Stunts, Fun & Epic Crashes: BeamNG is the Craziest Car Game Ever
As enjoyable as it is to “seriously” play a driving game, battling other racers online, trying to set new fast lap times, or earning virtual credits to purchase new cars and upgrades, it’s often those times when you're simply messing around having fun that can be the most the enjoyable.
How fast can I make this car go? What happens if I hit that ramp just right? How much can I wreck this vehicle, and what does the damage modeling look like? Chances are you’ve tried to answer many of these questions while playing a racing game.
But what if there was a driving game dedicated specifically to the experimentation side of the genre? And what if it happened to be sporting one of the most impressive physics engines ever seen in a game? Welcome to BeamNG.drive.
BeamNG.drive is a German-developed PC simulation game that first appeared back in 2015. And while other games focus on the competitive aspect of racing or presenting accurate recreations of real life cars, BeamNG is all about physics.
Out of the box, the game includes a number of driving environments based on locales from around the world, and a couple dozen fictional vehicles that include everything from subcompact cars and hot rods to large semi trucks.
From there you’ll find even more choices, as each model of car offers several different variants with different loads, different levels of modification and different engine options. You can even go in and edit each car's specs individually for a custom creation.
And then there’s the massive library of free user-generated content that further expands the roster of vehicles and driving environments to an amount that will take you a long time to grow bored of. Ever want to try drifting a school bus? You can do it here.
The game includes a large number of playable scenarios including car chases, stunts and jumps, time trials, and even more unusual challenges like trying to E-brake slide into a perfect parallel parking spot without damaging your car.
There's also a free roam mode where you are free to do whatever you want. You can spawn as many vehicles as you'd like, attempt to set up your own stunts or just enjoy the game's physics to your heart's desire.
And while the driving physics themselves are quite well done and on par with many full-fledged racing games, the true highlight of BeamNG.drive are its incredible collision and damage physics. While most driving games use pre-determined outcomes and models for cosmetic and mechanical damage, BeamNG.drive uses an incredibly advanced and realistic soft-body physics engine.
That means the vehicles respond to impacts in a very realistic way, and no two crashes will ever come out exactly the same. Body and chassis parts react directly to what they are hit with in real time, deforming, coming apart and sometimes being smashed into unrecognizable shapes.
Because of that, the game gives you a massive variety of toys to play with, and not just in terms of setting up collisions and stunts. You can even add contraptions like spinning booms and grinding wheels that are specifically designed to tear the vehicles to shreds.
The results of such experiments truly highlight how powerful the game's physics engine is. Just took at the results of this little test we tried...
Not enough damage? Let's drive the car into the spinning wheels of destruction again...
Playing the game might remind you of setting up jumps for your Tonka trucks as a kid, or going to the fairgrounds to see the flame-spitting car-crusher when it came to town.
Rumor has it the physics are so realistic that Hollywood production companies have even used the game to test the results of potential stunts before attempting them in real life....
And while I certainly hope no regular folks go out there and attempt anything from this game in real life, it's bound to give you hours of fun and laughs playing from the comfort of your own home.
Unfortunately the game isn't available for consoles, but if you have a PC that is capable of running it BeamNG.drive is likely to give you one of the most unique and laugh-out-loud-fun gaming experiences you've ever had. Do yourself a favor and try it out.