BeamNG.drive Impressions

Hardcore softbody physics.

In other words, it’s a game where you wreck cars in the most horrific ways possible. Actually, it’s far more expansive than that. BeamNG.drive, which is in Early Access, is a game where the environments and vehicles you explore them with behave in near-realistic fashion, leaving you with a playground to test out things that you’d never dare to attempt in real life.

Getting Wrecked

In its current state, you have two modes to choose from: Freeroam and Scenarios (more coming with the full release).

Freeroam is where I’ve spent most of my time, exploring the maps and testing out anything that crosses my mind. Things like:

“What would happen if a school bus rammed into a compact car at full speed?”

BeamNG Bus Accident.gif

Okay. That question is answered.

“What would happen if you jumped a SUV off a cliff, onto a beach?”

BeamNG SUV Jump.gif

Interesting…

“What if you shot a cannon at a police car under the effects of moon gravity?”

Cannon vs Cop Car.gif

Now we’re talking…

The point is that BeamNG.drive allows you to simulate some pretty intense stuff. Everything is at your fingertips to mess with, and boy are there some things you can mess with. There are so many toys and tools that you can adjust that you might get lost in the sea of details.

The key thing to remember however is that you’re really only limited by what you can think of. I’ve really only played around with the basics, like ramming into things and attempting to do some offroading without totaling my truck, but it’s so much fun. It’s very much a reminder of my childhood where I would crush Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars with rocks to see what sort of horrible, mangled mess I could create.

Then there are the scenarios. The core package includes a ton of different missions to try out, from demolition derby, to rally races, to car chases, and even some driving challenges. These are all extremely fun, because there’s an added layer of challenge to it all. Due to the fact that vehicles behave as if they were in the real world, you are forced to drive differently than you would in games like Gran TurismoForza Motorsport, and Grand Theft Auto. You have to drive safely (unless the scenario involves trying to stop a speeding delivery truck).

But that’s not all…

Mucho Mods

The developers of BeamNG.drive support modding in a way that I’ve rarely seen in video games. The community – which is still fairly small – has full reign over the details of the game, being able to create new vehicles, levels, textures, and scenarios. Users have even created working aircraft to fly around in.

What’s more is that the developers have integrating the mods into the game so well that downloading and installing them is a breeze. The only other game I have played so far that had modding that is as easy to carry out is Fallout 4 on the Xbox One. Mods are very much plug-and-play, and they expand the gameplay by a factor of ten.

desert-bus-ruined-600
Both the bus and desert map are user created. Yes, I was offroading in a school bus and no, it did not go well for the bus.

Not For The Faint Of Heart

BeamNG.drive is a relatively resource intensive game. Sure, you can play it on an old Dell, like my cheap PC for college that sports a “top-of-the-line” Intel integrated graphics processor (heavy sarcasm there), but I’d highly recommend that you play on a PC with a dedicated GPU. The computer I’ve been running this on is a laptop with 16GB of RAM, an Intel i7-4710MQ processor, and an Nvidia GTX 960M graphics card, which runs the game pretty well.

It does make me sweat a little though. I’m considering playing the game in a freezer.

Complex, Yet Deeply Entertaining

BeamNG.drive is a toybox for car geeks and physics nerds, and the level of destructive detail that it can handle is surprising. The vehicles all handle in predictable ways, meaning that you can use your intuition to fumble your way through things.

Currently in Early Access, there’s still far more ground that the game has yet to cover, though development seems to be moving at a steady pace and doesn’t appear to be affected by Newton’s First Law of motion. Yes… I made a physics joke. However, even in it’s current form, I’d say it’s well worth the price of admission.

If you’re a fan of physics, driving, destruction, or all three; you definitely need to look into BeamNG.drive. It’s available now for PC on Steam and directly from the BeamNG website where a free tech demo is available if you want to check it out.

 

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9 thoughts on “BeamNG.drive Impressions

  1. Oh my god.. this game looks like everything I have ever asked for in a sandbox game. Never heard of it either but you just earned it a sale! Pretty sure my macho gaming rig could handle it no problem.

    I have this weird thing whenever I’m driving down a highway. I like to think of what would happen if I just.. cut the wheel in one direction. Just envision the havoc that would ensue. Not sure what that says about me, or if I should even admit that publicly, but I think this game might help answer that question!

    There was a mobile game where you could put a dummy driver into a vehicle and launch them into traffic.. but I can’t remember the name of it, sadly 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You won’t be disappointed, I promise. It’s a blast!

      I’d also say that you aren’t the only one that thinks that way when driving. I’ve had the inclination at times to just jerk the wheel. Not out of any sense of wanting to hurt myself or anyone else though. Just out of the morbid curiosity to see what happens. BeamNG.drive sates that desire quite well.

      As for the game you’re talking about, I think I know which one it is, though I can’t remember for the life of me what it is.

      Liked by 1 person

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