Battle Come Down: Dirty Bomb Open Beta Launched

I quite like the non-copyright-infringing Underground logo. It's very 2.0, and the kind of thing some daft mayor might do some day.

As promised, Splash Damage’s class-based FPS Dirty Bomb [official site] launched its open beta test last night. All and sundry and can now run, wall-jump, and shooty-shoot around the streets of Merrye Olde Londone in objective-driven action for free. Nab it from Steam.

Dirty Bomb is A Splash Damage Game. Y’know: two teams, classes with different weapons and special abilities, opposing objectives, capturing points, escorting semi-autonomous vehicles, and now it seems a touch of free-running has stuck as part of their ever-evolving formula. It’s run as free-to-play by publishers Nexon with a limited, rotating selection of free characters open to all while others can be unlocked permanently by spending real cash money or virtual cash grinded for by playing.

More maps and more characters are planned for future updates.

Out of curiosity, I popped into the map supposedly set in Whitechapel – an area a few minutes’ walk from my flat – and now think I understand how New York folks feel when they see their city in everything ever. That’s sorta Christ Church Spitalfields, sure, and railway tunnels and arches certainly are plentiful around here but… it’s a little eerie and I want to say “No no no, it’s all wrong!” I name this phenomenon The Uncanny Stepney. I suppose city planners don’t really think much about map flow, polycounts, navigation landmarks, firing lines, and vis-blocking.

[Disclosure: I’m pally with a few Splash Damage folks.]


  1. Greg Wild says:

    I would recommend this to a family member and/or friend.

    Though I do hope for some changes to the mercs/load-outs system. Everything is accessible to F2P players, but I feel it would be more interesting if all the mercs were available to everyone, particularly.

    • Rizlar says:

      I’ve been having a lot of fun with it too!

      Despite having enough in-game moolah to unlock a merc I’ve just been using the ones on rotation. It helps that they are all very intuitive to pick up and play, with just two skills and one primary weapon. I dunno, you may well be right, but it’s kind of nice to have the focus of only a few characters to choose from at once and really figure out how to play them.

  2. The Dark One says:

    Splash Damage had a bunch of ideas that almost worked with Brink and I really hope that this’ll be the time that they nail the class-based team shooter.

  3. EvilSnake says:

    Aaand it’s not available in my region. Guess the beta is not that open after all.

    • megazver says:

      Ayup. Disappointing.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Played it before and it was reaaaaaaal laggy, guess their US server ‘aint west.

    • figvam says:

      I wonder what is the rationale behind cramming players into the ghettos by region. Do they think the game has so much potential that it’s viable to milk each region separately? I don’t think so, it’s a niche enough game and having several walled gardens for players would only make things worse in each of these gardens…

      • Rizlar says:

        The version I’ve been playing says EU/US and you can play freely on EU or US servers. So no segregation. Presumably these chaps that cannot play are based in Asia or another region that isn’t yet supported. :(

        • Rizlar says:

          Oh no, apparently I can join Aussie and Asian servers as well. Wonder what regions are not able to play in the open beta?

          • figvam says:

            Parts of Eastern Europe – Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Russia. Also the whole South Asia region.

      • IonTichy says:

        The rationale should always be the simplest: ping.
        I sure as hell refuse to play against anyone from the US with a 150ms-200ms ping…

  4. drussard says:

    I’m a jaded old man with shooters but I have been playing this one since closed beta and have for some reason really enjoyed it. The mechanics are solid, the game is fun, and it definitely doesn’t feel P2W.

  5. Creeping Death says:

    So now that it’s on steam does it still require the nexon launcher?

    • cunningmunki says:

      Thankfully, no. Launches straight from Steam and uses your Steam ID for your “account”.

  6. Banks says:

    It’s not bad, but It’s clearly a poor man’s Team Fortress 2 and the gunplay is pretty weak.

    Also, I don’t know what they were thinking with the F2P model but It’s horrible and It ruins the class system.

  7. cunningmunki says:

    I sank eleventy-million hours into Enemy Territory back in the day, and although I tried Quake:ET and Brink, they just never felt right and were tough to get into. I signed up to the original beta of Dirty Bomb (back when it was “Dirty Bomb” not “The Game Previously Known As Dirty Bomb, Then Extraction, And Now Dirty Bomb Again”) and have dipped in and out over the years, and the one thing that’s always struck me is how accessible it is. I just hope I can find the time for some actual competitive online play.

    • Rizlar says:

      Yeah, accessible sounds about right. As an experienced but very much casual rather than competitive fps player it grabbed me in a way other multiplayer fpses haven’t. It’s just really solid and fun.

  8. TRS-80 says:

    Urgh, Windows only. If only second-hand 1155 mobos weren’t as rare as hen’s teeth then I could ditch this iMac back to where it belongs.

  9. Ross Angus says:

    Jim said of Brink back in 2011:

    Yes, which feels like a waste of fantastic world. The script and world design is really very strong. I’d like to play a Guns & Conversation game in that world.

    Now is the time for Tales from the Brink. Come on, Splash Damage: give Telltale a go.

    • Oak says:

      Can you imagine? The Ark was such a fascinating creation, and shockingly well-realized under the circumstances. I want a game to take me back there.

  10. ye-ole-PK says:

    They use a VERY intrusive anti-cheat software/spyware. Even with simple tools like process hacker, you will not be able to play.

    link to

    Archeage made the same problem by using intrusive anticheat methods. As a developer I have MANY tools installed on my PC that many other games take no affront too. If their spyware isn’t able to discern from bad software then I am going to be taking my time and money elsewhere.

  11. Awesomeclaw says:

    I gave this a go today and I’m really liking it so far. However, the menus and post-match UI seem kind of wonky, and it seemed that sometimes XP and money weren’t being awarded after matches. With the amount of broken or unpolished stuff in it, I’m kind of surprised that they opened it up. I’m kind of tempted to drop it for now until they fix it up a bit more.