Believe it or not, Bugbear Entertainment's Wreckfest, formerly known as Next Car Game, has been in Steam Early Access for nearly four years now. Thankfully, a major new update has been deployed adding new features and improvements that bring the demolition derby game closer to the final release.
Headlining the Wreckfest December update on Steam Early Access is the addition of eight new cars, including the game's first ever front-wheel-drive cars, classic bangers, demolition derby heavy-hitters and "something pretty unique." Some of the old cars have also been updated, and engine audio has been updated for all cars.
Wreckest's career mode is also previewed featuring two championships with many themed series where earning championship points and increasing your rank unlocks new parts and cars. "This preview is just a taste of things to come, with more varied series and challenges being introduced later on," Bugbear wrote in an official blog post.
The substantial update also optimises performance and adds vehicle customisation with paints and liveries, as well as the ability to tune your car's suspension stiffness, differential type, brake bias and gear ratio. Mechanical damage now affects the engine, gearbox, suspension, brakes and wheels in crashes – wheels can now get torn as well. Visual damage has also been improved, and crashes "feel more vigorous than ever."
BugBear has also enhanced the driving physics with an improved tyre model as well as suspension physics and updated controller implementation. AI opponents behave more realistically, as you'll be racing against opponents with different driving styles: some race more cleanly while others are prone to making mistake. The AI difficulty can now be toggled, too. Bugbear has also implemented a new rivals system that lets you earn bonus points if you take out specific opponents in a race. As well as turning off all the driver assists, Bugbear has added manual clutch control after the feature was requested by players.
"After some minor delays we are proud to present the first big bang Early Access-Update for Wreckfest. We kept quiet for some time, but only to deliver a great demolition and racing experience no," said Roger Joswig, Producer at THQ Nordic. "We introduced numerous new, exciting stuff like a first version of the career mode with 2 championships (for now), a new rival system, a first version of the component damage system, car tuning system and quite a bit more to be honest. We are really looking forward to the feedback from the community."
You can find the full list of changes introduced in the Wreckfest Steam Early Access December update below. The final game will be released early 2018 on PS4 and Xbox One, though the final version of the PC game was originally scheduled for late 2017.
- 8 new cars
- Introducing the first FWD cars
- 2 championships; 5-6 hours of playtime approx.
- Music is in the game (straight from the community in cooperation with Audiodraft)
- First version of our Rival System implemented: each race can give rise to your own personal rival (i.e highlighted “enemy”); earn more points (i.e. more progress) by directly confronting this driver on the track
- Paint customisation system implemented
- First version of our component damage system implemented
- Improved visuals from UI and HUD
- Dedicated reset button added
- Improved handling of all cars in the game
- Wall-collisions improved
- Car-collisions improved
- 3 difficulty modes implemented
- Overall AI improvements
- Engine sounds of 4- and 6-cylinder cars improved
- First version of our envisioned car tuning system implemented