It would be unreasonable to expect the BeamNG Drive will be the only decent games in its genre. Of course it has competitors. I think almost all players, who familiar with the genre, remember a project called Rigs of Rods, started in August 2005. As a free project, Rigs of Rods, of course, does not go in any comparison with BeamNG Drive in terms of physical damage modeling, graphics, interface, general game features, and more. But now we would like to talk about another game, which can be considered as the second giant in the genre such simulations. As you've probably guessed, we'll be talking about the Wreckfest, also known as Next Car Game.
What is certain is that in recent times grown-up generation of gamers of the 90s demands more and more hardcore and simulation games from the gaming industry. Remember what a success was such a not-easy-to-deal-with games like ArmA 2/3 (and extensive modifications for them such as DayZ, Breacking Point and ACE), Dark Souls 1/2 and their "twin brother" Bloodborn; and many others. List of the examples can be very long, but the tendency is traced quite clearly - more complex, detailed and realistic games are becoming more popular among players all over the world.
Choose your own
However, many developers still rely on entertainment and fun gameplay, often coming at the expense of realism. The majority of the audience still hardly make out the difference, but, for example, if you merely simplify the damage model, you can save a lot of resources, and consequently, money. It seems like Finnish company Bugbear Entertainment, developers of the Next Car Games, was thinking that way. Most likely due to the lack of choice, but anyway. The story of this game, like many other free software projects, started with crowdfunding. Despite the failure of the first company on Kikstrater, game development wasn't stopped, but continued, in the wake of positive feedback from players who bought an early access. Now Next Car Game is still in development but you can easily purchase it on Steam.
After playing Next Car Game and comparing it to BeamNG Drive we can say the following: Next Car Game is really good racing simulator with a highly simplified, compared to BeamNg Drive, damage model, physics engine and graphics, but with a more conventional dynamic gameplay and, most importantly, a lot fewer requirements to the computer as well. And this is quite logical: Bugbear Entertainment's game engine, called ROMU, simply can not compete with CryEngine3, which is used in BeamNG Drive, but requires much less resources. Due to the fact that Next Car Game doesn't calculates the damage as carefully and meticulously as BeamNG Drive, it can work quite stable even on a weak PC that automatically increases its accessibility to a wide audience. You can visually assess the difference by watching this video:
However, we cannot say that Next Car Game is definitely worse than BeamNG Drive. Players who have experience in both of these games, say that they had much more fun playing Next Car Game, especially in multiplayer. Coupled with a small system requirments, quite nice graphics, dynamic gameplay and quite a good damage system (which is much better than in the most modern racing games), it makes Next Car Game a great choice to brighten up more than few cold winter's evenings. However, if you have a powerful computer and you still crave to see a real simulator realism, where every curve of the crumpled metal is carefully calculated and will be 99% equal to what it would be in real life - then your choice is undoubtedly BeamNG Drive.