Since its hurried release on Early Access last year in time for Christmas, it's fair to say I've been thoroughly enjoying BugBear's Next Car Game, a spiritual successor to FlatOut with hands-down the most impressive damage modelling in a racing game to date. Its initial release felt rather light on content however, with only a handful of tracks and cars available to race and destroy.
Granted, the whole point of Early Access is to provide players with the barebones shell of a game before adding more content in the run-up to the final release, but whereas Kunos Simulazioni has continually updated Assetto Corsa every fortnight with trickles of new content to play with, BugBear's Next Car Game has remained stagnant. Fortunately, this latest update rectifies this, adding a host of new content along with some notable gameplay improvements.
By far the most significant addition is a new figure of 8 track modified from the current demolition derby arena, arguably the staple track in demolition derby. A demolition derby figure of 8 track was recently re-introduced in Grid 2, but Next Car Game cranks up the carnage to the next level - with 24 cars trading paint in such a confined space, things get chaotic, to say the least. And that's before you've attempted to scrape through the crossroads in one piece.
A new car has also added in the form of a typical '80s American sedan, which joins the nippy European supermini and American muscle car. It's a lot heavier than the previous cars available, so expect it to understeer around corners. But while it may not handle as well, it certainly makes for an effective battering ram when it comes to fending off your opponents. Unsurprisingly, it withstands damage well, too, so it can give as good as it gets.
Other new features include a new cinematic camera option allowing you to take screenshots (unfortunately there isn't a dedicated screenshot capture button yet so you'll have to use an external application such as Fraps for now), new time of day changes (no configurable options yet, sadly, but the time of day is randomly selected for each race), new car upgrade parts, more race customisation options, a new external chase camera, numerous graphical enhancements to existing tracks and rotatable wheels when using the cockpit camera.
A pretty sizable update, then. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come in what has been a tremendous success story for BugBear so far.
We'll have a gameplay video looking at the new car and figure of 8 track shortly. Until then, here's a list of all the changes included in the new update:
I agree, the figure of 8 is a great addition. Having 24 cars really cranks up the carnage compared to the 8 car demolition derbies in Grid 2.
I agree, the figure of 8 track is great fun, I just can't get enough of it. In fact NCG is one of the most addictive racers I've played in ages, visual refinements are nice too!
Looking forward to future updates and additions.
That figure of 8 track is the bomb.
Ran a full grid race (the cars are packed like sardines at the start, lol) and then the chaos ensued. Bits of cars flying everywhere, cars crashing all over and after only 2 lapsthere were stricken cars strewn all over, with some on fire, lol.
Been a while since the last update, but this one was well worth it.
Good detailed review
Multiplayer alpha is also available for those who own the DTM 2013 add-on pack.
Lots of unhappy people on the MX GP forum on Steam; I'm sure many would back up Ronin's post which is quite sad.
This sim keeps getting better and better. Lots of third party tracks appearing too although many are a little on the average side. I'd expect the standard to increase once the official modding tools are released.
Keeping standard cars was silly idea in the previous games; a new console generation should be the end of standard cars but alas it doesn't look to be changing. IMO PD should cull the number of 'standard' cars to zero and keep the 'premium' models.