BeamNG.drive is a simulation game that takes damage models to new levels with its highly-praised soft-body physics, a complicated but highly effective system that makes crashes look pretty awesome.
Few games can compete with BeamNG when it comes to the way cars crash, shed debris and get smashed up. It’s thrilling to watch and puts a lot of other, more established and better-funded games to shame…
Project Cars isn’t for everyone, which was made pretty clear from our recent piece on the worst games you’ve ever played. But, there’s no denying the fact that the damage model is quite detailed.
Bodywork dents nicely and even wheels fall off - it’s a shame we get so excited about that. But Project Cars is quite realistic, especially compared to rivals, and mechanical damage has been nicely done too.
OK, so BeamNG.drive isn’t necessarily a racing game, more a driving game, but when it comes to actual racing, few games have as good a damage model as Dirt Rally. The way the bodywork bends and disintegrates, the wheels bend out of alignment and fall off and the more realistic way the cars pick up damage is all mightily impressive.
Grid 2’s handling model may have been met with a mixed response, but the damage system was done pretty well. It was a big step forward compared to the previous game, with different cars getting smashed up in different ways. Very satisfying.
For a game that’s all about smashing up cars and crashing in spectacular fashion, it’s a good job Burnout Paradise’s damage model was one of its strengths. They were always amazing to watch too.
OK, so when compared to the racing games for the current generation of consoles, this can’t quite compete. But for its time, Street Legal Racing: Redline’s damage model and crashes were impressive and made smashing up your car enjoyable way back in 2003.
Also, turn down the volume because the music in that video is horrible.
Probably an underrated racing game when it comes to damage, but Assetto Corsa is actually quite good. The component damage system is fairly realistic and crashes look dramatic and exciting. That’s what we want as gamers, right?
We’ve already included Grid 2 on this list, so it kind of says a lot about that game when the original Grid had a pretty good damage model – especially for back in 2008.
For its time, the GP4 damage model was impressive and made it a cracking game to play. Sure, the crashes weren’t massively realistic, but they were always epic to watch and looked insane. Again, ignore the awful music in that video…
Here’s another game that also uses soft-physics damage modelling, but unlike BeamNG, this is a proper racing game. It’s an eclectic mix of demolition derbies and track racing, so there’s something for every car gamer. The damage model looks brilliant and is quite realistic, for what it is.
Do you agree? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. See the original community post right here.