How Not To Introduce A Video Game

How Not To Introduce A Video Game

So my yesterday went something like this. “Oh, hey, Dirty Bomb is in open beta! Nobody is talking about this game, but the people who made Brink are behind it, and the art looks cool, so what the hell, I’ll give it a shot”. Thirty seconds later I’d quit to desktop.

Why? The first time you fire up the beta, before you even get to a menu screen, you’re greeted with this video.

When a game is struggling for buzz and attention like Dirty Bomb is, the last thing it needs is for this to be a new player’s first impression. I can see what it’s trying to do. What it actually comes across as is a tutorial video designed by an energy drink company’s advertising executive. Who hadn’t even played the game, and was working off notes.

Later in the day, I came back to Dirty Bomb, sucked it up and actually gave it a try. There weren’t many players around (a consequence of both its beta status and me being on Australian time), but what I saw was interesting enough. Anyone who has played Splash Damage’s other team shooters, like Wolfenstein Enemy Territory or Brink, will be at home: teams work together to unlock/overcome obstacles and objectives, using different classes of character to get the job done.

What stood out for me was the game’s art — which despite the “gritty” setting has a nice cartoony slant to it, same as Brink — as well as your character options. Instead of choosing one class to play as at the beginning of a round, or being able to swap to anything upon death, Dirty Bomb has you choose three characters before a round begins. Those are then the only three you can swap between during the round.

And… that’s about it. It felt like a competent, harmless team shooter. Nothing to really hate about it, nothing to really grab me, either. Maybe something will click if I can play with more than 5-6 other people at once, so I’ll try and play it at a different time. Until then, it’s in open beta and it’s free, so if team FPS is your thing there’s very little aside from the intro vid that’s going to hurt you for downloading and testing it out.


  • Um… not sure what your on about. I watched that vid, and loled at it. Maybe you have not seen the trailers? There all kind of in that style, so… if you had seen some stuff before it, maybe you would not have been so put off?

    • Doesn’t it seem a bit off that the narrator says the game is “going to kick your teeth in”, seemingly targeted at experienced players, then babies the player with explanations of the most basic of game concepts (like objectives) that have been around forever in team-based shooters and everyone understands anyway? Maybe it was meant to be sarcastic humour but it came across as condescending to me.

      I don’t know much about the game either, but that kind of introduction would have me wondering if this is yet another game that doesn’t understand its target audience.

      • Its a little bit of both… meant to upset the overly precious franchise whores and a sarcastic nod to hardcore fps’ers that at least acknowledge that there are always new people to the genre

      • If you haven’t followed it, like myself, it comes across a bit arrogant and stupid at the same time.

    • I’m with you man. I don’t think the game is struggling for ‘buzz’, the Aussie servers at least are always packed and there’s like 20+ of them.

      I’ll agree that it’s not reaching any new heights in shooters though. As much as it is similar to Brink, they’ve dropped some of the better things from that game – character, weapon and ability customisation. Also, in Brink you have a in-game menu that you can use to tell your team what you are doing (guarding this, hacking that etc) if you didn’t want to use comms.

      Dirty Bomb is very bare bones in it’s approach to objectives in the game, compared to Brink, which is a good an bad thing. Good, because the smaller teams can focus more – Bad, because it can still lead to massive bottle-necking in the maps and promotes a more like CoD (one man army) type of play. Which, will ultimately lead to your teams demise.

      It’s a real shame that they dumped the customisation system, it was pretty robust. Maybe it will inspire more people to try Brink and go back to that 😛

    • To me, it feels like an incredibly shitty, stereotypical “Gamers are mad sick, yo” ad that for some reason exists at the start of the very game it’s advertising.

  • Totally agree… Australian servers… during peak periods are a pain to join because they stay filled for hours… and its a good game despite still being in beta (legitimate beta too… this isn’t a fake pre-release demo like most “open betas” these days.

    Its not trying for buzz either… if anything that’s a really good thing that should be applauded. Too much useless marketing crap in gaming now.

  • I didn’t even watch that intro video hah, you can skip it you know? and i played the closed beta so i already knew what to do but any one who enjoyed brink will fit right in. Also Brink was a fkn awesome game, died out way before its time…And as for servers, last night i was struggling to get into an Australian server as they were all full!

  • Shrug. Seems to fit the style they were going for. This isn’t Counter-Strike, it isn’t Titanfall, it isn’t Team Fortress 2, it isn’t Monday Night Combat. Just because they all happen to be PVP team-based shooters doesn’t mean they all have the same style tutorial video, and that’s fine – their tutorials and youtube ads fit their themes, just like this one seems to. This isn’t a BAD video, it’s thematically appropriate. Just because Luke doesn’t like that theme doesn’t make it a bad one.

    If anything, ‘how not to do it’ would be copying someone else’s style instead of fitting your tutorial video to the same style as the rest of your game.

  • “You’ve gotta educate them…with bullets.”

    Hahaha! Oh god that’s terrible. But let’s not forget:

    “Will the attacking team finish all the objectives in time to win the match? Or will the defenders give them first class tickets to pain town?”

  • Agree with Luke. Kind of serviceable but not special game. I cant see this going the distance but happy to be proven wrong. Only played a few hours but feel everyone is just spamming airstrikes.

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