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London is calling. Join the professionals.note 

"We're not soldiers. We're hired guns. There's only one thing we fight for: Cold. Hard. Cash.
Phantom, Scrubs Trailer
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Dirty Bomb is an online free-to-play multiplayer Hero Shooter by Splash Damage, available through Steam. It is a PVP, objective-based game in which two teams of mercenaries compete to complete objectives. The game can be best described as "Team Fortress 2 meets Counter-Strike meets Call of Duty", or "Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory in modern-day London."

A string of 'dirty bomb' attacks cripple London, leaving the Central Disaster Authority to restore it. When criminal syndicate Jackal begin disrupting and stealing their technology, the capital is thrown into chaos as mercenaries from around the globe are hired by both sides.

Players take the role of one of a number of unique mercenaries, with their own weapons, special skills, and personalities, and fight to either complete objectives, or prevent the opposing team from completing said objectives. Gameplay is fast-paced, yet tactical and methodical; similar to Counter Strike, most weapons have high recoil and spread, meaning that a player's ability to handle their weapon will play a big part in how encounters will play out, especially at long range, whereas higher health/lower damage on average means most encounters won't be two- or three-hit-kills like one would encounter in a typical match of Call of Duty. There is also a higher degree of mobility than most; most mercs have a relatively high base speed, can sprint indefinitely, and can even walljump for some unique mobility options for creative players. All in all, the game plays like a hybrid of most contemporary big-name shooters, while having a unique aesthetic and personality of its own.

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The game's playable characters include:

The game is free to download and play, with new players being given a couple mercs off the bat, with a list of mercs being rotated through a free-to-play list weekly. Each merc has fixed base stats and special powers, but their weapons and perks are determined by loadout cards; players get free, basic loadout cards for all mercs, and can obtain more through cases (which grant a random card, can be purchased for a small amount of ingame currency, randomly drop, and high-quality cases with guaranteed rarer cards can be bought with real money), buying a specific card from the store (for either real money or ingame currency, and at a fixed, mid-range rarity), or by trading-up lower rarity cards for better ones. The game is currently in beta, with new maps, classes, gameplay modes, and gear being planned.

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Gameplay revolves around two teams of five to eight mercenaries each, representing either Jackal or the CDA, with Jackal trying to accomplish objectives while CDA stops them. With the discontinuation of Execution mode on 22 August, 2017, there are two official game modes: Stopwatch and Objective. The only difference between the two is the fact that respawn waves in Stopwatch are synched and teams switch sides after the round ends.

The game's offical website can be found here.


Dirty Bomb provides examples of the following tropes:

  • A Day in the Limelight
    • Aimee gets her own storyline and comic. Proxy gets this as well, due to being Aimee's target.
    • Turtle, Phoenix, and Proxy star in the Shell Shock comic.
  • Abandoned Warehouse: There is one near the start of Chapel, and a lot more throughout Dome and Dockyard.
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Present in Dome, but rarely used because fighting above ground is much more convenient.
  • A.K.A.-47: Played straight. All of the weapons are based on real guns, but are given made-up (or punny) names, barring the M4A1.
    • The Hochfir SMG and is an MP5-K
    • The Tolen MP is also an MP5-K, sans foregrip
    • The Empire-9 is a Bruger & Thornet MP9, and the MP 400 is a cross between the SIG MPX-P and the Tec-9, but is apparently based off of an AR-15 Platform. The Ryburn MP is stated to have been based off of the Skorpion.
    • The Crotzni is an AK-74SU.
    • The Kek-10 is supposed to be based off the MP 5 but looks like a submachinegun version of an HK32, The SMG-9 looks like an Angstadt Arms UDP-9, and the Blishlok is a cross between a Kriss Victor and Thompson.
    • The K-121 is an HK21 and the MK46 is an MK48
    • The Caulden is a Colt M1911, the M9 is a SIG P226, the Hoigot .224 is a futuristic FN Five-seveN,the Selbstadt .40 is a HK USP Tactical, the Arevarov 9 is a Makarov PM, and the DE .50 is an IMI Desert Eagle.
    • The Smujth & Whetsman is an S&W PPC, and the Simeon .357 is Smith & Wesson Performance Center Model M&P R8.
    • The BR-16 is an M4 Carbine fitted with a handguard padding and folding sights, the Dreiss AR is an HK G3 fitted with a telescoping stock and picatinny rails, and the Stark AR is a Steyr AUG A1.
    • The Timik-47 is an AK-47 fitted w/ picatinny rail, the SHAR-C is a SCAR-H, the Hurtsall 2K appears to be an FN F2000.
    • The Ahnuld-12 is a Winchester model 1887 with sawn off barrel and stock, picatinny rails and synthetic furniture, the Hollunds 880 and the Remburg-7 are both based off the Remington 870, but the Remburg is one with a folding stock, a rail system and a folding stocking.
    • The PDP-70 is an HK-PSG 1, the FEL-IX is a GM6 Lynx and the Grandeur SR is an M14.
    • The Rocket Launcher is based off of the M72 LAW.
  • All There in the Manual: The mercenaries backstories are all located on the official site. Even more information was revealed with the release of the Game's Design Documents.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Almost half the cast thanks to flirty taunts and marriage proposals to Medics regardless of gender.
  • An Adventurer Is You: While not explicitly stated in-game, the mercenaries are divided into five distinct categories.
    • Recon: The recon mercs are characters that specialize in assassination, disruption and revealing enemy positions via spotting mechanics. Three of the four are snipers.
    • Engineers: The engineers are characters that complete the objectives faster than the other mercenaries. Their abilities are typically trap-based in nature.
    • Fire Supports: These mercenaries are characters armed with long-ranged rifles and can provide ammunition for their teammates. These characters also have devastating area assault abilities that can take down EVs and clear areas very quickly.
    • Medics: As the name implies, these characters are responsible for keeping teammates alive via normal healing or through reviving. These classes are equipped with short-ranged personal defense weapons rather than the assault rifles the other classes have.
    • Assault: These characters have big guns, lots of ammo and large health pools. Their kits revolve around killing as many of the enemy as possible while also soaking up damage.
  • An Axe to Grind: Javelin, by default, is equipped with a Tactical Combat Axe.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: During the What the Dickens? event, players would receive trinkets for playing for a certain amount of time.
    • This was followed by Rogue en Vogue, where you can buy event-themed cases and trinkets using event currency earned for playing. Same applies to Fire in the Skies, except you can only buy trinkets.
    • You can earn ranked points for playing the competitive mode to buy special skins and trinkets. At the end of the season, you'll be given a trinket corresponding to the highest rank you've achieved for that season.
  • Anti Poop-Socking: While it is possible to grind matches for in-game cash, the payout per match is low. You get paid substantially more for completing Missions, like "Gain x XP with y merc in your squad." Some missions refresh daily while others refresh every few hours, encouraging you to play for a while, take a break, and come back later in the day.
  • Announcer Chatter: There are two announcers depending on which side you join. A calm, british woman for the CDA side and an angry, british man for the Jackal side.
  • April Fools' Day: On April Fools 2016, the devs teased a Phantom rework, who was desperately needing one to necessitate his addition in a team. The video they released showed flames appearing every time he swung his blade.
    • On April Fools 2017, they released a video of a Phoenix buff showcasing him instagibbing enemies with his healing pulse.
  • Armor Is Useless: Zigzagged. Fragger, Thunder, and Rhino are the heaviest classes in the game and are decked in armor. Nader, however, wears a tank top but has the same health pool as the armored Skyhammer and Red Eye. She's even healthier than Phantom, who is decked head to toe in refractive armor.
  • Artificial Limbs: Phoenix lost his leg and Turtle lost his arm. The latter made prosthetic replacements for both of them.
  • Ascended Extra: The Coaly trinket from the What the Dickens? update is this. It's nigh-ubiquitous because you only needed to play five hours during the event to obtain it. Players loved the design and it was eventually turned into the Coalsplitter trinket and is prominently featured as a spider for the August Summer Squash update.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • The devs wanted the players to vote for the ship's name in Dockyard. Naturally, the fans wanted it called "Boaty McBoatface", but the team decided to go with "Bullship" instead. The fan favorite name is now referenced in one of CDA's losing lines.
    • The fans refer to the objective canisters as milk jugs. In one of the tutorial videos, they are called jugs before being corrected.
  • A-Team Firing: Averted in a similar manner to Counter-Strike. Accuracy drops noticeably while moving or jumping. However, the penalties are not quite as severe as there which, combined with the game's high focus on mobility, means that players can focus on precision OR run-and-gunning and, with enough skill, generally do well at both.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Phantom seems like the typical stealth class and most new players treat him as so. Him having a katana exasperates things because he is also treated as a melee class, despite it being better to use his arsenal of guns. More experienced players learn to use the cloak for its armor and the EMP effect.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: According to Word of God, Jackal has won Dome, Dockyard, and Vault.
  • Badass Boast: Every character has an "I'm the best!" voice line. The best player of an execution round will always say it. Other than that, they have specific lines for killing three or five people in a short amount of time.
    Bushwhacker: "I killed three of you and I'm still alive and handsome!"
  • Badass Gay: Nader has a wife.
  • Badass Grandpa: Red Eye and Sawbonez fit this trope.
  • Batter Up!: In case you forgot the game was set in England, one of the possible melee weapons is a cricket bat. It does higher damage than the two knives at the cost of mobility.
  • Battle in the Rain: It rains occasionally on the Bridge map.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Downplayed example; headshots still do far more damage, and the bigger sniper rifles are usually instant death on headshots , but the generally low damage means that even with stronger guns and squishier mercenaries, headshots usually won't be a one-hit-kill (the sniper rifles being the exception.)
    • That said, there's still a noticeable damage multiplier, so even if it's not instantly lethal, aiming for headshots is still an important practice.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Gold-rarity loadouts have golden guns. Cobalt ones are even shinier. (They're both just as effective as the regular ones.)
  • Boring, but Practical: Medics lack fancy explosives or traps, are squishier than other mercenaries, and typically have smaller, closer-range weapons...but they can revive downed players instantly (whereas other mercs have to stand out in the open for several seconds), and can reliably and quickly restore health (natural health regeneration takes a few seconds to kick in and is painfully slow). A team without a medic will struggle to gain ground, but a team with a good medic can be nearly impossible to push back.
    • Sawbonez, Skyhammer, and Bushwhacker are this because they aren't as flashy as their classmates and have very standard play styles but are still effective at doing their jobs.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Rhino's minigun doesn't need to reload, but this is counteracted by a cooldown.
    • Same also applies to Sparks' lightning gun, except that its battery would short out if it's not allowed to cool down in time.
    • Hunter has no limit on using his arrows, but the EMP bolt needs to recharge.
  • Bragging Rights Reward: You can earn competitive points to buy cases for special loadout cards are a shiny trinket. These cost 1000 points and 2000 points, respectively. A loss nets you 10 points, a draw nets 30, and a win nets 50. Players are also rewarded with a trinket corresponding to the highest rank they've earned at the end of a season.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Every mercenary has the option to say "Good game!"
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Zigzagged. It takes very little in-game currency to roll for loadout cards, and these have a small chance of giving rarer cards; even if they don't, you can fuse ones you don't want together for a higher-quality one of a specific merc, making it easy to start getting loadouts for your favorite classes. On top of that, while you can pay real money for high-quality cases, only Bronze-rank cards offer any tangible benefits (higher rarities, of which there are three, only offer shinier cosmetics), and they aren't difficult to build up to through trading up.
    • Played Straight to an extent with engineers as they tend to be what wins games purely because of their ability to perform objectives faster. This is mitigated by the fact that there is always an engineer on free rotation.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: You cannot shoot through players with anything other than a sniper rifle. Amusingly (or not), this includes your teammates, which can result in you missing a crucial kill from an ally walking in front of you.
    • This also applies to any thrown objects or projectiles such as heartbeat sensors and grenades. Anyone who has wasted a heartbeat sensor as Vassili, or who has gibbed themselves as Nader/Fragger/etc. on a teammate will have a lot to say about this particular element of the game.
  • Camera Perspective Switch: Your character switches to a third-person view when incapacitated.
  • The Caper: The entire premise of Vault is to grab energy cores from the nominal vault and have it carried away via helicopter.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Each mercenary looks, sounds, and acts different, and has different weapon options, perks, and special skills. There is a bit of overlap, however.
  • Cold Sniper: All three snipers. Red Eye stands out because his voice lines are often emotionless and often whispered.
    Redeye: I make people disappear.
    • Red Eye at least seems to enjoy himself while using a mounted gun. Aimee barely shows her feelings.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Enemies are red in tint, your friends are blue. This even applies to certain abilities such as Aura's health station or Kira's laser. This becomes a problem when an enemy is using a shard cobalt loadout, which is blue enough to throw you off for just a fraction of a second, which is way too long in Dirty Bomb time.
    • In the Scrubs trailer, Phantom's team has subtle red undertones while the other team has blue undertones.
  • Combat Medic: Encouraged. Medic's defibrillators work near-instantly (or can be briefly charged for a stronger revive), and their methods of healing, while varied, are universally fire-and-forget, as opposed to, for example, the Team Fortress 2 medic, who needs to have his attention constantly on his patients. Because of this, and because medics' guns are just as effective as any other mercenary's, they are encouraged to shoot as much as they heal.
  • Comeback Mechanic: As long as a player is completing an objective (e.g. planting C4, repairing the EV) the game won't end.
  • Confusion Fu: Wall jumping is a popular tactic to prevent people from hitting all their bullets.
  • Coup de Grâce: Necessary aspect of gameplay, as depleting all of a players' health (unless from Boom, Headshot! or Ludicrous Gibs) will merely incapacitate them. Other players can bring them to their feet given a few moments' leeway, and medics can pick them up instantly. It's always worth it to take a second or two to pump a few rounds or a knife swing at that guy you just killed, just to be sure he's not shooting you in the face again ten seconds later.
  • Critical Existence Failure: You'll go down the second your HP hits 0. Up until then, even at 1HP, you can run, jump, shoot, and even swing a cricket bat around as if you were at full health.
    User Samniss_Arandeen on the Dirty Bomb forums: "Remember, the most important hitpoint is the last."
  • Critical Hit: Headshots deal double damage, except for shotguns which don't deal any extra damage.
  • Cyanide Pill: Players can press "k" in order to kill themselves. At a first glance, this doesn't seem very useful until you realize that you can mitigate the need to search for health and ammo by killing yourself just before the next spawn wave. You can also do this to deny an enemy xp if they're about to finish you off.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Before Nader's release, players would always run up and knife enemies to death to prevent revival. Nader's martyrdom ability punished anyone who tried to do so and received a lot of complaints. After a few weeks people stopped complaining because recognizing an incapped Nader wasn't very difficult and you could still shoot her a few times to keep her down. The only people who complained about this now are players new to the game.
    • In addition players used to playing as Phoenix suffer when they play as Nader, because his context ability is the exact opposite of hers.
    • Sniper rifles and shotguns from other games tend to have a bolt-action/pump-action animation in between shots that are canceled by switching weapons. In Dirty Bomb, the animations repeat themselves, so there is no way to cancel them.
    • Players are able to interrupt the reloading process by sprinting, shaving off a fraction of a second (which is pretty significant in this game). The "Double Time" augment allows you to sprint while reloading, negating this. They've introduced the option where pressing the reload button can reload cancel, but it's slower than default reload cancelling.
  • Deadly Gas: Present in many maps as a map hazard-slash-secondary objective. They often block alternate routes or forward spawns; one team can repair gas pumps to clear them out, while the other team can typically destroy the pumps to put it back and deny the other team access.
  • Death from Above: In multiple varieties!
    • Skyhammer is the first most players get. He can throw a marker that calls down an airstrike over a wide area; while not on the level of lethality as the ones seen in Call of Duty, anyone caught in the area is going to be seriously wounded, if not killed outright. It has a one-minute cooldown, however.
    • Arty calls down artillery strikes with a laser targeter. It only hits a small area, but it has a thirty second cooldown and he can store up to two of them at once, letting him be more strategic with the placement.
    • Kira calls down a Kill Sat. It hits a smaller area than Skyhammer, but it's instant death. Its main drawback is that it travels very slowly, making it easy to avoid if the enemy sees it coming.
  • Deployable Cover: Two mercs have these as their special ability. Turtle creates one out of hard light that takes the brunt of attacks, while Guardian's vaporizes projectiles that reach it for the duration of its effects.
  • Deteriorates Into Gibberish: Players under the effect of a concussion grenade do this.
  • Dirty Bomb: The Excuse Plot explains not only why massive areas of London are deserted but also provides a battlefield hazard to avoid.
  • Double Tap: Players are expected to knife their enemy upon a successful kill to prevent a medic from reviving them.
  • Drop-In-Drop-Out Multiplayer
  • Dual Tonfas: The only dual wielded weapons in the game are a pair of batons that deal the least damage per quick attack but has a heavy attack on par with the katana.
  • Dwindling Party: Execution mode, because players are permanently dead until the next round starts.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • All mercs had grenades at one point.
    • Instead of having a set of guns to choose from, players were limited to their default kit.
    • Phantom originally was a sniper, then a pure melee class, and finally a submachine gun class.
  • Elevator Action Sequence: There are three prominent elevators in Underground, but only two where a lot of fighting can potentially take place in. Being able to safely use the elevator usually means that you have a stronghold on the area.
  • Emergency Weapon: Averted. Sidearms are only slightly weaker and melee attacks do reasonable damage, meaning all weapons can be useful in some situations.
  • Empty Levels: Your player level essentially only shows how long you've been playing the game, and has absolutely no effect on game play at all. All equipment and abilities are determined by the loadout system which is unaffected by level.
  • The Engineer: Several mercenaries possess the passive "Objective Specialist" ability; they perform context-sensitive objectives like repairing or planting/defusing C4 much faster than their counterparts. Mercs with the Mechanic augment on their loadout are faster than normal, but nowhere near Objective Specialist speeds.
  • Escort Mission: In Chapel, Bridge, and the Dockyard, the attacking team is tasked with escorting an EV to a station.
  • Every Bullet Is a Tracer: Only a select few weapons have this effect, though; all sniper rifles except the Grandeur SR have an airy, grey trail, while the Revive Gun has a blue/red coloured trail (for allies/enemies respectively).
  • Excuse Plot: Some dirty bombs went off, a lot of places are covered in toxic gas or radiation, and now a bunch of mercs are fighting in those places over various objectives. There may be more of a plot to the maps and events later on, but for now it's fairly bare bones.
  • Evolving Title Screen: The title screen changes with every new merc addition or new event.
  • Eye Scream: Aimee burns Proxy's eye, leaving her blinded and bandaged.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Roughly half the roster wear these. The other half sport full-on gloves, except for Arty.
  • Five-Man Band: Competitive teams are in teams of five, and the meta is built around this.
    • The Hero: An assault class, usually Fragger, as he is responsible for most of the manpower.
    • The Lancer: A medic, usually a Sawbonez, who follows the assault around to keep him topped off.
    • The Smart Guy: The engineer.
    • The Big Guy: A fire support class who takes out the E Vs and can keep the other team off the point. Typically Skyhammer or Arty.
    • The Chick: This role is a free one and can be taken by another assault (usually Thunder), another Medic (Sparks or Aura) and Red Eye (the most viable of the three spotters).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Each class has a mercenary of each temperament:
    • Sanguine: Kira, Phantom, Phoenix, Fragger and Proxy
    • Choleric: Skyhammer, Aimee, Aura, Thunder and Fletcher
    • Phlegmatic: Stoker, Vassili, Sparks, Nader and Bushwhacker
    • Melancholic: Arty, Red Eye, Sawbonez, Rhino, and Turtle
  • Fragile Speedster: Generally, the faster the merc is, the lower the health. Being the joint fastest mercs in the game, Aura and Sparks stand out. The marginally slower Kira and Proxy (with speed stats of 450 compared to Aura/Sparks' 470) also come equipped with similarly enlarged healthbars in comparison.
  • Friendly Fireproof: With the exception of Competitive games (and, much more recently, servers with the relevant setting changed), Dirty Bomb has no friendly fire. If a friendly runs/stands in front of your gunsight when you're gunning for an enemy, they soak up all the bullets as though one was vainly unloading into a wall.
  • Foil:
    • Sparks to Aura. Both are medics with lowest health and highest speed. Aura has close-ranged weaponry, and the best source of group healing in the game while Sparks has her long-ranged REVIVR and the worst group and single healing but makes up for it by being the best reviver. In their backstories, Aura used to be a med student whose life work was stolen and had to turn to the mercenary market for work while Sparks has a mysterious, yet somehow more violent past than her current occupation. They even flip their hair in opposite directions.
    • Arty to Kira. Both are fire supports that share that even share the same weapon pool. Arty has typical health and speed, gives ammo out in packs and his special ability is to fire quick artillery rounds. Kira, on the other hand, is a fragile speedster that gives ammo via a station and her ability dissipates after a while and still needs to be manually controlled for its duration.
    • Nader and Rhino. Both of them are assault classes with gun-type abilities instead of the usual deployables that are primarily used for keeping the enemy at bay, while still being able to deal a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Among the assaults, Nader has the least health while Rhino has the most. Nader is a very versatile pick while Rhino is often left for more defensive roles. Her grenade launcher can fire five grenades before having to “reload” while Rhino can continuously fire bullets as long as he doesn’t allow the minigun to overheat. Nader is also more reliant on her primary weapon than Rhino, who usually uses it when ambushed in close quarters.
    • Phantom to Red Eye. Both of them are ex-soldiers who left after earning the ire of their superiors. Gameplay wise, both of them are known for operating at a closer range compared to the other two recons and their abilities revolve around hiding themselves. They even share a line: “You can’t hit what you can’t see.” Red Eye, however is still considered a sniper is geared towards mid-long range combat while Phantom has front line weaponry comparable to Phoenix and Nader. Their methods hiding themselves also oppose each other as Red Eye’s smoke grenade blocks light while Phantom’s armor refracts it so it goes through him. Personality-wise, Phantom is young and hammy while Red Eye is old and generally soft-spoken.
  • Glass Cannon: Proxy. Her official profile sums it up best.
    Proxy is a Glass Cannon: fast, agile, and particularly deadly around corners, near bottlenecks and indoors. Her Proximity Mines can be rapidly dropped to delay, damage and deal death to the enemy. She should always stay mobile, avoiding enemy fire rather than engaging in protracted firefights.
    • Aura and Sparks have even lower maximum health than Proxy, and run faster than her too. Aura even has access to the same shotguns Proxy does whilst Sparks acts as a faux-sniper.
    • Kira and Aimee have the same stats as Proxy, but Kira has her satellite laser and Aimee is a sniper.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The Map Overhaul and Framerate Optimization update. Otherwise known as the MOFO update.
    • Aimee's ability is the Scanning Node (and) Invasive Tactical Covert Hyperdynamic Device, or SNITCH.
  • Gradual Regeneration: If a player hasn't received any damage for around three seconds, his health starts to slowly fill back up.
    • Sawbonez's medkits are capable of restoring a lot of health. However, to balance them out against the methods of his peers (Sparks' smaller medkits heal ~30 health, but do so instantly, while Aura's healing station rapidly heals friendlies, but only while they stand in the designated area), the medkits heal whoever picks them up over a period of time; effectively an upgraded version of the natural health regeneration mechanic. Like that very same mechanic, the healing can be cancelled out if the affected player takes any kind of damage.
  • Grenade Hot Potato: The "Pineapple Juggler" perk allows this by swatting away grenades with your melee weapon. The problem with this is that it is situational, since only seven of the twenty mercs have access to what are considered grenades. On top of that, Fletcher's sticky bombs get stuck on your body and Nader's and Stoker's grenades explode on contact, so timing has to be impeccable, deflecting a smoke grenade is pointless because Red Eye would still be capable of seeing through it, Thunder's concussion grenade still affects you, Fragger typically cooks his nades and Skyhammer rarely, if ever, actually uses it as a grenade.
  • Hand Cannon: Downplayed example. Revolvers and Desert Eagles are available for certain classes and can kill most mercs with two headshots.
  • Handicapped Badass:
    • Phoenix has a prosthetic leg.
    • Turtle has a prosthetic arm.
    • Red Eye and Proxy have both lost one of their eyes. Red Eye, however, has allowed himself to upgrade it.
  • Healing Factor: All of the mercenaries slowly regain health over time if they haven't taken damage after a while.
  • Healing Shiv: Sparks' REVIVR rifle can revive incapacitated teammates and damage enemies. Defibrillators are this too, as they revive and zap.
  • Hero Shooter: The mercenaries you play as have their own unique personalities with their own unique abilities.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: The hitboxes of melee weapons have an arc of influence in front of the player, and it lasts a little bit longer than you would expect; it's entirely possible to hit two enemies in the same swing, or to swing at one enemy and then turn around to hit another with the same swing. Getting a melee multikill is quite a satisfying achievement.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Proxy can be killed by her own mines if an enemy shoots them near her. This applies to Fletcher to a lesser extent, because he typically detonates his explosives immediately after deployment.
    • This applies to all explosive mercs, as mishandling said ability can get you killed.
    • A very rare occurrence, but Bushwhacker can get killed by his own turret if he's caught in the crossfire.
  • Hold the Line: The entire purpose of the defending side. Notable in that the line is dynamic; as the attackers push forward or lose ground, the defenders' spawning point is pushed back or forward, respectively.
    • Stopwatch mode is a competitive take on the concept: one team as attackers tries to complete the objectives as fast as possible with the defenders trying to stop them, as normal; afterwards, however, the teams switch and the former defenders now have to beat their adversaries' completion time.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The women in Dirty Bomb are almost always smaller than their class mates, which also means that they can take less punishment, but move much quicker. Even Nader, who is as large as mercs in her health pool is tiny in comparison to the rest of the assaults. The only exceptions to this rule are Javelin and Guardian, who both have the same health pool as their toughest classmates.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: As with a majority of First-Person Shooters, unequipped weapons don't appear. It's interesting to note that characters have items on their models, such as an MP400 strapped to Vassili's chest, but they do not indicate that the player has that item equipped.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Teabagging is specifically cited as an example as dickish behaviour, which is looked down upon. Teabagging in-game actually triggers special voice lines.
  • Incoming!: It's a voice command. Players typically use this to alert their teammates of an incoming airstrike.
  • Infinite Supplies: Ammo stations dispense limitless ammo to anyone standing beside it.
  • Interface Screw: Thunder's concussion grenades can blind you if you're facing the explosion directly, or turn your screen gray and distorted if you were caught in the blast.
    • Having an explosive explode near you results in dirt covering part of your screen. Of course, this can be disabled.
    • If you get damaged enough, the screen's edges start getting caked in blood, which become larger the more damaged you get. Because this has a tendency to royally screw up a player desperately trying to escape, this can be disabled in the settings.
  • It's a Wonderful Failure: Happens to the CDA when Jackal, who are a terrorist syndicate, win. This ranges from watching a helicopter fly away with important data, to the flooding of an underground railway system, to the destruction of a research facility they were supposed to protect.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: The cookie-cutter mercs around the 110-120 health range, with access to automatic/burst weapons because of their versatility. This includes Skyhammer, Arty, Stoker, Fragger, Sawbonez, Bushwhacker, Turtle, and Nader.
    • With regards to the submachine guns, the Kek-10 is this because it has decent accuracy, fire rate, damage, and clip size. Because of this, it's considered the go to gun for anyone who has it available.
  • Justified Tutorial: Skyhammer is brought to MercServ HQ and the training process is more or less their way of familiarizing new mercs with the company's procedures.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Phantom and Kira can use one of these as their melee; they are currently the only ones who can do so. The katana itself swings at a slower rate compared to the other melee weapons, but has greater range and deals more damage. A lunge with the katana can kill all lower health mercs in one hit.
  • Kill It with Fire: Such as the fire Stoker can inundate entire areas with using his Molotovs.
  • Kill Streak: You can get the Killing Spree, Rampage, Unstoppable, and Godlike badges after getting 6, 8, 10, and 15 kills, respectively.
  • Kukris Are Kool: Red Eye, Thunder, Aimee and Stoker can use one of these as their melee weapons.
  • Laser Sight: Bushwhacker's sentries have this, despite being aimbots that can never miss. This is probably so that distant players can determine whether or not it should be neutralized.
  • Last Chance Hit Point: If you are incapacitated, you have one hundred health minus whatever the remaining damage of whatever killed you.
  • Law of Chromatic Superiority: Bronze over Iron over Lead; Cobalt, Gold, and Silver only have cosmetic differences.
  • Le Parkour: Mercs can wall jump to reach their destination faster or to get onto ledges. The Springy perk allows you to do three consecutive wall jumps.
  • Leeroy Jenkins:
    • Lone-Wolfing can let a good player do some damage, but more often than not, it's more effective to work on the objectives. That being said, there are occasions where an enemy team focused on the front lines might not notice a single player slipping behind them to complete the objective.
    • Bum-rushing enemies is generally a suicidal move, unless you happen to be good at walljumping and can stay in the air to throw their aim off while still landing hits. For the most part, unless the enemy is already weakened or it's very close quarters, rushing in is just a good way to give the enemy free kills.
    • Notably, Phantom is specifically designed for both of these playstyles. His cloaking can let him get behind enemies to wreak havok, and the shimmer is vague enough that rushing a distracted enemy while cloaked might give you the chance to gun them down before they can react.
  • Ludicrous Gibs: Rare, but dying to explosives when low on health or bleeding out has a chance to cause this. Skyhammer's airstrikes will always do this on a direct hit. (Obviously, you can't be revived from being a pile of limbs.)
  • Magical Defibrillator: All medics, bar Sparks, have a defibrillator that can revive incapacitated teammates.
  • Meaningful Name: The mercs' handles are all related to their abilities somehow. See the character page for more details.
    • The Blishlok is named after the Blish lock system, which is present in the Thompson submachine gun, which the Blishlok is sort of based on.
  • Microtransactions: Every mercenary can be bought using the in-game currency or by spending real-life dosh. You can buy cases in the store for the chance of higher tier loadouts, but that isn't necessary as they are purely cosmetic and their lower-tier bronze versions can easily be bought with in-game currency. The only things that are impossible to earn in-game, whether through use of credits or random drops, are the obsidian skins.
  • Mighty Glacier: Rhino, Thunder, and Fragger all (potentially) tote the heaviest weapons and the lowest speed-to-health ratios.
  • The Millstone: While it's frustrating whenever a teammate doesn't know how to play their role properly (ex. never giving ammo, forgetting to revive, etc.), they are usually harmless and their inexperience can be played around with. An inexperienced Red Eye, who doesn't know how to properly smoke and tosses it around willy nilly is liable to blind their friends and get them killed.
  • More Dakka: Most weapons are fairly tame in terms of fire rate and magazine; however, Rhino's chaingun plays it completely straight. All mercs can utilize mounted machine guns somewhere on every map with similar rules to the chaingun, and Thunder introduces a handheld one that eats ammo faster than you can say "Medic!"
  • Multinational Team: Though some are unconfirmed, there are five from England (one of them, a Scotsman), five from various regions of the United States, a Chinese man, a Nigerian, a German, a Japanese woman, two Russians (one might be of false nationality), a Spaniard, an Australian, a Frenchwoman, a Turk and with Javelin's release, a Norweigan.
    • As of July 11th, 2017 (Turtle's release date), this puts Dirty Bomb only four nationalities behind Overwatch (who, with the inclusion of Nigerian character Doomfist, bumped their list of represented nations up to 15). Javelin - the only Norwegian in either game - showing up in August cuts that gap down to three.
  • My Friends... and Zoidberg: A recent patch to the game added some new voice lines to the announcers. One of these new lines for the Jackal announcer slips one of these in, targeted at the game's resident (original) swordsman.
    Jackal Announcer: Mission complete! Thanks, ladies, gentlemen... boys... girls... Phantom.
  • Name McAdjective: Some of the mercs use this as insults.
    Bushwhacker: "Oooh, touchy. Touched a nerve there. Ain't you touchy McTouchy-Nervenstein?"
    Vassili:"You think you're Mr. SpecialExcitingPants. But you're not. You're Mr. Boring McBoringSnoring."
  • Near Victory Fanfare: A tense countdown begins when the timer drops down to thirty seconds.
  • Not the Intended Use: Medics' defibrillators and Sparks' revive gun are meant to pick up allies, but creative or bored players may notice they do significant damage as well; it's not all that uncommon to see an Aura running around zapping enemies, or a Sparks shooting them in the head with a healing dart (which is even an instant kill!)
  • One-Hit Kill: Though sniper rifles can down most mercs with a single headshot, they aren't able to kill them outright. Even explosives need you to be at the very epicenter for you to be die completely.
  • One-Hit Polykill: The sniper rifles can do this; however, they are an unusual example in that there is no damage falloff when you penetrate targets, meaning you could theoretically headshot an entire team with one bullet (as long as there are no Rhinos).
    • Melee weapons can do this as well, but the katana stands out for its range.
  • One-Man Army: Mostly averted, however a player who is both very accurate and very skilled at the walljumping mechanics can run through enemy lines, gunning down enemies left and right while rarely taking a hit due to their mobility. It's rare, but a sight to see when it does happen.
  • Overly Long Gag: A few of the mercenaries has a "sorry" taunt that can last up to thirty seconds.
  • Palette Swap: Excluding Founders and certain Obsidians, all skins are this.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The Founders' Packs, and their unique skins for the original five mercenaries, are rewarded yo people who financially supported the game before the end of the closed alpha. Beta fighter obsidian cards were given to players who participated in the closed beta weekend, where a free obsidian card was promised.
    • The Obsidian Operative loadout cards are also only available for a limited time only.
  • Play Every Day: You get a bonus for your first game of the day
  • Player Tic: Players often inspect their weapons before an Execution round starts because there is nothing better to do. Players also tend to wall jump around.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Most mercenaries have this before using their combat abilities.
    Skyhammer (airstrike): Dig a trench or bugger off! Here comes the thunder!
    Bushwhacker (deployable turret): Mnh.. there should do it.
    Nader (grenade launcher): Grenaaaade party!!
    Phantom (refractive armour): Goin' dark. / *various ghost-like noises*
    Arty (artillery strike): ARTY ON THE WAY!
  • Precision F-Strike: Despite being a tad grittier than other Hero Shooters, not many of these actually occur. For a long time, Phantom and Arty were the only ones to let one fly; Phantom after one-shotting an enemy with his melee weapon (given such a trigger after the line's use in the Scrubs trailer) and Arty through one of his taunts. Now, however, Javelin has one of her own for when she fires her rocket launcher.
    Phantom: Trick or treat, motherfucker!
    Arty: Ah, go fuck yourself.
    Javelin: Panzer fuck you!!
  • Private Military Contractors: All of the mercenaries, basically.
  • Punny Name: Some of the A.K.A.-47 names for the weapons are like this:
    • The Ahnuhld-12, a lever-action shotgun, is a reference to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Arnold Schwarzenegger (a Model 1887 being one of the weapons used by the T-800), as well as ripping on Arnie's Funetik Aksent.
    • The Remburg-7 is a Portmanteau of Remington and Mossberg, two arms manufacturers well-known for their shotguns.
    • The Lactic-40 is based off of the Milkor MGL.
    • The SHAR-C is just the SCAR-H, with the "C" and "H" interchanged.
    • The Hurstall 2K, hurts all.
  • Quick Melee: The game allows players to bind a key to a specific "Quick Melee" function, allowing players to perform the heavy melee attack (lunging or stabbing) with the press of a single button. A light melee attack which does less damage (and is performed quicker) is available, by switching to a character's melee weapon and pressing the left mouse button.
  • Random Number God: Equipment cases are this.
  • Real-Time Weapon Change
  • Regenerating Health: Every single mercenary is capable of regenerating health if they haven't taken damage for a while. Having the Tough augment lets it start sooner. Aura and Sawbonez' healing abilities expedite the regneration.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: A few variants show up. True to form, they're devastating up close, but atypically they're even capable of doing reasonable damage at medium-range.
  • Scenery Porn: Despite being still in beta, there is a lot of detail to the maps and even the occasional floating of a plastic bag/newspaper/leaves.
  • Score Screen: By default, you can press TAB to view the level, squad and experience points earned for every player on the server. When the game ends, the player is treated to three sreens, the first showing the scoreboard that also displays everyone's kill/death ratio. The second shows your experience breakdown, xp/minute, and progress until the next level. The third is for credit breakdown.
  • Shell-Shock Silence: Happens if Thunder's concussion grenade explodes near you.
  • Shoot the Medic First: Medics and Engineers are very high value targets.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: The entire Dome map is this. The Jackals have to overload the stations, destroy the power pylons and the anti-aircraft guns for their airship to take off only for it to come crashing in the map's continuation, Dockyard.
    • Skyhammer's sequence for the pre-rework tutorial was this. He repairs a generator to power up a filter, only for it to blow up and fill the room he's in with poisonous gas.
  • Short-Range Shotgun: Averted as the shotguns have pretty decent range. The Ahnuld-12 gets a special mention for having the most range.
  • Skill Gate Character: Skyhammer has a devastating airstrike, free ammo refills, and his weapons are the archetypal "accurate with minimal recoil" weapons, encouraging a run-and-gun spray-and-pray strategy. In practice, his weapons' lower damage tends to lose out to other, more powerful guns in the hands of players who can control them, and his airstrike's long cooldown make them less effective at controlling objectives than the shorter cooldowns of grenades, traps, or artillery strikes.
    • That said, Skyhammer finds use in the competitive scene, where he can decimate entire teams with a well-placed airstrike and is crucial to keeping his friends' guns fed.
    • Rhino is a tank, with high health and a minigun that absolutely decimates people at medium to short ranges. His only weakness are people who know how to land consistent headshots or catch him unaware, which is pretty easy to do considering the nature of the game.
  • Sniper Rifle: The snipers in this game have access to either the Fel-ix or MOA SNPR-1 for bolt-actions, the PDP-70 if they want a scoped semi-auto rifle, and the Grandeur SR, which is a scopeless battle rifle with a similar effective distance.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Some of the mercs' insults delve into this.
    Bushwhacker:While entertaining, and possibly educational, you being such an asshole does not advance proceedings.
  • Steel Ear Drums: Averted. Being to close to a concussion grenade will temporarily deafen the player.
  • Straight Gay: Nader. Confirmed by the wiki and by the devs on Twitter.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Multiple mercs have the ability to invoke this:
    • Arty and Skyhammer call down mortar strikes and airstrikes, respectively.
    • Fragger and Nader utilize grenades (via throwing them and shooting them from a launcher, respectively).
    • Fletcher and Proxy use mines, with Fletcher's being remote-detonated and Proxy's being proximity.
    • And now Javelin's in a class of her own, with the game's only rocket launcher.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: Every merc has a line before activating their devastating abilities.
    • On another note, every weapon has a unique firing noise, so astute players can easily identify which weapons the enemies are using.
  • Spider-Sense / Combat Clairvoyance: The augments Bomb Squad and Guardian Angel do this, respectively. Bomb squad allows you to see enemy deployables, up to and including grenades, but it really just helps you notice something coming towards you. Guardian Angel, on the other hand, gives you an audio of any oncoming air strike, so you immediately know when it's time to bolt out of there.
    • Guardian has this as an innate abilitity in the form of her Incoming Detection System. It provides an audio warning and red halo visual of where an air/artillery strike is about to hit, giving her around two seconds to deploy her Sky Shield.
  • Tactical Rock–Paper–Scissors: Averted. Unlike other games in the Hero Shooter genre, there aren't any hard counters and whoever comes out on top of a confrontation boils purely down to skill. The closest thing the game has to this relationship would be Red Eye vs Turtle vs Phantom. Red Eye can see through Phantom's cloak, who can disable Turtle's shield, who can protect himself from Red Eye's sniper shots. However, Turtle doesn't always need the protection the shield provides, Red Eye can always maneuver to a better position, and Phantom being spotted doesn't render him useless.
  • Taking You with Me: Nader drops a live grenade when she dies. While it can kill enemies, it also prevents her from being revived.
    • Stoker has a similar ability where his molotov will drop on his body, but only if it's been primed beforehand.
  • Team Shot: The winning team is showcased after an Execution match.
  • Technicolor Fire: Stoker's molotovs either appear dark red-orange or bright blue depending on which team you're on.
  • Tuckerization: The bots on the Assault Course are named after the devs.
  • Useless Useful Spell: A few of the augments are this, leading players to avoid certain cards with them. A few of them have been removed with the second generation but some of them still remain
    • Big Ears and Sneaky which, respectively, made enemies' footsteps more audible and masked yours. This doesn't really do anything as you guys would probably have met each other the moment you hear their footsteps.
    • Cool increased the amount of time you could fire on the MG before it overheated. Most players burst fire with the mounted MGs because they rendered you immobile and exposed your head. Execution maps don't even have mounted guns, rendering this augment useless.
    • Pineapple Juggler: This allowed you to throw grenades back but any Fragger worth his salt knows how to time them so that they detonate the split second they reached you. They reworked it so that all grenades (frag grenades, concussion grenades, smoke grenades and airstrike markers) can batted away, but it was never practical and was removed from the second generation.
    • Try Hard: If you die without getting a kill, you get an extra health bonus in your next life. This becomes arbitrary as you become better at the game, so you may never even end up triggering it.
    • Quick Eye and Focus: Great for snipers but useless for everyone else, since running and gunning is much more viable.
  • Vendor Trash: Once you reach a certain level, lead, iron and possibly bronze become nothing but trade-up fodder.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: Reviving allies is absolutely vital, regardless of whether you're a medic or not; picking up an ally saves them the trip back from spawn and helps you apply more pressure on the enemy. On top of that, at least half the classes have the ability to give their allies ammo and health, and doing so is critical to keeping your team's magazines full and health high.
    • It's actually sort of enforced seeing how reviving, healing and restocking allies all result in valuable Experience points.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Finishing off wounded enemies is a vital part of gameplay. There's nothing stopping you from being merciful and doing it with a bullet to the head... or from doing it via repeated shots or a knife to the groin.
    • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: However, it's in your best interests to do it as fast as possible, lest you get jumped by an enemy medic who promptly undoes all your hard work.
  • Yet Another Stupid Death: You can be killed by your own fire support, grenades, or accidentally flash yourself, which would likely lead to your death.
  • You Mean "Xmas": They celebrate Dickensmas instead of Christmas.
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