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Game Preview: ‘Next Car Game’ First Impressions
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Wagnerski   |  
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Next Car Game, Bugbear Entertainment
Next Car Game
Developer: Bugbear Entertainment
Publisher: Bugbear Entertainment
Release Date: January 14, 2014 (Early Access)

Bugbear is back with Next Car Game, the spiritual successor to the FlatOut series. The game is available on Steam Early Access and is in a very early pre-alpha stage. The project was originally on Kickstarter but was cut short due to lack of funding. But luckily the game is back on and you can help fund the development with your purchase of the early copy of this hectic demolition derby game. So how far along is the game and what is it like at this point?

At the moment there are only two cars to pick from and only a few game modes. There is a 24 and 12 man demolition derby and a few variations on races. What is available is basically a demo, but it really shows how great the game can be because both game modes work really well. And when you purchase Next Car Game you also get the sneak peak 2.0 which is a playground showing different features that they are working on. I actually had a lot of fun messing around in this as well.

Next Car Game screencap 01, Bugbear Entertainment

At this stage I can actually say that the game looks great. I mean, it is isn’t a polished finished project yet, but for where they are at the game is beautiful. I think that the outline of what the game is going to be like is here, they just have to add more to it. The gameplay and visual aspect of the game is really strong and you can tell that it is going to be a really epic, fun game when it is fully released.

The main thing that makes this game so great is the soft body damage modeling that Bugbear has done. The destructibility of the cars are so realistic. And it is incredibly satisfying to smash into other drivers and see pieces of their car go flying (okay I realize I might have a few road rage issues…). Shortly after beginning the demolition derby mode of the game there will be bits of car all over the fenced in lot. It is a thrilling experience that is sure to get your heart going. And the regular racing is actually a lot of fun too. By the second lap of a race there will be car parts everywhere and it will impact your driving. However it seems like you can take a ton of damage before you wreck in the derby part of the game, but when you race you go out pretty easily.

Next Car Game screencap 02, Bugbear Entertainment

Also when your car does take damage, it handles drastically different, as it should There is a damage indicator on the screen that shows where your car is messed up the most and after taking just a hit or two you will for sure no longer drive in a straight line. For the most part I thought the controls were okay, they did seem a bit wonky at times but I am sure that will be hammered out a bit down the line.

Next Car Game screencap 03, Bugbear Entertainment

Summary:

Pros:
+Destructibility
+Chaos
+Mayhem

Cons:
-Slightly wonky handling

Oh man is Next Car Game awesome, I just want the full game out now. The visuals are beautiful, the demolition is bananas and you can see where this game is heading. There are going to be more game types, more cars that are customizable and multiplayer. Obviously at the moment the game is nothing more than a basic demo but it is already fun.

Next Car Game is $29.99 so it is understandable if you might not want to purchase it at this point. However your purchase helps towards the development and the game, and it is slated to come out this spring. I think the game, even in its pre-alpha stage, has made a really strong first impression and I can’t wait for the rest of it to be released. Oh and just one more thing, I really hope they change the name and Next Car Game is just a temporary title, because it is awful. Okay that is all, I am going to go back and mess up some more cars!

Trailer:

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