BeamNG.drive’s gargantuan v0.25 update dropped in the middle of June this year (15th June 2022) and we were impressed with its new Civetta Scintilla supercar, new missions and new features.
Our resident sim crash expert John Munro gave the new version of BeamNG a try-out recently, but with such a massive influx of new content, we’ve taken a little time in evaluating what our favourite five features are in v.025 of BeamNG.
Nope, this has nothing to do with avian pyrotechnics so please don’t get the RSPB involved. V0.25 sees the introduction of a real-world safety feature found on some cars with gull-wing doors. By gull-wing doors I mean the kind of doors that open upwards, like a bird raising its wings – hence gull-wing.
Cars that have these include the Lamborghini Huracán, the McLaren 720S and the Tesla Model X. Gull-wing doors go by different names in the car industry; dihedral, falcon-wing or butterfly doors for example.
Because of their design – effectively hinged on the roof – if a car with gull-wing doors finds itself upside down after an accident, the doors can prevent the occupants from escaping the vehicle. As a neat feature, some cars – like the Mercedes SLS AMG – feature exploding bolts in the door hinges to ensure the doors can be pushed open in the event of an ‘unexpected inversion’.
Thankfully, the bolts won’t spontaneously explode, as sensors detect when the car is upside down and at rest before activating, keeping the occupants safe during an ongoing incident. And BeamNG’s brand new Civetta Scintilla has the very same feature – as demonstrated above.
Auto lift/drop suspension
Another feature introduced with the new Civetta Scintilla is the ability to lift and drop the nose of the car to help clear speed bumps or rough terrain. McLaren, Porsche, Ferrari, Corvette and Lamborghini all have real-world variations on the system, activated via a button or switch in the cockpit.
The reason it’s required in the first place because supercars are extremely low to the ground – driving over a speed bump in a Ferrari is like grinding a Prancing Horse on concrete (Great, now I’ve got the RSPCA and RSPB on my back). And carbon fibre bumpers are expensive. Very expensive.
Whereas the real-world lift and drop systems are generally manually activated by the driver, in BeamNG it’s an automatic process, so there’s a bit of a delay. This is something I’d like to see come under user control in future, but naturally, this means finding more buttons to map to BeamNG’s copious amounts of functions.
I’d also like to see its effects a little more obviously, as right now the change in nose height is too subtle.
Garage Mode has returned and it’s slicker than ever. Here, you can take screenshots of your selected vehicle using the garage’s neutral background, tune, paint and even add new parts to it.
Tyre pressures, camber, toe-in/out and wheel offset can all be altered on some cars, with other options like liveries and glass tints also able to be changed on selected vehicles.
You can also save your newly-configured car in ‘My Cars’, where it can be found quicker in future. Players can tune custom force feedback settings for each car as an added bonus.
Once you’ve done all this, head back to the Garage main menu and take a screenshot or go for a test drive. Garage Mode is a simple addition to BeamNG, but is a promising quality-of-life improvement to what at times can be a cluttered UI.
Electric cars sound like electric cars
If you happen to visit a motorway flyover at any point – don’t look at me as if I’m weird, everyone needs hobbies – you’ll notice that most cars sound the same as each other when driving past at 70mph.
Well, unless they have a particularly fruity exhaust.
Take your average diesel Peugeot for example. At 70mph, it sounds identical to electric cars like the Tesla Model Y, Porsche Taycan Turbo and Polestar 2: it’s all road noise created by the friction of tyres on tar. But at low speeds, electric cars are almost inaudible (Diesel Peugeots are not).
Therefore, manufacturers add synthesised external audio to their electric cars to alert pedestrians of their presence. I’m not quite sure why they all sound like hoverbikes from that episode of The Simpsons where Homer accidentally gets his family enrolled in a cult, however (I’m hoping that reference hits the mark).
In-game this is known as the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS). At the moment, it’s only available for the two electric car models in BeamNG: the Cherrier FCV and Hirochi SBR4. With the decline of the internal combustion engine we’d expect to see more added in future.
New mission types
V0.25 comes with various new Mission Types, including Hypermiling, Knock Away, Target Jump, Cannon, Crawl and A Run for Life. They all add something a bit different to BeamNG – although let’s face it, the game wasn’t lacking in variety to begin with.
The standout for me is A Run for Life. It’s unlike anything we’ve seen in BeamNG before. Players view the action from above an obstacle course, with the goal being to make it from one end of the gauntlet to the other.
It involves jumping over ramps, crashing through gates and nerfing caravans blocking your path. Not enough jeopardy you say? Well, you also have to avoid cannon fire. Eek.
The top-down view means you can’t predict the randomly generated obstacles ahead, so it’s a fun test of reaction times… until cannonballs insert themselves into your engine block.
There we have it then, another triumphant BeamNG.drive update has arrived, adding a ton of interesting features and game modes to enhance the title’s longevity even further than before.
What’s your favourite feature from BeamNG.drive v0.25? Is there anything you’d like to see the developers include in future updates? Let us know in the comments below.