GSY Preview PC

Everyone here knows Bugbear, the Finnish studio responsible for both the excellent, yet underrated, Flatout series (Flatout 1 and 2 on PC, XBOX and PS2 and, of course, Ultimate Carnage on 360) as well as the recent Ridge Racer reboot not so long ago (a game we enjoyed but found to share little with the series roots). Eager to jump back into the world of muscle cars, the team has recently launched "Next Car Game" (working title) through crowdfunding. The game is currently available via Early Access on Steam and, thus far, feels like a worthy successor to Flatout and Destruction Derby. Read on for more.

Gentlemen Start Your Engines!

Outside of the annual Need for Speed installments, pure arcade racers haven't exactly been booming as of late. Bugbear hasn't forgotten what it takes to make such a game, however, and we find plenty of slips and fish tails on tap here. As of writing, only two race tracks are available in the Early Access version of Next Car Game along with a stock car stadium which allows players to indulge in their murderous impulses. Playable both in practice mode and in race mode - against a single opponent or against an entire field of 12 to 24 cars -, the two tracks are already exciting to race through, due primarily to the unpredictable nature of each lap. Indeed, Next Car Game features rather aggressive AI which rarely hesitates to make full contact with the player, allowing for some spectacular moments, yet somehow never feeling completely scripted. Even at this early stage (pre-alpha), we found each race to be supremely engaging despite the short length of both tracks.

The chemistry of physics

Great driving physics come as no surprise to those familiar with Bugbear's previous efforts, and even at this early stage, Next Car Game is no exception. Damage modeling is exemplary as well and has a significant impact on handling without ruining the fun even if reality is twisted a bit as cars bend like an accordion. The game focuses on big and heavy cars, of course, which bounce around the course in a way that wouldn't disappoint Bo and Luke. Still, there is quite logically a bit of polish lacking at this stage in the game, complete with missing audio bites when cars land after a jump and certain overly demanding visual settings (reflections are particularly greedy, antialiasing could be more efficient, etc.) dragging performance down a bit. With some extra shine, however, we expect this to become something special. The game looks good overall but the most impressive things with the damage system are the flying tires and chunks of concrete flying around which never get old. This is a real man's sport for certain!

Impressions


The range of available games hitting Steam in Early Access form continues to grow with another promising title which easily hangs with the likes of Snow and Assetto Corsa, both of which we recently covered on Gamersyde. The staff here is certainly hoping these games find success in the coming months along with potential ports (Xbox One and PS4, not to be too specific) but we'll certainly be keeping you up to date on the developments happening with Next Car Game.

Note:

While the game runs fairly well on our test rig (i5 4670k@4.0 GHz, 8gb ram, Win 7 x64, and an nVidia GTX 670 OC Gainward), we were forced to turn off ambient occlusion and dynamic reflection settings in order to hit the desired framerate. The game seems to have an issue with triple buffering on some cases, making dips much more noticeable. The few hiccups you might notice in our videos are due to capture though, as we could play the game smoothly at 60 fps. The first 3 videos use shadows at a medium setting while the other three are maxed out (except for ambient occlusion and reflection that is). Do keep in mind that the final game should be much better optimized.
moroboshi
moroboshi
Commented on 2014-02-04 19:44:58
Sadly Bugbear seem to have misunderstood why Destruction Derby worked - small tracks packed with LOTS of cars, and so masses of crashes. This just looks empty and dull.
In reply to
asdfg
asdfg
Commented on 2014-02-04 19:50:40 In reply to moroboshi
Posted by moroboshi
Sadly Bugbear seem to have misunderstood why Destruction Derby worked - small tracks packed with LOTS of cars, and so masses of crashes. This just looks empty and dull.
And this is the finished product and everything is set in stone...
In reply to
GriftGFX - He can also<br>ban your ass!
GriftGFX
Commented on 2014-02-04 20:11:05 In reply to moroboshi
Posted by moroboshi
Sadly Bugbear seem to have misunderstood why Destruction Derby worked - small tracks packed with LOTS of cars, and so masses of crashes. This just looks empty and dull.
Tech/engine demo. The game isn't even in alpha ffs...
In reply to
asdfg
asdfg
Commented on 2014-02-04 20:25:54 In reply to GriftGFX
Posted by GriftGFX
Tech/engine demo. The game isn't even in alpha ffs...
Nah, it's Bugbear man, they done lost it since Flatout 3!
In reply to
Driftwood - Dictateur en chef
Driftwood
Commented on 2014-02-04 20:28:05 In reply to asdfg
Bugbear had nothing to do with Flatout 3...
In reply to
asdfg
asdfg
Commented on 2014-02-04 20:36:45 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
Bugbear had nothing to do with Flatout 3...
I know, sarcasm can be hard to express in text...
In reply to
Driftwood - Dictateur en chef
Driftwood
Commented on 2014-02-04 20:50:39 In reply to asdfg
My bad, I'm still a bit feverish, it might be why. :p
In reply to
MrWhite
MrWhite
Commented on 2014-02-04 21:18:11 In reply to moroboshi
Posted by moroboshi
Sadly Bugbear seem to have misunderstood why Destruction Derby worked - small tracks packed with LOTS of cars, and so masses of crashes. This just looks empty and dull.
I think you've misunderstood, not Bugbear. It also tells me you've not played any of the demo's or have watched any videos concerning them. There can be up to 24 cars on the track at once, which is sufficient enough for carnage going into corners with cars toppling and rolling all over the place in front of you as everyone else smashes into other cars to either get them off the road or take position. It's great fun. Don't be so quick to judge this. It'll surprise you how good it is once you pick it up and play it.
In reply to
MrWhite
MrWhite
Commented on 2014-02-04 21:19:43 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
My bad, I'm still a bit feverish, it might be why. :p
I'll with the Flu? I can sympathise. I'm just recovering from it myself.
In reply to
Driftwood - Dictateur en chef
Driftwood
Commented on 2014-02-04 21:25:40 In reply to MrWhite
Nope just a bad cold but thanks. ;)
In reply to
asdfg
asdfg
Commented on 2014-02-04 21:58:33 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
My bad, I'm still a bit feverish, it might be why. :p
Np man, I need to remember to add a smilie when writing like that. :) Get well soon.
In reply to
CEZARR
CEZARR
Commented on 2014-02-04 22:13:25
Good looking phisics.
In reply to
cma112087
cma112087
Commented on 2014-02-04 22:34:50 In reply to moroboshi
Posted by moroboshi
Sadly Bugbear seem to have misunderstood why Destruction Derby worked - small tracks packed with LOTS of cars, and so masses of crashes. This just looks empty and dull.
Dude, there is like 16+ racers at a time in my game (i have the early access version) and it might go even higher than 16, im not sure, but i can tell you right now that the arena with 16 or how ever many cars gets crazy, really fast, cars flying everywhere, hundreds of pieces of car parts laying all over the stadium, and crumple/smash up ''soft body'' physics that are phenominal.

This game is being overlooked to say the least, i can tell you right now, that this game is worth every dollar (AT THIS POINT, THIS EARLY!) that it costs.
In reply to
digi_matrix
digi_matrix
Commented on 2014-02-05 01:02:16
For triple buffering, have you guys used D3DOverrider for that?

Been playing this, the destruction is what target demo trailers were promising at the start of last gen like with that Motorstorm trailer. It's amazing. Also, on my laptop with 30+fps while looking snazzy is nice too.
In reply to
spacemanjupiter
spacemanjupiter
Commented on 2014-02-05 01:54:19
Man this looks really good, and fun! This on Steam? I'm going there right now.
In reply to
Phaethon360 - Mr Pant<s>s</s>ies
Phaethon360
Commented on 2014-02-05 04:20:19
Looks great. I liked the in cockpit vid. There didn't seem to be any animation inside of it but I liked it was still easy to navigate, so maybe that's a good thing.
In reply to
r3tr0gam3r1337
r3tr0gam3r1337
Commented on 2014-02-05 20:10:17
i actually enjoyed UC but the most fun was had with the mini games and online races/bowls, if this has the same fun bonus mini games then ill place a pre-order as soon as i can.
In reply to
Akumajo
Akumajo
Commented on 2014-02-07 02:58:18
Kinda sad it took Bugbear this whole entire generation to make a real new "Flatout" game with what seems to be a new 3d engine...

Really sad...they could have been doing that in the last 8 years already...there are three motorstorm games already and this current new gen is going to be fierce.
In reply to
GriftGFX - He can also<br>ban your ass!
GriftGFX
Commented on 2014-02-07 04:27:49
Yes. It's that simple. That's why everyone was begging to throw money at this game. What were they thinking?
In reply to
Doom_Bringer - I have terrible taste
Doom_Bringer
Commented on 2014-02-08 03:29:50
now thats NEXT GEN! AWesome physics!
In reply to
INDIGO
INDIGO
Commented on 2014-02-14 20:42:21
Thanks for the cockpit video. Looks like a lot of fun. I've always been a big fan of the Flatout games.

If there's one thing I wish they'd change, it would be to add some bounce and shake to the camera - it looks magnetically locked to the car which makes it feel artificial. Still looks great.
In reply to
About the game
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