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Dirty Bomb enters closed alpha, get instant access - for a price

Splash Damage's online FPS Dirty Bomb has started letting selected members of the public jump in to its London-based maps. Honestly, players are being allowed to run around unfinished versions of games earlier and earlier. Soon you'll be able to start shooting up wireframe walls with no skybox.

You can get instant access to the alpha test right now, but it's not cheap. $120 not cheap, in fact. That's the price for the Legendary pack, which includes an immediate pass into the game, along with five Founder's Mercs, an artbook, soundtrack and T-shirt.

"We have always believed that multiplayer is more thrilling than single player," reads the updated Dirty Bomb website . "We're dedicated to the perfection of team play. We are committed to developing games that our fans can enjoy for months and years."

"We've taken the unprecedented step of opening up Dirty Bomb's alpha for private testing by fans. Sign up now to help shape Dirty Bomb!"

Buyers of the cheaper Elite ($60) and Veteran ($30) packs still get "Priority Access" to the beta, although won't be allowed in right away. Other purchasing options include the Contributor Pack ($240) and VIP Founder ($320!), which both come with instant access to the developer's IRC channel, along with a selection of other bonuses and the Legendary benefits.

Splash Damage say the reason they're able to offer access so early is their new Echo tech. "Developed by the talented chaps over at Fireteam, Echo basically collects and visualises detailed data from all of Dirty Bomb's multiplayer servers, allowing us to balance and optimise the game in ways we couldn't before." They've put together a video showing how the tool helps them develop the game.

Clearly the price is aimed at those who really want to support the game, especially as all signs point to Dirty Bomb being free-to-play. Anyone tempted?

Thanks, PCGamesN .

Phil Savage
Phil leads PC Gamer's UK team. He was previously the editor of the magazine, and thinks you should definitely subscribe to it. He enjoys RPGs and immersive sims, and can often be found reviewing Hitman games. He's largely responsible for the Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.