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Assetto Corsa Competizione Review: Console Owners Now Know What They've Been Missing

Assetto Corsa Competizione Review

Assetto Corsa Competizione

Assetto Corsa Competizione Review: Console Owners Now Know What They've Been Missing

505 Games and Kunos are back with their follow up to the 2014 cult hit, Assetto Corsa, with Assetto Corsa Competizione. For those wondering what ACC is exactly, well here’s how it’s summed up by the studio:

“It is the new official GT World Challenge video game. Thanks to the extraordinary quality of simulation, the game will allow you to experience the real atmosphere of the FIA ​​GT3 homologated championship, competing against official drivers, teams, cars and circuits, reproduced in-game with the highest level of accuracy ever achieved. Sprint, Endurance, and Spa 24 Hours races will come to life with an incredible level of realism, in both single and multiplayer modes.”

Now, there is quite a bit of boasting going on there, so let’s discuss if that sort of confidence is warranted here.

Assetto Corsa Competizione Review – What I Like

Career Mode

My career in ACC was a bit different than most racing titles these days as it’s a little more controlled. It starts you out by placing you in the seat of the powerful and erratic Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo and asks you to prove yourself. While that still might seem familiar, the game also asks you to show your skills on the track in inclement weather, night racing and timed racing, all while delivering consistent lap times.

Once you have proven yourself, you are now asked to create a team and hit the tracks. From there, the flow of career mode is straight up as you will follow a designated schedule that will find yourself racing in myriad cars that all handle in different ways.

What I loved about the career mode is at each track the game rewards you for accomplishing certain feats, like qualifying in the top three, completing a full race weekend without skipping anything, or finishing on the podium. Although the career mode isn’t as deep as that of Codemasters’ F1 series, it does mimic an older TOCA series path, which is never a bad thing.

I found myself spending a lot of my time in career mode, and if you are racing a medium or full race length with full practice and qualifying options, a single race weekend could consume quite a large chunk of a single afternoon. Have no fears if time is a concern though because most of the ACC career mode can be modified to fit your specific skill and time-based needs.

Driving Model

When it comes to car control and the nuances of it, I am not sure another developer does it any better than the Italian-based Kunos Simulazioni. Whether I was racing with a PS4 controller or my Fanatec wheel, I could instantly tell the difference between each vehicle and its track interaction and was forced to adjust accordingly. Driving my BMW M6, Honda NSX or the Lamborghini Huracan, my approach was completely different as each vehicle in ACC delivers unique power and handling.

Although this approach isn’t unique to just Kunos, the way it is implemented left me with a feeling of authenticity and presented a challenge that helped add another level of depth and longevity to the title.

I personally found the most success by spending time at each of the tracks with different style cars and learning the flow of the track and how the car handled on each unique surface. Regardless of what car I was racing, the one commonality to it all was that pushing the vehicle into corners and turns was a surefire way to lose valuable time during qualifying and the actual race itself.

Each car included in ACC is a high-performance machine and will deliver while racing — if being driven correctly (of course). The biggest key with having success when behind the wheel is exerting patience, leading the car naturally into turns, and accelerating and braking at the proper times. If you hit that pedal while too deep on the curb, not only will you impact the car while hitting the bumps, the chances of spinning out of control become very real.

Visual Fidelity

I had to keep things in perspective for this review because I reviewed it more on PS4, but before that had been playing the PC version of ACC in glorious 4K with a blazing FPS. Taking that into account, I was really pleased with how well rendered the cars, environments and tracks came across my screen on the PS4 Pro. The cars look and sound amazing, from the liveries to the rotor glow, it all comes close feeling like you are watching a video and not playing a game.

As good as the vehicles look, the tracks do not take a proverbial backseat in ACC as some of the most iconic tracks across the world come alive here. This leads me to the next strength of the game.

Tracks And Locations

If Kunos came to me and asked what tracks I would want to be included in this game, I would have put a list together that includes almost every single track that made it in here. Assetto Corsa Competizione has a total of 11 circuits included in the standard game, with a further four available in the Intercontinental GT pack.

The track list can be seen below:

  • Barcelona
  • Brands Hatch
  • Hungaroring
  • Kyalami (Intercontinental GT Pack)
  • Laguna Seca (Intercontinental GT Pack)
  • Misano
  • Monza
  • Mount Panorama (Intercontinental GT Pack)
  • Nurburgring
  • Paul Ricard
  • Silverstone
  • Spa-Francorchamps
  • Suzuka (Intercontinental GT Pack)
  • Zandvoort
  • Zolder

Not only are there some amazing tracks included in the game, but Kunos has also done an amazing job of re-creating the look and feel of each venue. The worlds and tracks feel alive, and the amount of detail that is included on and around each track draws me in and allows me to feel like part of their world.

I found myself often looking around and consuming all of these beautifully rendered details during my free-drive period of each race, and I always instantly noticed how much time and effort was put in here by the developers.

Options And Accessibility

In this day and age, it has become incredibly important to allow people with various skill sets and abilities to have a diverse range of possibilities and customization options at their disposal, and that trend holds up here. The newest title from Kunos allowed me to customize the feel of my controller, the difficulty and aggressiveness of the AI. In addition, multiple driving assists were there to help me ease my way into the game.

So, if your fear of not possessing the skill or ability to enjoy this simulation-based title from Kunos is all too real, have no worries because ACC allows the user to modify almost every aspect of the game from very easy to realistic.

Assetto Corsa Competizione Review – What I Don’t Like

AI Inconsistency

The AI in ACC can be very solid at times. My problem was that the AI had consistency and aggressiveness issues. Often, I watched AI not take advantage of my mistakes, even with AI aggressiveness set extremely high. Instead, the AI would simply let me correct my on-track error and maintain position. Now, this wasn’t the case in every occurrence as sometimes the AI would dip their nose below and push by, but this did not often enough.

The AI does of a wonderful job of recognizing me on the track and will race each other and find different lines. However, in the cutthroat world of auto racing, it would have been nice to see the AI be a bit more, ya know, cutthroat.

Visual Bugs And Damage Model

As much as ACC does right on the track, there are still areas that suffer from some problems. While rare for sure, I witnessed opponents ghosting into other cars as if they didn’t exist with zero collision detection. I also witnessed crashes that resulted in cars falling below the track and disappearing into the abyss. For the most part, everything runs and looks amazing on the console version of ACC, but there are a few glitches that need to be addressed through future patches.

On top of the rare(ish) glitches that I experienced, I must bring up the damage model, or lack thereof. Even with car damage set at 100 percent, I sometimes witnessed crashes that would be considered absolute spectacles resulting in very little damage — if any at all. While I’m sure developers mostly grasp that a solid damage model can deliver a high level of immersion and authenticity to a game, it’s extremely common to see metal twisting, car-destroying accidents leave just minor scratches in many racing titles. Perhaps this generally has to do with car licensing deals, but our experiences with these games suffer due to that.

Bottom Line

For the most part, what Kunos and 505 have delivered to the community in the form of Assetto Corsa Competizione is nothing short of brilliant. When you take into consideration the amount of content and options, and then include the visuals and racing authenticity, ACC is a complete package. The one caveat to all of this is that time will need to be spent to understand the vehicles and the wonderful assortment of amazing tracks that are included in order to feel completely comfortable behind the wheel.

Assetto Corsa Competizione is now available on Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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Discussion
  1. Robert, as always, brilliant review.  One question for you or anyone who has played this.  Just want to be sure that you can jump in and drive for fun as mentioned in the review.  I had Dirt Rally and Project Cars 2 and didn't want to spend the time to set up cars for a long time to run some races.  Seems like a guy who loves the track/car selection can jump in and enjoy, correct?  To me, that's a great game...appeal to the casual gamer and to the sim community at the same time.
    😎 I’m waiting for my copy to arrive, bought the physical disc last minute so I could get the preorder bonus for the International GT Cup (extra liveries and tracks like Bathurst, Kayalami etc) so of course it’s on back order and I won’t get it until probably mid July.
    I could cancel the order and get it from Amazon and have it tomorrow but then I’d lose the preorder bonus, I think.
    ILuvMN81
    😎 I’m waiting for my copy to arrive, bought the physical disc last minute so I could get the preorder bonus for the International GT Cup (extra liveries and tracks like Bathurst, Kayalami etc) so of course it’s on back order and I won’t get it until probably mid July.
    I could cancel the order and get it from Amazon and have it tomorrow but then I’d lose the preorder bonus, I think.

    You can get the preorder bonus if you buy digitally as well. And the deal runs for the next 2 weeks, at least on PS4.
    UPDATE: cancelled the physical preorder and bought it from Xbox store. Still got the bonus content.
    This game is awesome but noooo don’t jump in and assume you can just set top hot laps. There’s a lot of finnese Involved, especially with a controller/game pad. I took a Ferrari at Monza and managed to blow the first chicane right off the bat lol. Third lap around I was getting the hang of things.
    I can see some of the graphics things that make you cringe a little. All in all they’re pretty good but some of the animations are a bit jerky and some of the motions are a little...off.
    I expect a patch to look at or rework some of this stuff. I’m gonna tool around a bit more and report back later, answer any questions etc.
    I've gotten a few races in on the PS4. It's awesome. I just wish it was 60fps instead of 30, it had HDR available for the base PS4 (like The Show offers), full race replays, and adjustable visual settings like field of view or the steering animation. I love the cockpit views, but the steering animation is JARRING and messes with my brain to the point that I can't use them. The only in-car view I can use is the one without a steering wheel, but it looks weird.
    But the actual racing is top-notch. That added with the fantastic audio and ability to create a custom championship makes me happy with the purchase. I know they can't do a patch for the framerate and won't add the ability to view full race replays, but fixing the horrid steering animation would go a loooooong way in improving the playability and immersion factor. Fingers are crossed for a fix.
    I was considering purchasing this for my XBox One X/Thrustmaster TX system, but after learning that it doesn't support the Thrustmaster TX (and apparently a number of other popular steering wheels) and that it's locked at 30 FPS, I decided to pass.
    EDIT: it seems that no wheels are supported on the XBox One at this time. Five of the nine user reviews on the XBox store page say it doesn't recognize their wheel. Hopefully, that's just a bug that they can patch.
    saintjimbo1885
    I have a Thrustmaster TX with pedals on Xbox One* and it works with the game no problem - you just need to set it up properly!!

    Does it see the TX and identify it as such in the menu? I'm going off of what I'm reading from the nine user reviews, five of which were wheel owners of various makes, that had been posted on XBox Live, but the common cry is the game doesn't recognize their wheel. Maybe it just has one common wheel setup, which for many would be out of the norm, and you have to go in and tweak and tailor it to get what you want.
    Are you able to get the kind of performance you expect out of your TX with the game? Also, I'm reading reports of significant frame rate drops on some spots at some tracks. Have you run into any of that yet?
    Unlike most driving games ACC does not distinguish what wheel you have in the menu as the settings are common/generic - just like the original AC was on console. The wheel problem arises as when you start the game the steer lock setting is at zero!! Once you change this to 540 the wheel works fine!! (Had to use the controller to do this btw!!)
    The physics in the game are very good but the graphics are not as good as the likes of of GTS or PC2 etc but it does seem to be a steady 30fps with only the occasional bit of screen tearing - haven't noticed many frame drops yet but I am on Xbox One X.
    The FFB on ACC is quite poor compared to most driving games - could just be me needing to find good settings but the lack of a FOV adjustment setting is bizarre!!
    My main complaint is there seems to be some level of input lag on the pedals as I find braking quite problematic. Also noticed there is very little concept of speed playing in cockpit view - was struggling to tell if i was travelling 100kmh or 200kmh at times which did not help with my braking!!
    saintjimbo1885
    Unlike most driving games ACC does not distinguish what wheel you have in the menu as the settings are common/generic - just like the original AC was on console. The wheel problem arises as when you start the game the steer lock setting is at zero!! Once you change this to 540 the wheel works fine!! (Had to use the controller to do this btw!!)

    Starting lock is set at zero!? No wonder so many people are complaining about it on the Microsoft Store review page. I could handle this, but I can see where it would put a lot off a lot of folks. It would be more of a chore to find feed back settings starting out with a raw setting, but if they have the right tweaks one could get there eventually.
    The physics in the game are very good but the graphics are not as good as the likes of of GTS or PC2 etc but it does seem to be a steady 30fps with only the occasional bit of screen tearing - haven't noticed many frame drops yet but I am on Xbox One X.

    I'm pretty satisfied with PC2 and I also have GTS for my PS4 that my TX works well with via the "DriveHub" adapter. I probably just don't need ACC. Even a steady 30 FPS just doesn't have the responsive feel that I've been spoiled by in other racing games. I can't believe they don't have an option for 1080p at 60 FPS with the XBox One X!
    The FFB on ACC is quite poor compared to most driving games - could just be me needing to find good settings but the lack of a FOV adjustment setting is bizarre!!
    My main complaint is there seems to be some level of input lag on the pedals as I find braking quite problematic. Also noticed there is very little concept of speed playing in cockpit view - was struggling to tell if i was travelling 100kmh or 200kmh at times which did not help with my braking!!

    I can see where all of that would be a problem, especially at 30 FPS. Braking lag would be a hitch in your performance in a GT race!
    Having played ACC a bit more today I am finally getting to grips with the physics and the braking points - still feels like there is some input lag going on but after doing 5/6 laps of a track you eventually get into a groove as to where they are in the game!! (Still feels like i am having to break too early though!!)
    Got to agree about the fact that each car feels quite unique when driving - Porsche is my favourite so far but you need to try them all to see what suits your driving style.
    So far I have been pretty impressed by the AI in the game as well!!
    Will have a proper play about at the weekend and try some FFB settings but definitely glad I purchased ACC, especially with the early offer of getting the additional 3 tracks that will be paid for DLC content soon.
    Oh and don't hit any sausages, as the effect of doing so, seems way overpowered!!
    Btw i am assuming that due to it's release date, it will eventually find it's way onto next gen, so there is probably hope for a frame rate boost when this happens!!
    Driving / Racing games are my favorite. I own a lot of them. I must admit at first I did not like this game at all. I played it for about 30 minutes and wrote it off as a waste of $40.00. I kept seeing all these great impressions / comments about the game online so I decided to fire it up again.
    I chose one car went into single player and did practice mode , just me and the tracks. I ran 20 laps on several tracks (no racing line). I did the first 5 laps at a non racing speed , just getting the feel of the car down. This made a big difference. Before i was over shooting turns , spinning out coming out of the turns just having a horrible time. But once I realized I need to drive as if I was driving in real life and not in a video game things really improved.
    I've started my career and so far I'm loving this game. Yes I wish the graphic's were better , but the driving is so good I can live with them.
    My only complaint is when in the cockpit view the steering wheel looks very jerky on screen , I wish there was an adjustment to slow it down and smooth the look of it out. (using a controller). Also I wish there was a way to turn the Rating Practice Info info at the top of the screen off. I don't need this info and don't want it on my screen. When ever possible I race with as little as possible on my screen , usually nothing.
    I hope they release more content over time for this game. Car and track count is low at the moment.
    JMD
    Driving / Racing games are my favorite. I own a lot of them. I must admit at first I did not like this game at all. I played it for about 30 minutes and wrote it off as a waste of $40.00. I kept seeing all these great impressions / comments about the game online so I decided to fire it up again.
    I chose one car went into single player and did practice mode , just me and the tracks. I ran 20 laps on several tracks (no racing line). I did the first 5 laps at a non racing speed , just getting the feel of the car down. This made a big difference. Before i was over shooting turns , spinning out coming out of the turns just having a horrible time. But once I realized I need to drive as if I was driving in real life and not in a video game things really improved.
    I've started my career and so far I'm loving this game. Yes I wish the graphic's were better , but the driving is so good I can live with them.
    My only complaint is when in the cockpit view the steering wheel looks very jerky on screen , I wish there was an adjustment to slow it down and smooth the look of it out. (using a controller). Also I wish there was a way to turn the Rating Practice Info info at the top of the screen off. I don't need this info and don't want it on my screen. When ever possible I race with as little as possible on my screen , usually nothing.
    I hope they release more content over time for this game. Car and track count is low at the moment.

    Glad to see you picked this up too!
    I'll admit the 30 FPS and some off the animations are a bit off putting and can indeed cause distractions. It's weird though because the driving is SO good; I played F1 2019 for maybe one of the last times and while everything is so smooth graphically, it seemed like a cakewalk driving compared to ACC.
    There are options for HUD and the track rating thing. I thought I've turned them off.
    One :confused: thing I'm getting is a good percentage of the AI getting DSQ because they're not pitting in Sprint Races. Other than that, they're decent enough so far. I've yet to find a sweet spot for aggression but I think I've found a skill rating to assign them for now.
    There will be more content for the game in the pipeline. The SRO GT4 Europe series should release in the fall/autumn (releasing soon for Steam) and the British GT Championship will release late this year (fall on Steam).
    I don't know if this title will see a next gen remaster or not, I'd guess not for a bit. Maybe late 2021 or early 2022 but I don't expect to see it on X One X or PS5 that quickly.
    Got my Drivehub and got my old wheel hooked up, this game is absolutely fantastic with a wheel and some decent settings. It needs a little polish but it is a lot of fun already.
    I got the game on release day. I'm enjoying it. I've limited myself to Practice Mode. I've tried most of the track and the cars while trying to improve my ratings. I consider this game to be very much a Sim, but it doesn't seem as hard as Project Cars 2. To me, the first Project Cars was the one I felt had the best balance between realism and fun. ACC is very promising. I'm looking forward to the DLC they have promised for the fall. ACC is worth the $.

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