Splash Damage's countdown is complete and their new IP has been revealed, at least in spirit. It's titled Dirty Bomb and it's a PC exclusive multiplayer first-person shooter that frankly looks similar to Brink in many ways. Other details can also be extrapolated from what we've seen, such as the game being in a modern or near-future London setting, that it may revolve a Counter Strike style of set-us-up-the-bomb gameplay, and that it's probably going to be free-to-play.
Free-to-play? It's not directly stated in the trailer, but it's probably safe to assume. First off, Dirty Bomb is being published by WarChest Games, a publisher created by Splash Damage that states straight away in their logo: "Free Multiplayer Games." If that's not straightforward enough, and as a cynical and suspicious gamer myself I can understand, Splash Damage made it pretty clear earlier this year.
Splash Damage CEO Paul Wedgwood said the following in an interview with Gamasutra:
"It's really important to us that our games -- the games that come from WarChest -- should be free."
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Dirty Bomb is just how strikingly similar it is to Brink, at least visually. The faces and models in the trailer conjure flashbacks to Splash Damage's earlier title, though the addition of women models is absolutely a step in the right direction. Is that really the sort of first impression Splash Damage wanted to create with its first trailer, though? Brink in London with women?
As far as advertising campaigns go, Splash Damage is simply following a standard path here. Release a teaser trailer, don't reveal too much information, and slowly build hype up to the game's launch. With the negative connotation associated with Brink, however, it might have been prudent to go to reveal more just to help differentiate the title.
Ultimately everything depends on the simple issue of whether Dirty Bomb is a good game or not, especially since it's a free to play title that everyone will be able to try. Still, we've seen one trailer now and if I had to sum it up in one sentence it would be: Here's Dirty Bomb, a free-to-play multiplayer FPS that looks a lot like Brink. Check out the new site and reserve your user name now.
Announcement trailer - Youtube