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Have You Played... BeamNG.drive?

Best car crashes ever

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day, perhaps for all time.

BeamNG.drive [official site] has the best crumple-car physics of any game ever.

Where most games use rigid-body physics and pre-defined damage areas to create the impression of a car being beaten up, BeamNG.drive uses soft-body physics for each individual part of a car. This makes crashes spectacular to watch, as metal twists and bend and dozens of small parts are scattered across the road.

I've spent many happy hours downloading user-created cars and setting them up in the in-game editor so I can watch them smash into one another. You can do things like download a recreation of the long highway from that shitty Matrix sequel, set a truck driving in one direction and three cars driving in the other, and then drop into slow motion to watch the disaster unfold.

Also it has races, I guess. They're pretty good, too - the same physics engine gives the cars an appealing weight as you throw them around corners on dirty country roads or race tracks. The game's still in early access, but I'd absolutely recommend it to anyone even in its current state.

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