BeamNG.Drive’s New Update Added a 1:1 Replica of a Real-Life Off-Road Park

With update 0.27, BeamNG has leveled up substantially with new physics, cars, and a 1:1 recreation of Johnson Valley off-road park in California.

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BeamNG.Drive’s New Update Added a 1:1 Replica of a Real-Life Off-Road Park © BeamNG.Drive’s New Update Added a 1:1 Replica of a Real-Life Off-Road Park

The world of driving simulators has a bit of something for everybody, from Forza Horizon to iRacing. But there is nothing quite like BeamNG.Drive. It’s possibly the most accurate simulation of a car in any game, but more on that later. The game had a huge update that added a full-scale version of the legendary Johnson Valley off-road park, along with dozens of other small changes.

BeamNG spawned from the minds of the developers of Rigs of Rods. Some of you may be familiar with that game, and BeamNG is largely the same concept taken to the maximum. The idea is that cars are constructed from a cage of physics objects called beams. The beams are connected by nodes, and each has its own mass, strength, and rigidity, forming an extremely realistic simulation of an actual car.

The BeamNG version of the Sherp. BeamNG Screenshot

This makes the game complicated to develop and make content for, so when the developers release new content, it’s up to an unbelievable quality standard. In my time playing nearly every racing simulator, BeamNG is the most impressive and accurate simulation I’ve ever experienced. Not only are the crashes spectacularly violent, but the actual driving physics are damn near spot-on. With the variety of cars in-game, you can drift the equivalent of a Nissan 240SX, track drive an ‘80s stock car, or drive a V10-powered supercar through a backroad. 

But the Rigs of Rods off-roading roots are still well represented. Some new things have been added along with the stunning Johnson Valley map. In the BeamNG developer blog, the devs outline an entirely new simulation for off-road bypass shocks, with a velocity-based simulation that is true to real-life. It’s DEFCON 1 nerd stuff and I adore it. The great off-roading features are still there, with accurately modeled transfer case and locking differential physics. And wheeling in the new map is downright unbelievable.

Some of the vehicles added in the update. BeamNG Screenshot

The five new cars added to the game are all off-road focused. There’s an extreme Baja bug, some trophy trucks, a new rock-crawling Jeep, the adorable tortoise-like Autobello Stambecco, and a replica of the unstoppable Sherp. Graphics updates complement the new range of cars, making BeamNG look more incredible than ever. And this game is still in beta development and hasn’t seen an official full release. For the $20 it costs, it’s an insane value in the world simulation.

2022 was a year of serious growth for the BeamNG team, but the result is worth it. I think that this game is still deeply underrated as a simulator. It doesn’t have the multiplayer capabilities of other sims, but as a standalone game, there is nothing else like it. 

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