Handy with BeamNG.drive v0.28 update

Thanks to BeamNG.drive’s massive v0.27 update in December 2022, the game’s subsequent patch always felt a bit sparse in comparison.

Not only have v0.27 added a whole new map (Johnson Valley) and five new vehicles, but also bypass shock absorbers, advanced EV driving modes and a tire pressure management system (not to mention a host of new missions). ).

But don’t despair, BeamNG fans, as yesterday’s v0.28 release features some worthy content updates for the delightful sandbox driving sim, led by an update to the ETK K series and ETK 800 series; plus a major revamp of the fan-favorite Automation Test Track.

There are also 19 new missions to enjoy, including six on the Automation Test Track (ATT) mentioned above, featuring a range of cars that now come with opening doors.

A few new improvements to the Quality of Life user interface (UI) have also been added; including rudimentary stat tracking and the ability to check the validity of installed mods (especially handy after game updates).

We had the opportunity to try v0.28, focusing on the revised Automation Test Track and the two revised ETK cars. Find out our thoughts below.

ETK K series

The ETK K-series remaster was teased for several months and was originally scheduled to arrive with BeamNG’s update 0.27. Nonetheless, the BMW 3 Series, which apes the K Series, has received a coat of paint and a full suite of body kits and engine options.

As the sportiest model line from the ETK stable, the K-Series has, as you’d expect, received racy “widebody ttSport” versions, including the track-focused GT-IV (DCT).

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test track

Though it looks fearsome, it feels good on the road, with ridiculous oversteer angles made possible by a quick burst of throttle. And the new wide-body stance looks great too; Improving its already aggressive appearance.

The K-Series gets new engine options and skins, as well as special “racing woodpecker” parts, with a new ETK-V8 engine available for all of the brand’s in-game cars.

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test track

ETK 800 series

However, the ETK 800 series is a bit more sensible, arranging itself to the lines of an executive BMW 5 Series. The big change here, however, is the addition of sedan (or “sedans”) versions of the car, which I think look a lot sleeker than the previous station wagon examples.

Sounds smooth, goes smooth (if another driver drove, obvs).

A spin with a more street-focused 800 showed just how forgiving and smooth it can be, with the car’s tendency to understeer offset by a trunk full of torque. Flexible and predictable, the Model 846tt Driving Experience feels at home around the ATT.

The 800 Series has received similar upgrades to its K Series cousin, with new engine options, skins and Rennspecht parts focused on the race track; including widebody ttSport variations. In my opinion a well-proportioned car.

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test trackHuiii!

Automation test track

However, the star of the v0.28 update for me is the major overhaul of the Automation Test Track environment. Originally a place to test vehicle creations from the car building game Automation, the ATT is a terrific course that features a mix of hairpins, chicanes, elevation changes and fast corners (it’s a test track, duh).

Fast and fluid, and with a permanent autumnal sheen, the track was looking a bit rough around the edges prior to this update. But thanks to PBR (Physically Based Rendering) updates and texture improvements to buildings and obstacles, the track shines in new splendor.

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test track

Of note are the attractive poplar trees that now line the track and look much more realistic than the facilities previously used. However, in my playthrough, I still noticed a lot of heavy textures popping up, especially foliage, which was disappointing.

The ATT’s map also features several other areas including a rally track, an airfield, an off-road track and a dam, and I’m happy to say they look better than ever.

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test trackPure fun and pretty rocks

As I accelerated down the dirt-laden off-road track to the dam in an SP Dunekicker, I had to admire (while trying not to be a part) the dizzying details of the passing rock formations.

A fast drive through the tunnels inside the dam also proved what a boon motion blur was to BeamNG before the inevitable crash.

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test track

Fans will also be happy to hear that the infamous “dam jump” is in place and correct, and is best performed while driving a rocket-powered bus and gravity is brought down to 20% of normal Earth level…

So overall, the ATT has received a pleasant refresh, with the map looking a lot less brown than before. I would even go so far as to say that once the pop-in issues are resolved, it’s almost my favorite BeamNG map after Johnson Valley.

Straight to the moon!

New Missions

With every new BeamNG update comes the welcome addition of new missions, and judging by those present on the ATT the standard is high. I’ve picked a few highlights below, but there are several new missions in the Johnson Valley, Italy, US East Coast, and Hirochi Raceway maps to try out.

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test trackA lineup worthy of a banger race

Hill Top test track

In Hill Top Test Course, players will tackle a rally stage in the crazy mid-engined version of the Ibishu Covet to try to reach the end of the dirt stage by nailing every checkpoint.

The stage has numerous switchbacks that prove to be a real challenge in the Renault 5 Maxi Turbo based Covet. Thanks to its mid-engine block, the car needs to be driven exuberantly, so it’s best to channel your inner Jean Ragnotti and kick it up (I won’t lie, this may take a few restarts).

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test track

factory pickup

This is a simple Collect X Icons in X Time style mission, but the car you were pushed around with is a red dove – it looks a lot like Postman Pat’s van. With zero power and all the agility of a dead cat (poor Jess), this one is tough to pull off.

However, with a little planning, you can keep the little pigeon’s momentum and beat the timer.

And if not, just drive it into a tree…

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test trackPostman Pat’s van was just a day away from retirement

BeamNG sports racing

With a title like BeamNG Sports Race, you expect pretty tasty AI cars, don’t you? Unfortunately, however, most of the time your opponents drive ordinary-looking family cars. You, on the other hand, get to (again) drive a hot, little, mid-engined Ibishu Covet.

On paper it seems a mismatch, but the Covet is fierce to control and a lot less robust than its three rivals (only having four cars in a race is a disappointment too). Any type of race in BeamNG is great fun thanks to its brutal damage model, making this a battle all about curbing your natural push instinct.

And I did, leading to the hilarious aftermath of the autolock below.

Panels to open

BeamNG also now offers players the ability to open doors, windows, and boots on a select list of cars. A cool feature, especially since you have to pull the release lever in the cockpit before opening the bonnet.

It also makes it a lot easier to rip your door off its hinges for that unique “outdoor” driving experience…

I had to spice up this demonstration video somehow.

UI updates

As mentioned, BeamNG now has a rudimentary stats tracking that allows players to see how long or how far they’ve spent on their favorite maps. It also tracks how many flips and J-turns you’ve performed. useful stuff.

My stats aren’t particularly impressive at the moment as I’m currently working remotely on another PC in Dundee.

No Toblerones for me though (one for Alan Partridge fans, there).

BeamNG.drive v0.28, automation test trackA sleek new steering wheel for the ETK K-Series GT-IV (DCT)

The game can also display a list of broken mods you may have installed, which is likely to show up after a new update. Practical.

The way Parts Manager displays a list of installed car parts has also been overhauled, giving you a much clearer view of what is and isn’t installed on your car. It’s a small quality of life improvement, but very welcome nonetheless.

Overall, BeamNG.drive’s v0.28 improves on a few rough patches in the game, but isn’t a revolutionary step forward. A few revamped cars are nice and all, but the automation test track revamp is the most valuable feature of the new update, alongside new mission content to keep fans driving until the next update.

Handy with BeamNG.drive v0.28 updateStat Attack! Yeah, not a lot of stats here.

Let’s be honest, but after the great pre-Christmas content drop of v0.27, it’s a surprise to get new BeamNG updates so soon after. And a pleasant one at that. More please!

Have you had a chance to try BeamNG v0.28 yet? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

Now I’m going to the dam in my rocket bus…

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