Culture > Play

This is the driving game you should play for stress relief

You'll find yourself happily crashing cars all day long

Isn't it fun playing a game that's specifically designed for realistic vehicular carnage? SCREENSHOT FROM BEAMNG.DRIVE

A lot of racing games these days focus on the purity of the driving experience. Software such as Gran Turismo Sport and Forza Motorsport are all about replicating how cars actually perform in real life. But while in-game physics for acceleration and handling are admittedly quite realistic, it’s not the same when it comes to damage. But one driving game is a cut above the rest when it comes to simulated crashes. Enter BeamNG.drive.

You can still drive sensibly, but that's boring. SCREENSHOT FROM BEAMNG.DRIVE

For the sake of simplicity, we’ll call it BeamNG. One thing this sim does way too well than any other driving game is damage physics. There is no other word for it: It’s frankly the best game in the world when you just want to do pretty stupid stuff with cars. What’s really good about BeamNG is that the virtual crashes go way beyond bodywork dings or simple mechanical gremlins like those on Grand Theft Auto V.

Just look at how this game accurately simulates car accidents. SCREENSHOTS FROM BEAMNG.DRIVE

Let’s start off with exterior damage. Drive a car into a wall at 100km/h and you can actually see the body crumpling and folding from the sheer force of the impact. Go faster and some cars will even get bent frames, or have parts like wheels and engines detaching from the chassis. It’s pretty fun to watch and, if anything, makes BeamNG already worth hitting the add-to-cart button for.

And then there’s the mechanical damage. Even this aspect of BeamNG is so detailed to the point where you can burn clutches or snap axles if you drive like a maniac. The car’s machine-like behavior is quite accurately programmed that players can destroy individual parts that affect performance unlike other games where a simple shunt just results into a loss of horsepower. I can’t even count how many engines I’ve blown in BeamNG’s virtual world.

It isn't a racing game, but you can do several types of motorsport in it. SCREENSHOTS FROM BEAMNG.DRIVE

As it is, BeamNG already comes fully equipped with a selection of arenas and a vast array of vehicle types. None of its cars are licensed from real-world ones, which is probably why the developers had free rein over the in-game damage. However, BeamNG has a massive community of mod creators whose work can be downloaded by players just to make the game even more exciting and engaging.

But it's the automotive demolition that we want to see. SCREENSHOT FROM BEAMNG.DRIVE

While BeamNG does have missions that the player must execute, it doesn’t count toward the game’s completion. In fact, this driving sim doesn’t really have a “complete” state. This makes it really attractive for casual gamers like me who just want to unwind and have fun playing after a stressful day at work. Admittedly, crashing cars in the virtual world is one good way of letting off steam.

Click here to view BeamNG.drive’s system requirements.

Miggi Solidum

Miggi is an editor-at-large at VISOR. Professionally speaking, he is a software engineering dude who happens to like cars a lot. And as an automotive enthusiast, he wants a platform from which he can share his motoring thoughts with fellow petrolheads. He writes the 'G-Force' column.