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Review

Free To Play Sunday: Dirty Bomb

I'm Justin, filling in for Spiffy McJiggins! This is Free To Play Sunday.

So you've got no money. Your Steam library is crying out , "Gimme a new game pleaaassee". Well, I've got a free to play shooter like no other. These guys took some simple parkour, great shooting and a fair model and have created what I think is one of the best free games you can play right now.

The game I'm talking about is Dirty Bomb. At the time of writing this Dirty Bomb is in Open Beta. Which means that everything I say may not be representative of the final product. I however find the game finished enough to get a good impression of it. Any drastic changes at this point would make no sense anyway.

Played from the first person perspective, Dirty Bomb is a fast paced objective based shooter. 

Imagine Search and Destroy from Call of Duty with better gunplay and much faster paced. This is Dirty Bomb's biggest strength. The team based aspects are only further enhanced by how rewarding taking down enemies can be. But taking down enemies is never enough, Dirty Bomb maps are huge. Due to a respawn timer after enemies have been taken out one must move through the map completing objectives(destroying barriers, escorting tanks) and that is why Dirty Bomb is great. As you move through the map with your team charging ahead as one just feels great. On the opposite side, you're gonna have a bad time if you got a crappy team. 

The game features different Merc classes which are pretty traditional as far as team shooters go. Characters like the Commando, Sniper and Medic should feel familiar. All with their own abilities each one can turn the tides of battle in different situations. For example Skyhammer has the ability to call down an air strike which can effectively wipe a team if placed correctly. He can also resupply allies with ammunition when need be by throwing down an ammo bag.

I might be getting ahead of myself. 

This is the main screen when you get into the game. It shows your progress along with daily quests as well as whatever is going on in the world of Dirty Bomb. At the time of reviewing the Phantom was the featured Merc and is sold for real money. This is probably a decent time to talk about the game's Business Model. Dirty Bomb is built around classes which are represented by different Mercs. To start there are a couple free Mercs to let you play and then one can either invest time to earn in game money or spend real world money to acquire other Mercs. Frankly quite a fair model considering the amount of content you get for no cost. Additionally you will not be at a significant disadvantage playing the game without paying money, the characters are quite well balanced.


Once you've bought your Mercs and played a few games you will come into contact with cases which contain random load-out cards. Sorry there are no customizable load-outs. This system however works well and motivates me to play even more. After playing a fair bit I feel the need to get golden load-outs and get better guns for my Mercs. Also the suspense of opening a case is a feeling I can't describe but thoroughly enjoy.

Combat is fast and bloody, shooting can be long distance or close up and accuracy is rewarded. A few successful headshots will take down enemies quickly while body shots will prove almost useless in a lot of cases. Additionally enemies are only put into a crawling mode after initially taken down, they need to be damaged more to be actually killed. This allows time for allies to bring them back into the fight or for the medic to use her instant revive ability. 

 Here I am playing the Fragger class, who brings a heavier weapon to battle along with 2 grenades. He is used mostly for defending objective as throwing a grenade into an enemy diffusing your bomb will probably help a bit. Ill be honest, haven't played a lot of the other classes, mostly because I haven't purchased them or they aren't on the free rotation but also due to the attraction to blowing stuff up. I've also unlocked a gold class for the Fragger, so it can be cool to show that off in lobbies.



Unfortunately, Dirty Bomb isn't always great, it's something they need to work on. 

Remember how I told you about the free rotation of Mercs? At the time of writing the least balanced class(the phantom) is only available via purchase.   Now while the paywall makes it so that the character isn't super common in matches the fact that you can be an invisible sword wielding maniac is kinda OP. Imagine combining the Demo Knight's damage and the Spy's invisibility. Yeah, it's crazy. On another note the menu can be randomly glitchy at times. Now remember this is still a Beta build, but sometimes while matchmaking I will get booted from the screen even though I'm queued to join a server. 

Overall, I really like Dirty Bomb.

This twitchy tactical FREE shooter is the kind of thing I'm into. The collectability of cards and the leveling system motivates me to play while the rewarding gun play keeps me amused in games. While Dirty Bomb definitely isn't perfect(due to a few glitches and the business model being close to the best ever in free games) but i can look past all it's flaws for the combat just feels too dang good. The free experience as well, just rocks. I have spent no real world money at this point in time and I honestly don't feel like there is anything to be sought after(except maybe playing the temporarily OP character).

So yes, I am suggesting Dirty Bomb. Go play it. It's free of course. Put a few matches in, see if you can get friends to play or at least randoms who communicate and the experience is amplified by a lot.

Just remember to play the objective and all will go well!


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