When I was originally planning this article, it was going to be in a press release format with quickly shot-out notes about the changes coming to the game, however a key detail was lingering that stopped me from doing it.

What is Dirty Bomb?

Original Georgi Simeonov Concept art, via Splash Damage

It’s my favourite game right now. It’s being developed by Splashdamage, the devs of Brink, and it shows in the games playstyle. It’s an under the radar hero shooter that started its Closed beta in October 2013, with its open beta starting in June 2015.

Right now, the game is in a state of perpetual beta hell, having stayed in beta without an official release since 2013, however the game has received massive content updates and community events despite its lack of release.

Releases like annual Call of Duty’s, Overwatch, Ubisoft shooters and Battlefield games have kept media coverage and the public eye off Dirty Bomb, along with a whole lot of other indie games.

The Numbers

But it still has an impressive player count, today being higher than the count for Call of Duty: World War II, and far surpassing the player counts of Battleborn and Lawbreakers, games of similar genre.

On the opening of its beta it had a massive spike in player numbers, however today the player count tends to stick around the 1,000 – 3,000 mark. This is aided by the fact that it is and has always been a free to play game.

The Skill

I have never played an FPS with a skill ceiling as high as in Dirty Bomb. It is a sophisticated, unforgiving, skill inducing shooter with a crazy amount of precision and strategy, interlinked with a hero (mercenary) roster, with different loadouts per hero allocated through a cards system, with cards being the games progression system.

Via the Dirty Bomb Steam Page

The Progression

That makes the game sound unbalanced, but it’s most like Team Fortress II’s model of progression – the random dropping of weapons in the game is the almost exact same progression as the cards system is in Dirty Bomb.

This said, you can buy cards, and heroes are unlocked through progression too – which can also be skipped with real world money.

That detail makes it sound like Battlefront II on release but considering the amount of skill needed to play the game well, it’s easily comparable to Call of Duty and the way in which guns and perks are unlocked by levelling.

On top of that, there’s a progression system that’s also tied into lootbox drop rewards.

The Gameplay

Heroes are split into 5 categories, in which there are sub-categories. Recon, Fire Support, Engineer, Assault and Medics.

In this line-up there are snipers, tanks, grenadiers, ranged healers- all you could expect from a hero shooter in 2018, but the amount of precision required in this game is incredible. Hitboxes are unforgiving, and cover is a necessity, with all kinds of explosives polluting the map from enemy fire.

New heroes are constantly coming out – right now there’s 23, after the recent release of Hunter. the dev team have revealed that they’re working to release a stream of new heroes over the next year, with the game receiving constant support with these additions

There’s 9 maps in the game, which vary in objectives, from payload to location based objectives, with secondary objectives for each side that makes the match less difficult.

Movement is also a massive element of the game – wall jumping, knife running, ADS and hip fire are all things to consider from situation to situation, along with what the team you are on needs.

Why you should play it

I encourage everybody with a rig to play this game. It is crazy good, and the Australian community in the game is tightly knit, with a constant 3 or four servers filled out of work hours.

It’s an indie game with everything Overwatch has, but with more skill. I totally think you need to play it.

Via the Dirty Bomb Steam Page

A young Journalist studying at the University of Technology, Sydney, Zachariah Kelly strives to offer new perspectives of the scene, and take a critical glance at modern Video Game releases, update models and communities. Zac's big on Overwatch, Dirty Bomb, Team Fortress II and Grand Theft Auto 5.