playing the objective. I never got into that in between situation where it was two well-rounded teams going head to head. The matches weren’t ever really close. That’s what I mean when I say the term issue is being used loosely here, there’s a chance I simply got unlucky. I’d love to see two capable teams going head to head, I’m certain that’s where Dirty Bomb will shine best.

The gameplay itself felt ultra-fast paced, trigger fingers and intense reflexes will be all too necessary to come out of gun fights victorious. Heed the game’s directives if you want to win, brush your kill/death ratio aside, it doesn’t matter ultimately. There’s other games in mind for that. Camping, searching for kills, they don’t belong in Dirty Bomb, they don’t get you wins. Play the objective, and you’ll win. Hell, the game rewards you for being smart, play along with your team, you gain experience points, win objective matches, you gain experience points, have battle sense: experience points. It felt rewarding doing all of these things even as my K/D would make any man cringe.

On the selection front, Dirty Bomb takes some notes from Team Fortress 2, and the many team-based multiplayer games gaining prominence recently, allowing you a selection of pre-made Mercenaries to choose from. At the time I was playing the beta, there were 7 available in total, though I don’t doubt they’ll expand that and at the moment, even the three I tended to rotate between were different enough to appreciate. You start off with two mercenaries already unlocked, and two are continuously in rotation, a tried and true process seen in other similar multiplayer titles. You can buy the other Mercenaries to keep them permanently through the in-game currency or through micro transactions.

You’ll be able to afford the other Mercenaries quickly enough in game, depending on how skilled you are, and even if you aren’t, it only took about two to three hours of game time for me to get my first new Mercenary. Most of the time, you’ll have four Mercenaries at your disposition anyways so you’re never really short of options. Now, if you’re impatient and you really want to get your hands on a Mercenary you’ve been looking out for – or like me, you want the sniper who’s been wrecking you every game -, it’ll generally set you back about 6.99$ CND. The price, perhaps seems a tad hefty, but considering how easy it is to unlock one through in-game currency, and how, you know, it’s free-to-play, the price is understandable. And while there were only seven Mercenaries available to get in the closed beta, the wiki page tells me they have 19 planned (including the current 7 available).

As I mentioned before, the Mercenaries I touched played differently enough. Though to be fair, the three I could control were your standard three classes, the aggressive soldier; Skyhammer, the medic; Aura, and the support, Fragger. Each character has their own special abilities and load outs, it really does feel like a MOBA in that sense. Aura for example, has defibrillators she can use for melee reasons, to instantly revive downed opponents (regular characters can revive but it takes much longer instead of the instant process Aura undertakes), she also has a beacon of sorts that heals allies within a set circular area, you can pick it up and maneuver it as you will. The characters mobility will also vary between one another too, to truly give each of them different feel, though all move with ease throughout the well-arranged maps.

Skyhammer was a preferred choice for most players, and one of the ones I felt needed a bit of optimization. Airstrikes (one of his abilities next to ammo packs) came far too often, and made attacking objectives a hassle to deal with. There’s not much skill involved in raining down endless airstrikes while the opposing team has to try to repair a train. Each character has their set load outs, I believe there are four loads outs per character, and each increasingly get better, though I would’ve liked the option to mix and match between selections of load outs instead being forced into the pre-set constructs. You unlock these loadouts by opening cases gained in game, so your medic isn’t endlessly stuck with a shot gun.

One of the cool features I liked about Dirty Bombs was where it took notes from more common FPS games, you’re running out of luck in a game, perhaps you’re not using a character that blends well with the rest of the squad, well, you’re able to change between characters in the middle of a game (like switching between classes in other FPS games). To be more precise, Dirty Bomb allows you to pick out three of the characters you have available for selection and allows you to switch between them throughout the game in between deployments. It’s a neat feature, and definitely helps to ensure you’ve got a balanced team. As of yet, the small selection of Mercenaries meant it got a bit tiresome just seeing the same group of characters running around the field.

Dirty Bomb is a genuinely fun game, though get stuck with bad teammates and it can quickly become a frustrating affair. I don’t mean bad players like, well, me, I mean players who aren’t ready to push that ego aside. I’m sure as the game develops its community, those egos will soon find that this game might not be for them, and it’s quickly going to center around players focused on getting those objectives, or at least I hope so because ultimately, Dirty Bomb’s success will rely on that community to keep it alive. I’m a casual FPS player at best but if you love yourself some team based FPS, but the slow methodical approach of the Arma’s and Counter Strikes aren’t for you, then the hyper-active Dirty Bomb will fit you like a tight glove.