Assetto Corsa – Late braking, spins out

REVIEW – Assetto Corsa got the Project CARS-virus. Similarly to its rival, Kunos Simulazioni’s game got delay after delay… on consoles at least, as the PC version stepped out of Early Access at the end of 2014. The console edition is behind the PC original in a few aspects, and it might hurt the game in the long run.

 

Kunos Simulazioni’s title surprised many in December 2014, but since then, a similar game – with a lot of hype – rolled onto the track: it was Project CARS. Sure, Corsa somewhat lacked in content, but by 2016, it isn’t as empty. However, the same can be said about Project CARS as well.

These are not the Italians you are looking for

Between the Italian developers, Milestone lost its throne a long time ago: Kunos isn’t making games that often (only five games in ten years!). With the PC original – similar to Codemasters’ DiRT Rally -, Kunos took feedback from Early Access buyers on Steam, but they couldn’t follow this formula on consoles, making them tap around in the darkness somewhat. Perhaps this is the reason why the 505 Games-published game was delayed on consoles!

Abarth

Career mode? There is one, but it feels a bit of a grind (keep getting medals to step up to the next tier), albeit the thought that our launch car, an Abarth 500 (which is a nod to one of the previous Kunos games made in 2009, focusing on this car only) will be replaced by much more powerful racers. Fortunately, the AI isn’t dumb. If it sees that we are faster on the straights, it tries to give you space, and they don’t tend to ram you off the track either.

You can still set the difficulty level between easy and alien, plus you can also change the rivals’ car type (same class or single-make), their amount (I’ll get back to this later), or the temperature (but where’s the rain?). You can also set up driving aids, so automatic shifting or clutching can help, not to mention turning off the damage or tire wear – if you’re a Sunday driver, you can fight for the victory, too!

Port

The game’s console port isn’t too shabby. I liked the redesigned user interface, although you might find the used font questionable. (Still better than Comic Sans, though!). You can change the field of view between 50° and 60° (that seems limited), the HUD (none/minimal/full), or the color filter. Yep, post-processing setting: default, expanded, sport, black & white, and sepia. If you want retro, choose the sepia filter!

However, there’s screen tearing in the port. Oh, no. It might be an issue for you: let’s say you want to race professionally with a steering wheel. You take the lead, but you end up getting disturbed by the tearing. The frame rate feels stable, but Project CARS might be a tiny bit better on this aspect, especially if I compare Assetto Corsa with the GotY Edition of Slightly Mad’s game. What about the physics? Here’s the twist: Kunos’ game might even be better than the upcoming Gran Turismo Sport, although it’s not fair to compare to a so-far-unreleased game. (We’ll see in November.)

Limited

The game is limited on consoles. Despite more content than the default PC launch, you can only get 16 cars on the track. That’s half of what the PC version can be capable of, and it’s an issue online, too. Another thing I have to say is the lack of private lobbies, making the online component bleed a bit – what if you have a group of 16+ people? You can’t even pull a session of Assetto Corsa off on consoles in a single race!

Still worth to grab the game

The redesigned user interface, the plus content, and the respectable port (where’s the Hungaroring, though?) makes Assetto Corsa worthy of purchase for all racing simulation fans if they don’t own the PC original. The online segment is held back, making my rating go down to 7.5 points from 8. Still, it’s a good game. Let’s see what Gran Turismo Sport can do!

-V-

Pro:

+ I liked the redesigned UI
+ More content!
+ Sunday drivers can win, too

Against:

– Amount of racers halved; no private lobbies?!
– Screen tearing
– The career mode lacks exciting ideas


Publisher: Kunos Simulazioni

Developer: 505 Games

Genre: Racing simulator

Release date: August 26 / 30, 2016 (Europe / North America)

Assetto Corsa

Gameplay - 7.6
Graphics - 6.9
Physics - 8.8
Music/Audio - 8.5
Ambiance - 6.7

7.7

GOOD

Held back by performance, the game runs in a solid second behind Project CARS.

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Grabbing controllers since the middle of the nineties. Mostly he has no idea what he does - and he loves Diablo III. (Not.)

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