Assetto Corsa Competizione is the next title from KUNOS-Simulazioni Srl and 505 Games, aiming to build upon the success of its predecessor. This time around, the team has chosen to focus on the very competitive world of GT3 racing. With such a saturation of GT3 content within sim racing as a whole, how does Assetto Corsa Competizione stand out from the crowd?
It’s no secret that GT3 and GT LM are two of, if not the most popular classes within the world of sim racing, So upon the announcement of Assetto Corsa Competizione and it’s GT Racing focus, many of the initial thoughts were simply ‘oh god another one?’ Now we’ve gotten our hands on the title, we can report that this isn’t just another GT3 sim, even if it is a little limited in its content right now.
Right now, Assetto Corsa Competizione comes with a single car and a single track. The Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and the Nurburgring GP Circuit respectfully. While this is extremely limited, this is set to be expanded as the early access timeline progresses. What the title serves as right now, is a technical demonstration of what we can expect when the title lands in full, and what a demonstration it is.
The driving experience Assetto Corsa Competizione offers is quite simply one of the most engaging GT3 experiences on offer right now. The title offers you a level of control that you’ll be hard pressed to find anywhere else. In fact, if you want everything on your wheel, you’ll be hard pressed to find space. With control over brake bias, traction control, abs levels, and a myriad of other features those with a more basic wheel (much like my Thrustmaster TMX) will struggle to put everything on the wheel, by the time you account for wipers, limiters, and pit options. The level of control on offer, however, puts this above other titles and firmly up there with the big guns of iRacing and Rfactor.
The recreation of the car and circuit are some of the best available right now. Even on a more modest spec, the title looks absolutely fantastic, with a highly detailed car, both inside and out, as well as a track that looks absolutely astounding. Graphically this all gets amplified when the weather engine comes into play, with the rain effects on offer being quite possibly the best available in any sim to date. The track appears believably wet, the run-off areas and rubbered in track areas are visually different, allowing for players to notice and avoid the spots of standing water and slicker areas.
When it comes to how the cars handle, players will be overjoyed. There’s enough challenge here to give the more seasoned sim racers a run for their money, but also enough assists on offer to make the more casual player feel comfortable. Even still, there’s no hiding the fact that this is a genuine sim. You’ll need to look after your tires, balance your fuel load, and the handling when you unleash all the assists is as much of a handful as you can expect. When you hook a lap together, however, it’s as rewarding as all hell. The ability to play with traction and brakes on the fly allows newer players to find a level they’re comfortable with, and those more veteran racers will be able to find a balance that allows them to unlock another level of pace around the circuit.
As for the circuit, you’ll notice it rubbering in nicely, and that rubber disappearing as the rain comes and slowly washes it away. there’s a definitive difference between the racing line and the outside, and those who end up on the dirt will notice a drop in performance as the tires are dirtied up and will need to clean their tires before they gain back their performance. Even better, you’ll notice the AI making a few mistakes as well.
For the AI, Assetto Corsa Competizione as really done a nice job with finding a system that provides good, clean racing as well as a nice challenge that can be adapted to all players’ skill levels. AI will make moves and go for gaps but are not as reckless as you’ll find in other titles. It’s rare that you’ll be forced off the road, but you will be squeezed and pressured. There’s a nice level of aggression that makes racing exciting, but without the level of frustration, you can often find in other titles. It is worth noting the AI will be driving the other cars set to launch in the title.
As for modes, Assetto Corsa Competizione is actually quite well equipped. There’s practice, free race, eventual championship modes, and most interestingly, challenges. In this case, the challenge to bring the car into the points from further down the grid than you expected, which allows you to employ both driving skill and strategy to achieve your goal. There will be multiplayer eventually, which we’ll have to wait and see more about as the title develops.
The only real issue right now is wheel support. It’s there, but you’ll find yourself having to mess with settings for a good while before it detects your wheel properly, and those not accustomed to the system will struggle to find a good force feedback setting without some help from the forums. Once you get it all set up, however, the experience is fantastic. It’s a shame, however, that you cannot adjust these settings in practice, and have to go in and out of the mode to make changes. I’m sure this will be changed for the full release, but it’s a rather large inconvenience right now.
Overall, the Early Access for Assetto Corsa Competizione is a small, but stacked offering. There might not be a wealth of content, but there’s enough to showcase the promise on offer. Would I recommend it? Yes, to the more seasoned racer looking for an early start on what is sure to be one of the best sim titles out there come release. For the more casual player, you might want to wait until a little more content hits the title.
You can find out more about Assetto Corsa Competizione over on the official website. The title is available now via Steam Early Access.