Primed: Splash Damage Reveal Dirty Bomb

Splash Damage have been quiet for a while, at least on the PC front, but there have been rumblings of a free to play PC shooter for a while now, and it looks like that Dirty Bomb, announced moments ago, may be that game. A teaser trailer shows a London street, semi-meticulously recreated and strewn with fallen combatants. By semi-meticulously I refer to the fact that there is a signpost that says Bromley on it but the Underground sign is a work of fiction. The copyright for the real one is probably owned by Boris Johnson. So, panic and bomb disposal on the streets of London? Watch.

The site allows players to reserve a name, so Dirty Bomb is almost definitely not a sprawling single player adventure.


  1. jnyms says:

    Great job so far, they’ve really captured the feel of my morning commute.

    • sinister agent says:

      I find that bashflangs are particularly useful on the Circle Line stations.

      • stacyparker8 says:

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        • selenabryan62 says:

          Yes, your words correctly and experience the best evidence

  2. Hoaxfish says:

    That’s not even the right road to go to Bromley

  3. Trithne says:

    Free-to-Play (wo)manshooter with customisable characters and unlock progression.

    Saved us all a year of waiting.

    • Lord Byte says:

      My thought exactly, and while I’d love to play a lot of them, my time is finite, which means I tend to skip the interchangeable manshoots, and at most waste my time in one (which is currently PlanetSide 2, and by the looks of it, will be for quite some time to come…)
      It’s funny, I skipped out on so many, some because I couldn’t get my friends interested, most because I couldn’t bring up the time and effort to play it, then become decent at it, want to bring it further with a good team, find none, then get bored with it….

      • Armitage says:

        You haven’t missed much, unless you skipped Battlefield 3.

        • CPLDANABD says:

          Even then he still wouldn’t have missed much, Planetside 2 is just a better version of BF3

    • Torn says:

      You forgot rushed, imbalanced and abandoned post-release, like Brink was

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Rather telling that the trailer never even mentioned BRINK.

        “From the developers of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars PC”

        Yep, they just swept the colossal failure that was BRINK right under the table.

  4. Lobotomist says:

    I cant wait to purchase this game. Hopefully it will be as good as Brink. Game that they released half developed , and than just abandoned.

    • 4026 says:

      It is interesting to note that this is “From the developers of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars” and that they don’t mention Brink anywhere. It’s almost as if they thought that bringing it up might somehow hurt their marketing.

      • DK says:

        If only they stopped messing around with pseduo-MMOish-ness in an effort to grub ever more money in an ever shorter time and made something like Quake Wars again. Truly assymetric sides. Sprawling maps. Fun vehicles. Varied objectives. No idiotic between-matches progression system.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yeah. They had a good formula going, and honestly I think Brink made some refinements amongst its missteps, but they don’t quite seem to know where to take it to make the most fun and money.

          I played so much W:ET.

      • Tin_man_Tex says:

        [07:28] I think they don’t mention Brink because Brink wasn’t a PC specific build.
        [07:32] SockDog wins the prize!
        [07:33] this game is being built for PC, like those other two games
        [07:33] Brink was multiplatform

        badman being the splashdamage community dude.

    • Phinor says:

      Honest question, what was wrong with Brink? Because I did enjoy it but that seems to be a very minor opinion. Let’s drop the singleplayer experience out of that question because while they didn’t exactly say it, Brink was multiplayer only game.

      • Lobotomist says:

        That is just the problem. Nothing was wrong with it. At least in gameplay and idea it was perfect.

        But it was launched serious bugs, glitches and performance problems. Too few maps as well. Basically the game was rushed and released unfinished.
        And than it was seemingly abandoned. No patches, no fixes, no work on the game at all save one DLC that was released soon after initial release.

        As if they realized that the game was bad and decided to stop wasting their time.

      • Archonsod says:

        I enjoyed it single player. Far more than in multiplayer in fact.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Did you ever complete the mission where you have to disarm the missile launcher pointing at the skyscraper?

          Because I swear that’s impossible with the un-teamwork of only bots.

      • zeroskill says:

        For me personally, it was the unresponsiveness of the mouse controls. I just can’t stand games that feel like they have mouse accelaration hard coded into them. Floaty you might call it. However, I have the same problem with many other games, since floaty controls seem to be the standard nowadays. I’m just too used to playing games on the source engine, I guess.

        Also, i’m not really that big of a fan of artificial progression systems, which Brink had plenty of. After their marketing campaign and hype, it was kind of a let down. Some people already praised it to be the next big esports title, some people even claimed this will kill Team Fortress 2. Well now we know better. This is just my opinion though. I will be cautious about their next game.

        I surely will give it a try if it’s gonna be free…but it’s unlikely i’m going to buy it if they release their next game as a full price title.

      • Snargelfargen says:

        Brink’s biggest issue was the failure to sustain it’s playerbase. I enjoyed it for the first two months, after which finding a server with enough people on it became too hard and I had to set the game aside.

        The game’s userbase might never have reached the critical mass needed to sustain a community, but severe bugs in the first weeks of release (basically anybody with an AMD video card was screwed) and some balance issues that should have been caught in beta killed it outright.

        Too bad,. fast-paced bullet sponge games can be a lot of fun, and are a completely different experience compared to that of Counterstrike and all the mil-sim shooters it has spawned.

      • Droniac says:

        I liked Brink, but only because it was better than any other shooter coming out at the time. It wasn’t the usual stale Call of Duty / Medal of Honor / Battlefield fare, but a throwback to days when shooters still involved a modicum of skill and teamplay was absolutely essential. It was something old, but because of that it was also refreshingly different. But there’s no denying that Splash Damage really sabotaged themselves on this one – and the key reasons why Brink failed so quickly are quite obvious.

        The game launched to horrible reviews and in a practically broken state. Splash Damage quickly resolved most of this, but by that time the damage had been done: very few newcomers would actually grab this game in the face of reports of overwhelming bugs, lag, and crashes. Their only chance at this point was grabbing the old guard – the Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars players – and holding their interest.

        Unfortunately, Splash Damage made a few poor design decisions when it came to Brink’s gameplay. Specifically, Brink was the most bullet-spongy game after Borderlands. You sprayed through clips in a couple of seconds, and most characters could take about half a clip worth of damage. That killed the pacing and the importance of player skill in the outcome of a match. But even more importantly, Splash Damage seems to have decided that the free spawning system of their previous games was somehow a bad thing. As a result there was very little forward spawning and no command post spawning – and that absolutely destroyed the pacing of the game on some of the larger maps.

        The result of these bad design decisions was a game that seemed great in theory, and had some good ideas (parkour worked quite well, especially for this type of game), but failed miserably in its execution. Most of the old guard stayed for a few months to wait out the bugs, but even when those were (mostly) dealt with the game simply wasn’t up to the standards of previous SD games, so eventually they returned to their respective games. This killed Brink, because those players constituted the vast majority of the player base. (in Europe, where the game had a pretty solid population on PC for the first 3 months)

        Splash Damage really couldn’t have patched the game up to be good enough. Brink needed a full rebalance of all weapons and classes to make the combat both more entertaining, more skillful and more decently paced (read: fast-paced). Similarly the maps weren’t properly balanced, and all of them should have had a full rework to support command post spawning. That’s a lot of work for a game that’s probably not going to sell very many copies even if you put in the effort post-launch.

        Hopefully SD have (finally) learned their lesson and will make Dirty Bomb a great skillful, team-based objective shooter. But past experience does point out a rather unfortunate fact: every SD game has been inferior to the last. Still, I’m hopeful SD can turn things around and churn out another Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory. That’s something the world of shooters desperately needs right now.

    • El_MUERkO says:


      Fuckers wasted my money on that one. Not touching this with a barge poll.

    • Armitage says:

      What?! Brink was horrible! That is the last FPS I will play from Splash Damage. Have fun chasing brain dead AI on unpopulated servers if that’s what you are into.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        You say that as if they have so many FPS games, or games in general, in their portfolio. They have two. One of which is almost a decade old.

  5. Jallford says:

    Too many free to play online FPS shooters. I almost feel SPOILT.

  6. MeestaNob says:

    What’s that little Made For PC (TM) logo thingy at the end there? Another new initiative, or just some kind of branding by one of the companies?

  7. DevilSShadoW says:

    Brink, although flawed, was at least good when it came to theme. This just smacks of genericness. It’s painful to watch the teaser. I cant imagine i’d be going anywhere near this no matter how free it is to play. Not when there’s planetside 2 out there sharing the same price range.

    All in all, I dont see this making much of a spash.

  8. Codor says:

    I work by London Bridge station and that is not a very accurate portrayal. Corpses and machine guns true to life, but it shows the Gherkin not the Shard. 3/10.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      you can see the gherkin from London Bridge… but it’s nowhere near that close (checked it on google street view)

      • Codor says:

        Haha thank you for fact-checking my facetiousness :). And to try and one up you on pedantry, if you orientate yourself by the places with an underground sign on your right, you are pointing towards either the Shard or the bridge itself, rather than the Gherkin!

        • Jackablade says:

          Alright then, I’ll ask. What, pray tell, is the Gherkin?

          • Pockets says:

            Its the rather phallic-shaped tower in the background at 0:25.

          • sinister agent says:

            Something is terribly wrong with whatever phalli you’ve been seeing.

          • RaveTurned says:

            “30 St Mary Axe (formerly the Swiss Re Building, and informally also known as “the Gherkin”) is a skyscraper in London’s financial district, the City of London, completed in December 2003 and opened at the end of May 2004.”

            link to

          • Hoaxfish says:

            We also have the Onion too (at least that’s the name for polite conversation)

          • stiffkittin says:

            re: the Onion, odd looking building. So what’s the impolite name – the tit?

            EDIT: Nevermind. Just read the Wikipedia article.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            A large tower made out of pickles.

      • DickSocrates says:

        Streetview isn’t a reliable indicator for how far/close things are, they use some weird lenses on their cars. I’ve compared real views such as at the top of Gipsy Hill where you get a stunning view of practically all of London, that on streetview looks like nothing. Distant objects look even more distant.

        That said, I don’t know London Bridge that well to say if the Gherkin looms quite that large in reall ife.

    • HilariousCow says:

      Well. There might be some reason for that in the fiction. Like plate techtonics, or it’s in some kind of a “virtual” “cyber” space where things are slightly different from reality and you control an “avatar” with a mouse and keyboard which is plugged into a “PC”. Probably, also, it doesn’t make for great mapflow/line of sight if you do a straight facsimile.

  9. Ansob says:

    Can’t help but notice that the video doesn’t mention Brink, just W:ET and ETQW. The two seconds of gameplay look like it might be Brink-like in terms of movement, which would be good.

    The real problem with Brink is that the type of FPS Splash Damage like to make (objective-based games that require teamwork to function and essentially punish people for not working as a team) do not work in public servers with disorganised teams, so their games suffer immensely for it. If Brink had been less Splash-Damage-y, it would probably have gotten the success and therefore support that it needed.

    • eightbitrobot says:

      I really liked Wolf ET, didn’t care for Quake Wars or Brink.. I guess with ET, Splash Damage had a solid foundation to build on but when they had to create everything from scratch it all kind of fell apart with the other games.

      Edit: Whoops, didn’t mean to reply there..

      • Claidheamh says:

        Sacrilege! Quake Wars is exceptionally good.

        • Herzog says:

          From the gameplay ET:QW was fine. Shame it was hindered by a shitty engine and terrible netcode.

    • kwyjibo says:

      I was going to mention this too – Brink is that much of an embarrassment.

      Charging full price for a game which is worse than the Free to Play alternatives. Nice one.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      It wasn’t really the gameplay that did BRINK in as much as it was the actual product. The problem with BRINK was that it suffered from an immense list of bugs, some of which really ruined the game. (there was a bug at launch where half the maps would have all audio cut out, for the entire match, right after the first gunshot you heard)

      The bugs didn’t even start getting dealt with until well after 2 weeks. Even then, there were tons of performance issues and lot of problems with crashes. To kick it all off, they actually released the game ahead of schedule saying that, “since it’s done, we’re going to go ahead and give it to you now!”

      The game was hugely popular when it launched. Many of the players were patient regarding the bugs. However, after two weeks of either not being able to play the game or having to put up with bugs that completely ruined the experience, most players just moved on and never looked back. The playerbase sank like a stone and BRINK quickly disappeared off the top 100 list of Steam’s top player count.

      The sad thing was, on the Splash Damage forums, tons of PC players were crying out for the game to fixed and for SD to do something to try and get players to come back so the game wouldn’t die. The 360 players would just chime in that there was nothing wrong, that they could always find a game, and that everything was wonderful. And for consoles, everything was pretty good. BRINK did very well on consoles, actually. But the PC release was in shambles and the number of concurrent users was getting to be below 50 players during peak hours. During off-times, you might see 5 or 10 users if you were lucky. (at least in the USA that’s how it was, I understand it did a bit better in Europe) By the time the free (for previous purchasers) DLC came out, it was far too late. No one cared. The game was dead.

  10. Crimsoneer says:

    Am I the only person who really, really liked Brink?

    • ramirezfm says:

      No, there are two of us! I think that’s it though…

      • Claidheamh says:

        Nope, there are plenty more of us. Though seemingly not a very loud bunch.

        • Insanity says:

          I also thoroughly enjoyed BRINK. Everything I wanted from a shooter, shame not many people shared that opinion though.

        • Snargelfargen says:

          Me too! Now if only we could all turn up on the servers so the game could actually be played…

    • Moni says:

      I really, really like the runny-jumpy system. I hope it finds its way into this new game.

  11. Premium User Badge

    FhnuZoag says:

    I wonder if there’s an increasing trend in the use of London in these things. See also ZombiU, Skyfall (okay that’s a movie), Modern Warfare 3, Killing Floor. Which is good, I guess. London is a more interesting and varied city than many places.

  12. kimadactyl says:

    A dirty bomb is a cheap nuke wired to give off lots of radiation and make a place inhopitable, right? Allegedly worryingly cheap on the black markets.

    I’m guessing the theme is someone set one off in London, not that it’s bomb disposal…

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      It’s not really a nuke, it’s more that it spreads radioactive contamination around that is difficult to clean up afterwards. It’s kinda questionable how much of a threat it really is, actually, because with effective (albeit expensive) cleanup the health impact can be mostly mitigated. The main effect will be psychological.

    • Max Ursa says:

      all you really need for a dirty bomb is some explosive and any radioactive material, be it waste or fissionable material.

  13. CobraLad says:

    Is that new Codblops? Blacklight? Warface? Homefront 2?
    Seriously, it looks really bland. Without a Face, I would say.

  14. sinister agent says:

    It doesn’t really show anything that makes me think “ooh, what’s this?”. I mean, it could have some amazing ideas for all we know, but all the video shows is some fast cuts of generic shooting and explosions.

  15. Kinth says:

    OK, we have had a fair few games in recent history set in London and they often contain their fair share of panic, yet no one has used Panic by The Smiths as a song in their trailers. I mean come on it practically describes your game for you!

  16. celozzip says:

    please make this a return to enemy territory quality.

    oh yeah i spotted a woman in the trailer… hopefully that’ll stop the crybabies for a while… unless they decide her boobs are too bouncy or something.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Because sexism in games and alienating female gamers, is what, okay?

      • Nameless1 says:

        No, but crying about sexism every time you see a woman presented as “sexy” in a vg is a lot worse.
        And tbh I’ve seen this tendency in several recent RPS articles, one of the few times I didn’t like them

    • Premium User Badge

      FhnuZoag says:

      How enlightening and constructive your bad faith straw-manning and immature machismo is.

  17. Arithon says:

    Brink looked okay, but played badly. Stupid things like sluggish play and unbalanced teams in co-op spoiled the game. If you and a friend played one team, the AI team had a full compliment of 6-8 players against your two. The game couldn’t add AI players to the “human” team.
    These and other things killed the game within days of release.
    I wanted to like it, but it just couldn’t live up to my optimism.

    Let’s hope that this “for PC” game isn’t so compromised.

  18. rocketman71 says:

    We’ll see. Splash had a blank check from me, and they peed all over it with Brink. Bugs galore on release day (one week early because it was SO done), lots of broken promises, shitty support, the works…

    Besides F2P almost surely means no public server files and no LAN.

    I’m afraid I’m going to have to pass on this one. Splash Damage doesn’t equate quality anymore. They’ll have a lot to make up for to get my trust back.

  19. cunningmunki says:

    I loved Wolf:ET, and the obscene amount of time I spent on those maps fills me with a fuzzy sense of nostalgia (it was nearly 10 years ago after all), but it seems Splash Damage have been trying to recreate the Golden Age of ET with each new release and always falling short.

    Despite that, they have my wholehearted attention, and my crossed fingers.

    • Bostec says:

      Indeed, RTWC was probably the first serious muiltplayer I was in too. Booting up the 56k and having a blast. Then Wolfenstien ET was even better. Anyway, didn’t these guys invent the unlockbles and XP grind? It was novel and quite good at the time but now? its quite the tedious.

    • Heighnub says:

      I still think WolfET (with ETPro mod) is THE best multiplayer FPS ever made. I actually reinstalled it a month ago and have been playing every night since. The fact that it is almost 10! years old and still has so many people playing is a testament to how good it is.

      Of the many great aspects of the game, I think one major thing that Splash Damage does wrong now is levelling of characters and weapons. With Brink, they jumped onto the “long-term”/persistent levelling/unlocking of abilities and weapons (like every other game out there right now).
      I love the fact that, at the beginning of an ET campaign, everyone has 0 XP and is equal in terms of class abilities and weapons.
      This allows changes in the gameplay for every map – the server I play on now still only has the 6 original maps, but by shuffling the order of them in a campaign, the same map will play very differently depending on the XP accumulation of the players.
      It also makes it far easier to just jump in to the game for a couple of hours at a time.

      I will admit that I got addicted to MW2 just to unlock weapons and earn medals. I did get a feeling of achievement when I got n’th prestige or when I unlocked a new thing, but this pales in comparison to the rush of adrenaline one gets when planting dynamite at the last gun on Oasis with 30 and a bit seconds to spare.

      Not many games have caused my heart to pound at the rate of an MP40 or Thompson machine gun, and I think that’s the problem nowadays (at least for me) – games focus on long term achievement rather than short term pleasure!

  20. HisMastersVoice says:

    There’s a game somewhere under all that blur and static. Wonder what it looks like.

  21. Narzhul says:

    Am I insane or could that trailer induce someone into having an epileptic seizure?

    I almost went blind watching that, I swear.

  22. hjd_uk says:

    Based in London you say? Well there are too many guns and not enough Cricket bats and Stanley Knives taped to Hammers for my liking, has the U.S been air-dropping military munitions into London for (random apocalypse scenario #58) ? If you can’t wield a Traffic-Cone then its just not British enough for me.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      traffic cones go on the head, not in the hand.

      a stop sign is a much better weapon.

      • lazy8 says:

        A real urban survival theme: fighting the bad guysby throwing stones and hitting them with traffic signs, while your visibility is obscured by the hoodie you are wearing.
        Might become popular.

    • Brun says:

      If it were TRULY British, all of the weapons would be parrots and the enemies would be pet store checkout tables.

  23. Oak says:

    They’re never going to set another game on the Ark, and that makes me depressed.

  24. tangoliber says:

    Loved Brink, but just wanted the guns to be more accurate. Really looking forward to this.

  25. TwwIX says:

    Splash Damage should have never ventured past making mods Enemy Territory was nothing but a fluke. The same goes for Trauma Studios aka. Kaos Studios aka. 2Dawn Games aka. “Here’s another unpolished and broken piece of shit FPS that we are going to abandon within a month or two” studio.

  26. The_invalid says:

    So, it’s going to be Brink, but replacing the brilliantly stylised graphics and beautiful environments with TEH REALIZMS AND BROWN, and replacing the intriguing and nuanced scenario with TEH GOOD GUYZ V’S TERRERISTS.

    Truly, Splash Damage, I’m on tenterhooks here.

  27. b0rsuk says:

    “From the developers of Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
    and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars”

    This is hillarious if you can read between the lines !!@! What, no award-winning Brink ?

    Really, I’ve been burned by Splash Damage too many times. They’ve made a mod that was good and played by a good number of people, but not good enough to spawn a long-lived league. They’ve made a very fun (but flawed – especially rambo medic dominance and pathetic covert op) shooter that was based on id Software’s game of the year. Later, they made ET:QW, which was fun and interesting in some parts, but marred with technical flaws (performance, disconnects) and had disastrous balance in some parts (like, no one uses deployables on many maps because flyers are essentially indestructible; even if you do it respawns in a minute).

    I’ll start caring about Dirty Bomb when it overtakes TF2 or Counterstrike in popularity rankings. I trusted SD too many times.

  28. RobF says:

    I’d have called it Dirty Bum.

    Dirty Bum by Splash Damage.

  29. wireless says:

    I was really hoping this would be a free to play version of Brink. I never played it, though I got caught up in the hype train for it. When the reviews came in I was disappointed, but I’m waiting to pick it up cheap, just to run around and look at it.

    I feel like a F2P Brink would still have more appeal than another F2P near future shooter with progression and character customization.

    Art style!

  30. figvam says:

    Anyone notice how it’s “Powered by Unreal Engine” at the trailer end? So it appears Splash Damage finally broke up with id for good.

  31. SelfEsteemFund says:

    I may have given it an install considering it’s SD & f2p but after seeing that Unreal Engine logo I’ll definitely be skipping this. Not really that interested in another poorly optimised game with broken controls & awful hitreg.