I've said it before, and I'll say it again: when it comes to damage modelling, the majority of racing games fail to satisfy my sadistic appetite for destruction, with predefined damage modelling and primitive texture changes depicting scratched paintwork. Admittedly, this is often down to limitations imposed by real world car manufacturers who weep at the prospect of watching their pristine motors get banged up, but it's something I hope to see significantly improved in next generation driving games.
BugBear's tentatively titled Next Car Game already looks to be setting the benchmark however, featuring what could possibly be the most advanced dynamic damage modelling system seen in a racing game yet that puts anything before it to shame.
A new behind the scenes video perfectly exemplifies this in what can only be described as a car crash test centre designed by Top Gear. Watch as an innocent car gets launched, dropped and even crushed into mangled metal in a myraid of inventive ways.
Some will argue that the precedent was already set by BeamNG, a PC project featuring the revolutionary soft body physics engine where the chassis of the car would crumple convincingly at the exact point of impact with an object. But while the advanced physics are undeniably impressive and show potential, the crashes simply lack spectacle in its current state.
This is where Next Car Game comes in, with crashes that result in a shower of debris and detachable parts. BugBear are also adamant that Next Car Game utilises similar soft body deformation technology with no pre-set damage modelling as opposed to standard rigid damage modelling, which was first tested in last year's Ridge Racer Unbounded before being extensively updated and refined for Next Car Game.
"What that means is that when you hit a car with something or the other way around, the car is going to have the right sized and shaped dent exactly where it was damaged," a press release sent to us by BugBear reads.
"Our aim with the damage modeling is to just have as much fun as possible with it. Because we can push cars through industrial grade metal presses, we certainly will. We're creating a fun driving game with lots of crashes in it, and they're going to look spectacular!"
Judging from the video, a high-octane demolition derby with a dozen cars should be quite a spectacle indeed. Finally, then, it seems my destructive cravings could finally be about to be fulfilled.
Here's hoping the scene where the car gets sent through a torture chamber-esque car crushing mangler gets turned into a mini game in the final game…