Assetto Corsa Competizione has finally released on consoles after a year on the PC, but how does the game handle, look and feel? We take a look at the four major points of the recent release from 505 Games; Graphics and Audio, Handling, Content and Price and find out if you should add Assetto Corsa Competizione to your must-have games list for any racing fans.
Focused towards GT3 and GT4 racing, this in-depth simulation allows gamers to get as close to the feel of sitting in the cockpit of their favourite cars than ever before with its immersion, spread of cars and circuits and hard-fighting AI.
Due to the limited capacity and memory allowed in this current console era (PS4/XBOX One) getting a good simulation game for the hardcore racers out there has been a tricky obstacle.
Codemasters understandably fluctuate between catering for the casual market and competitive market with their Dirt Rally and Formula One titles and its content, whilst Slightly Mad Studios 2017 game Project Cars 2 and Polophony Digital’s 2017 release Gran Turismo Sport saw much more in depth car customisation, set-up and car roster’s make them the ‘go-to-‘ for any console simulation fan.
However, they weren’t without their drawbacks. Project Cars 2 had wonky handling at best with some of the cars, whilst GT Sport’s online experience is an often frustrating adventure with connection lag issues, a broken penalty systems and unbalanced matchmaking.
The market was ready for the next simulation game to drop and ignite the fan-base which has grown tired of the current crop of titles.
Assetto Corsa Competizione was released on PC last year to warm reviews and currently owns the official license for the Blancpain GT Series and boasts over 20+ cars from the 2018 and 2019 seasons, 200+ liveries and including the ‘Intercontinental DLC pack’ 15 iconic circuits such as Spa-Francorchamps, Nurburgring and Brands Hatch.
Let’s take a look at the main points of the simulation and see how they positively or negatively affect the driving experience.
Graphics and Audio
This game is stunning. The cars are modelled to an exceptional standard, whilst the tracks are designed to the minutest detail using LaserScan technology allowing every bump, incline and rumble strip to be accurately recreated.
Whether you’re driving in the intense summer sun at the Hungaroring or at 3am during a 2 hour stint of an endurance race in Suzuka the visuals are superb. The shadows, reflections and colouring transform the screen and with a realistic weather setting you are bound to be kept on your toes as the track gets more treacherous each lap and standing water starts to appear.
The game is locked at 30 frames per second (fps) which is disappointing, but it was done to allow the rest of the AI and visuals to be as on par as its PC counterpart.
Does it affect your experience? Maybe a little, but you will get used to it.
However, the game makes up for it by immersing you in a digital world that is enhanced massively using headphones. The roar of the engines is only beaten by the details that no other sim has mastered yet. I have yet played a game where each rumble strip, gravel trap or run off area has its own distinct sound.
Slide off track and run across the gravel? Well expect to hear stones pin-balling off the underside of the chassis, and then back on track as they’re dispersed back across the track surface. The audio details that have been worked into this game bring it to life.
Every car has been audio tuned to sound as close to the real thing as possible. Your Bentley Continental will not sound the same as the McLaren 720S which means that in time, you won’t even need to look at what car is behind you…you’ll hear it coming.
P.S – Play the game in cockpit cam, it’s just better in every way.
Overall, the graphics and audio on Assetto Corsa Competizione are the most immersive of any racing game I have ever played, if you can get over the drop in fps compared to PC standard and most other games then it becomes an incredibly rewarding and fun experience.
Graphics and Audio – 8.5/10
I won’t lie, this game is much better if you are using a wheel on your console rather than a standard controller. That being said, if you are only on a controller you can still enjoy the game for its other qualities.
Thrustmaster, Logitech and Fanatec all offer reasonably priced wheels and if you want to enhance your driving experience then I would highly recommend looking into getting one.
I’ll compare the two;
I use a Thrustmaster T300 RS, it’s my first wheel and I’ve found since using it that my speed and consistency across all racing games has increased, but as much as my speed has increased so has my enjoyment. It’s a challenge to learn, but in turn that makes the game far more rewarding.
Oversteer, understeer, aquaplaning and loss of tyre pressure are just a number of things you feel in the force feedback. The increased sense of control is a great feeling, you feel so much more in-tuned with the car whether it be holding onto an incoming slide or contact with another car.
The car feels very nice, not perfect but play around with the traction control and ABS settings and equally the amount of force feedback and you can tailor the cars into an experience that suits your driving style.
The game allows you to create detailed set-ups where each tyre can be given different pressures, camber and roll whilst there are plenty of other settings and parts to tinker with to set a car up for different circuits or racing styles.
Whilst the core sim element has been removed by having the ‘feel’ of the car, using a controller still gives you an enjoyable experience. The sounds, camera angles and AI are still as good and the game still remains as accessible to playing online and offline.
The use of throttle and brake needs to be refined but that comes with practice, it becomes very easy to over steer the car or apply too much throttle out of corners, but once you’ve mastered the settings and completed some practice laps then the game is still great way to spend a few hours.
The extra buttons on a game-pad make it easier to map all of the settings required for endurance racing such as brake bias changes, fuel map alterations and light phases, flashers and the regular camera angle changes that you usually find.
While the rumbles of the controller add some feel and effect to over steer or contact, it is definitely a game that will be enhanced with a wheel add-on.
Overall – The handling is very nice, yes it’ll mean you need to play around with settings in and out of the cars, but once that’s done you will find it much easier to make your way around the track without losing time with lateral sliding or locking up into heavy braking zones.
It’s not perfect, some cars are very difficult to get used to and for a rookie are incredibly frustrating, but once you get on top of the flaws it becomes a much easier task.
Handling – 7/10
Don’t expect to go into the game thinking this is like standard Assetto Corsa, Project Cars or GT Sport.
There is certainly a mix of different car manufacturers and circuits, but this is a GT3 game, the Blancpain GT series has been imagined in stylish fashion and brought to life on video consoles but apart from that there isn’t any other ‘content’.
However, what there is available is incredibly detailed, enjoyable and with announced downloadable content (DLC) coming for GT4 cars in late 2020 and DLC for the British GT series in 2021.
Currently in the game you can race on or offline, complete a ‘Career’ with short, medium or long races, complete the Blancpain GT World Series and compete in special events created by the developers of the game. These might be hotlaps, 30 minute sessions to fit in laps or super pole sessions amongst others.
Races can be contested over 15 minutes to 24 hours on a grid of up to 20 cars. While the PC holds the memory advantage and allows grids of up to 40 cars, the drop in AI doesn’t affect enjoyment when on track.
Online is still a bit of a mess, but that will hopefully be fixed in future patches and the addition of private lobbies which were frustratingly left out of launch. Online lag is still very apparent due to the location of drivers in public servers. However in time there is the potential for a wide range of competitive racing to take place.
Overall – If you came here looking for a stacked roster of cars and circuits like in a Project Cars 2 the you’ll be disappointed. However, if you’re keen on GT Racing and want to be immersed across a number modes and incredibly detailed cars and tracks then you’ll be very happy.
Online needs to be fixed to be more stable, but there is already the base for an exceptional driving experience.
Content – 7.5/10
Retailing between £30-35 seems fair for this title. The pre-order of the game came with the ‘Intercontinental GT Pack’ which included 45 new liveries, 30 teams and over 50 new drivers to choose from, along with four LaserScanned circuits in Kyalami, Suzuka, Laguna Seca and the iconic Mount Panorama.
For those who missed the two-week window to get the DLC pack post launch, the development team behind ACC have announced it will be available later in the summer and with plenty paid updates coming in the future it seems the £30 price will turn out to be a steal.
Whilst paid DLC is often a contentious issue, if the detail and care is taken in recreating the GT4 cars and British GT (Set for release in 2021 with three more circuits to be added to complete the British GT Championship – Expected to be Donington, Oulton Park and Snetterton) then this makes the extra £ put down for the DLC much more appealing.
Yes the game currently has smaller grids, less cars and needs some work on console to run smoother online, but with F1 2020’s editions retailing at £45-65 for a game that is less focused towards sim-racing, often has several issues and has the trademark Codemasters style graphics. It re-enforces that 505 Games new release is well worth the price for the game.
Overall – You won’t find a better game on the market for sim-racing enthusiasts on consoles. The £30 price point is very good for the detail that’s currently in the game, and whilst paid DLC is coming I don’t believe this will put others off.
Price – 9/10
This is a huge step forward for sim-racing on console. PC users have iracing, rFactor2, Assetto Corsa and various others, but for the console market GT Sport and Project Cars 2 were the closest to true sims. This has easily taken the lead in that market and should be on all sim-racing fans must-have list for their gaming library.
The graphics, audio and beautifully recreated circuits alone make this game worth it, but adding 3,6,12 and 24 hour races will open up fans to a whole new gaming and driving experience.
Whilst cars take a while to acclimitise to and the handling on some cars can be tricky, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience to master a card and a circuit.
The roadmap with paid DLC including the GT4 cars and British GT coming in 2020/21 will hype the fans of GT racing up even more and keep content flowing into this superb title.
Is it a game for casual fans? Perhaps not, but does that mean you can’t enjoy it on the game pad and with assists all turned up to the max? Absolutely not. The game allows you to tailor make your experience is many different ways and lap for lap you will learn more and more about the car, the track surface and equally how you can fine tune your race.
Sim-racing fans should rejoice, this is the first true sim on consoles, and hopefully with the PS5 and XBOX One X coming soon we may see the fps increased to 60 and equally more processing power allowing bigger grids and more detailed graphics.
If you are into GT racing then this is a game for you, but for all those who enjoy racing games as a genre I would highly recommend this title.
Load it up, switch that ignition on and hear the engines roar as you hurtle around some of the worlds most iconic circuits.
This is a game changer for console using fans of sim-racing and 505 Games have done a magnificent job of showing others what can be done on the limited console capacity.
Game review score – 8.75/10
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