Next Car Game (Bugbear)
I still have fond memories of epic LAN games involving FlatOut and its sequel so when Bugbear announced their intentions for a new car game it was hard not to get excited. A failed Kickstarter did nothing to diminish their passion to deliver an uncompromising racing game with sophisticated physics and damage modeling and the game is now available on Steam Early Access.
As Bugbear does not own the rights to the FlatOut license their new title has the work in progress name of Next Car Game. The developers have a lot of ambition for this game and promises to deliver the racing and wrecking from games such as FlatOut and Destruction Derby mixed with some Street Rod inspired vehicle upgrading. This is great news for racing game enthusiasts and if any studio can deliver on these lofty claims its Bugbear.
Unlike some other Early Access titles, Next Car Game is still in a very early state and is closer to a demo than a game at this point. There are two cars available, one American and one European which you can try out on two tracks or a demolition arena against up to 24 AI opponents. The tracks, one gravel and one tarmac are pretty straightforward but offer a nice glimpse of what direction the game will take.
The game runs on an in-house engine that specializes in dynamic visual car damage and destructible environments. The FlatOut games were notorious for tracks that looked like warzones after races got underway and Next Car Game looks set to continue this fine tradition. The current tracks don’t have quite as much scenery to demolish yet but you can scatter tires everywhere and smash into signs. Walls also crumble under impact and other cars can be smashed to pieces. Stuff like the handling is still being tweaked obviously but even at this early stage the game is a lot of fun. There isn’t any customization options beyond swapping the tires and engine of your car yet but the developers plan to include in-game classifieds where you can purchase and sell car cars and parts.
One of the benefits of purchasing your Early Access copy, apart from the reduced price, is the inclusion of the Technology Sneak Peak. It is basically a physics playground where you can mess around with ramps, jumps and destructible scenery. The FlatOut games had some very cool mini-games and if the Technology Sneak Peak is any indication there is a lot of potential for some crazy stuff in Next Car Game as well.
Next Car Game is clearly a labor of love and we are expecting great things from this game. To experience some of the action yourself sign up for their newsletter to get your hands on a free demo version of the Technology Sneak Peak or better yet purchase the Early Access version of the game.