Some users managed to get some fresh footage of the upcoming next generation, physics-based racer from Bugbear Entertainment tentatively titled the “Next Car Game”. The footage contains a look at a few of the game modes, some of the car physics and the race tracks.
The new footage comes courtesy of Variety Gaming on YouTube, where he gives users a first look at some of the game's options menus, car selections, modes and gameplay. All of it is especially sparse at the moment, but the litany of criticism for its lack of content is something you'll probably see for quite some time as the team hones in on the engine's foundations and ensure that the soft-body physics and car handling are spot-on.
Browsing through the pre-alpha menus, though, we see that there is quite a bit planned for this game. Players will be able to customize their vehicle and presumably swap out parts.
I'm most interested in the “Research” tab, as it seems like it could be a very interesting element to the game. Though, what it entails exactly I certainly couldn't tell you. If you can use the research mode to do what I think it's for (potentially unlocking new parts and tricking out your car) then that could be pretty cool.
In addition to this, there are the buy/sell menus, garage and social. The options screen – from the pre-alpha footage so far – reminds me a lot of Gamepire's Gas Guzzlers; it has a very similar lo-fi setup that mostly covers the basics. In my opinion, the lo-fi approach feels a lot more centered around the game and the focus of providing a nostalgic experience through the gameplay as opposed to having super flashy menus like EA's Need for Speed games, in which case the options menu alone looks like it has a bigger budget the entirety of some indie games (and it probably does).
Moving on to the gameplay... I think I can genuinely say I'm impressed. I love the physics that I'm seeing on display in the game and I like that the cars have both a sense of weight and vulnerability. It feels like these machines are moving fast and powerful around bendy tracks with disastrous results waiting for those who don't know how to take a turn properly.
I'm especially impressed with the way the cars handle and the shifts in weight – it's something we rarely see in games, but it was present with the “realistic handling” mod for GTA IV on PC. Speaking of which, I would love to see an open-world action title utilize soft-body physics like the kind on display in the video above. Could you imagine slamming into a police car and watching it flip and topple over into a pile-up of oncoming traffic? That would be insane.
For now, you can only check out playable tech demonstrations of Bugbear's next car game. Early Access is available with Steam keys being handed out for those who pre-order. I mean, it should go without saying that you're buying into a promise and not a finished product, so keep that in mind. This could turn out to be a finished game just as much as it could go belly-up as vaporware.
If you're interested in learning more, feel free to visit the official website.