by William Thompson
reviewed on PC
And it isn't just the medpacks and ammo that requires teamwork. The game modes have objectives to be completed and the team that completes their objectives is the winner. So rather than shooting as many enemies as possible, the mission goals need to be completed as a team. I've seen, on numerous occasions, a player score a heap of kills, but his team lost due to the fact that a defensive point was not defended, or they failed to blow up a particular target because they were too intent on shooting enemies. I know the game is still young and gamers are getting used to the game, but guys...it pays to actually work on the mission objectives, and better if done as a team.
After each game XP is awarded based on your performance, allowing you to level up. But as well as XP, in game currency is also gained. This currency can then be used to gain access to other Mercs or upgrade loadouts. Extra currency can be earned by completing extra side missions, such as winning a certain number of games, or by playing with a specific character in your squad.
Watching the clock
Visually, Dirty Bomb feels like a cross between the cartoon visuals of Team Fortress and the gritty realism of the Battlefield series. Locations do look great though, with buildings in various states of disrepair in the outdoor settings, whilst the indoor areas have a much more sterile look to them. Although the settings don't have the depth as the recent Battlefield titles, the developers have made an effort to include some small details that give Dirty Bomb a realistic touch. Minor things such as moths flying around lights and discarded plastic shopping bags getting caught in the breeze, aren't much in themselves, but certainly add a touch of realism. I did however find that I had trouble differentiating between friend from foe at times, especially at close range. Enemies do have a reddish glow to them to make them stand out somewhat, but when running at full speed it can be difficult to tell one from the other, often until it is too late.
The audio is superb in Dirty Bomb. The voice-overs work remarkable well in informing and entertaining. Prior to each match, the wonderful British accents let gamers know what their mission objectives are, indicating whether teams are defending or attacking for that particular match. During the missions, the voice actors give audio indicators when teams are completing their goals. Team chatter is also well done, with audio cues given when teammates need ammo or healing. The sound effects though, do have a somewhat cartoony feel to them. The sound of bullets being fired and whistling through the air, and the clomping of feet as they run around the maps lessens any realism that is portrayed in the visuals.
Dirty Bomb is an addictive game. Even though I was often handed my ass on a platter by gamers with more skill, I was still enjoying myself for much of the time. I'm normally one of those gamers that likes to sit back with my trusty sniper rifle and pick off unsuspecting foes. It is still possible in Dirty Bomb, but I have found that it is more enjoyable to be in the thick of the action. Matches - like many of the genre -are much more fun when teams are evenly matched and when teams work together to complete the objectives. Unfortunately, this does not always happen - the team balancing could be tweaked a little by the developers, although they can do nothing about teams not working together. The audio and visuals are rather cartoonish, but having said that, they do fit in well with the fun nature of Dirty Bomb. And with the game being Free to Play, you actually don't have anything to lose anyway...apart from the occasional productive afternoon or evening when you really should stop playing and get back to work.
Plenty of characters to choose from. Emphasis on teamwork.
Still some balancing issues. Not as fun when teams don't work together.