Next Car Game was already released on Steam Early Access via Steam Keys sent out before Christmas to anyone who preordered the game from BugBear's website, but now it's been made publicly available to order directly through Steam. It arrives on Steam as a result of BugBear's highly successful Greenlight campaign, where Next Car Game was one of the most popular titles ever to be up for voting – it was Greenlit by the community within just 13 days.
Currently, Next Car Game can be ordered on its official Steam page at a discounted price of £18.99 containing the same two cars and three tracks included with the initial version sent out last year, with a deluxe version also available for £26.99 containing an extra Backer Race car, a soundtrack and wallpapers available at a later date.
In addition, BugBear took the opportunity to release the first update patch for Next Car Game to coincide with its Steam Access launch. Here's a list of the most important changes outlined by BugBear:
– Implemented iterative engine component damage + related HUD visuals.
– Fixed position counter so that the player cannot be further back than the last.
– Removed player kill areas from environments.
– Implemented environment geometry fixes and polishing.
– Implemented constant vertical FOV to support widescreen resolutions.
– Fixed a couple of minor audio issues.
From a quick playthrough, the graphics have been polished up, particularly with the lighting which now has lens flare, there are some improved screeching tyre sound effects when you hammer round corners and fences no longer stop you in your tracks, thankfully.
My only gripe is that BugBear has implemented a first person shooter-style red damage circle indicator, visible whenever you collide with another opponent. It's distracting and doesn't belong in a driving game, and needs to be scrapped, or at least made optional in future updates.
We'll be keeping a track of Next Car Game as its life on Steam Early Access progresses, with more cars, tracks and game modes planned in the coming months in the same vein as Assetto Corsa, though it's not yet clear just how frequent those updates will be compared to Assetto Corsa's frequent fortnightly updates.