Racing simulators are hard to come by on consoles. Sure, many developers claim their titles are racing sims, or some are just outright arcade racers, but for true racing simulation, there isn’t much out there, unless you race on PC. Assetto Corsa is one of those few titles that claims to offer the most authentic driving experience, and now it’s available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
“ASSETTO CORSA is one of the most popular racing games, and includes the most iconic and purposed cars and tracks, featuring an advanced DirectX 11 graphics engine that recreates an immersive environment, dynamic lighting and realistic materials and surfaces. Designed to provide a highly realistic driving experience, our advanced physics engine includes features and aspects of real cars never before seen in any other racing simulator, such as tyre flat spots, heat cycles including graining and blistering, a highly advanced aerodynamic simulation with active movable aerodynamics parts controlled in real time by telemetry input channels, hybrid systems and energy recovery simulation”
Before Assetto Corsa released, the most authentic racing experience on console was last year’s Project CARS from Slightly Mad Studios. Racing on a controller required you set up the configurations to get the right feel, otherwise you would spin out, wheel spin, press the wrong button to do the wrong thing, and generally cause a lot of frustration. There were even Youtube videos on how to set up your controller. You would imagine it to be a more simplified effort.
Racing on the wheel however, and it offered a sensation that Forza Motorsport and DriveClub couldn’t dare equal. Forza and Driveclub are idea for the controller user, which is the most common method of input on consoles. Those who splashed out on wheels and gearsticks could feel at a disadvantage.
Assetto Corsa, developed by Kunos Simulazioni, the game left Steam Early Access in December of 2014, and now finally lines up on the grid for consoles. Its key features include:
Tailored to perfection – Over eighty cars are available to choose from, plus special editions, reproduced in collaboration with the most prestigious automotive manufacturers, each one authentic and unique in both characteristics and handling.
Legendary Circuits including Silverstone Circuit, Monza, and Nürburgring-Nordschleife, all recreated using Laser Scan technology so that each bump, curb and slope is a perfect match to the real counterpart.
Precision Physics bring a new dimension to the car and track, from tyre flat spots & heat cycles to the dynamic simulation of the tyre rubber deposited on track and recreated light conditions based on geographical coordinates.
Multiple Race Modes include Career mode, special and unique events and challenges. Fully customizable single player and multiplayer modes include quick races, race weekends including free practice sessions, qualifying session, drift challenges and more!
Tuning & Driver Assist profiles allow the overall racing experience to be further modified by adjusting everything from car attributes to collision damage to let players of any proficiency with a joypad or supported racing wheel.
While some complaints raised already include the fact that some cars have various variations, so that number of differing cars comes down somewhat. Expect more cars in the future, but like Project CARS which had less than 100 cars at launch, it’s all about the high performance track cars, and not about the run of the mill street cars you would find in Gran Turismo and Forza’s low end categories.
Assetto Corsa already has a Metacritic score of 79, rated on the PlayStation, which isn’t bad. The game is not without its problems though. Over on the its Facebook page, the developer is talking to fans about issues that need to be resolved, and problems with launch DLC. There are no private lobbies either as of yet, nor are there leaderboards to compare times with friends.
The developer is small team compared to the other racing game developers out there, but for a full priced title, you may need some patience if you’re investing, and be expected to wait for more features to be added.