REVIEW – In case you’re feeling dejavu, it’s no coincidence: it is the third time we’ve seen Kunos Simulazioni’s game. I’m not talking about the basic Assetto Corsa, but the game with the word Competizione added to its title: indeed, the racing game is on its third edition… it’s getting a bit funny. However, 505 Games will make money off of it again nevertheless.
If the absolutely garbage local currency continues to fall into the sh_tter over the following weeks, I’d instead not write down my thoughts.
I should point out here that this bunch of characters is about the version for the new generation of consoles, as the game came out on May 29, 2019, for PC, followed by the PlayStation 4/Xbox One version on June 23, 2020, published by 505 Games. They have brought the Unreal Engine 4-powered game to the two consoles released in November 2020. It’s not at the level of iRacing or rFactor, especially how Assetto Corsa Competizione mainly lacked in content. Also, it wasn’t that technically sophisticated on the PS4/X1 duo. But for that reason, it’s justified that a new version has come to consoles because it’s much closer to the PC original. Anyone who already has it on one of the 2013 consoles will be glad, as 505 Games don’t charge for the upgrade, which is worth doing, as the game ran at 30 FPS on the old consoles. As expected, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series did more than that via backwards compatibility, but now, Assetto Corsa Competizione kicks it up a notch. 4K at 60 FPS per second, which I think is necessary for racing games? (If Gran Turismo 7 doesn’t deliver that frame rate, I’ll be shocked because there’s no ray tracing while racing on PlayStation 5!) Sure, there’s a performance drop here and there (especially when there are a lot of cars on the track and the weather isn’t great), but that’s about it.
Unfortunately, there are still some shortcomings, especially regarding the mirror. I don’t know if it’s a fair comparison, but my first PC game in 2003 (no laughs, please) was Viper Racing from 1998, I think. Now, if THAT GAME had a fully functional and flawless mirror (and where were the multi-core processors and gigaflops then?), why couldn’t that be achieved here? On the other hand, I can mention a few positive things. For example, the shadows cast by the trees on the track and the weather effects are pretty good, and, predictably, the loading times have been significantly reduced compared to the previous console counterparts. The DualSense’s features are utilised on PlayStation 5, but perhaps it could have been better (I’m almost certain that the functionality is more comprehensive in Codemasters’ games). So there are improvements here too, but more could have been squeezed out of the game. However, I don’t dispute a significant improvement over the old consoles.
Assetto Corsa Competizione is also more robust in terms of content, as the PC updates (which have fine-tuned the physics and also balanced the performance of the vehicles) have made their way in, and depending on the version, everything from BMW to Mercedes is in the pack, even with a new circuit, namely Imola. The product, which focuses on GT4, GT3 and the official Blancpain GT series, is not lacking in this respect, and anyone who might want a custom option for the field-of-view (FoV) will be happy, so the cockpit, interior-view camera position gives you what you’re looking for.
Thirty cars are fighting it out for victory instead of twenty-four, which is good on paper, but new console players can prepare for disappointment in practice, as there’s no cross-play. This is where it would have been logical to pit the PC players (although they might have an advantage over the DualSense/controller players with their steering wheel and pedal solution) against the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series players… or at least to have cross-play within the same console family (PlayStation 5 vs. PlayStation 4, Xbox Series vs. Xbox One). There were technical hurdles here, as the PS4/X1 version has no lobbies, and 60 FPS would have given the couch potatoes competing on the 2020 consoles a serious advantage. But still, PC/PS5/XS cross-play should have been implemented. It’s a huge missed opportunity, and I’ll say it here, that’s why the game failed to score an eight out of ten! What a shame.
Stayed on track
The new-gen version of Assetto Corsa Competizione only gets a seven and a half out of ten because it’s still a bit lacking technically, there’s no cross-play, and perhaps content-wise, I suspect Gran Turismo 7 will wash it off the track. It’s improved over the previous console version (FoV, even private lobbies, primarily stable performance, and improved content-wise), and physically, it’s pretty capable of holding its own. So it’s a good game, but if you have a strong PC nearby, I’d recommend playing on that. On PlayStation 5/Xbox Series, it’s a cost-effective option, especially if you have the PlayStation 4/Xbox One version. It did its job.
+ Its performance is mostly alright
+ More cars on track, private lobbies
+ FoV adjustments
– Cross-play: not even between the new consoles and PC!
– Technically, there are still some shortcomings
– Hardly outstanding at anything; it will sink (especially with the arrival of GT7)
Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Kunos Simulazioni
Publication: (on PS5/XSX): February 22, 2022