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Assetto Corsa Review

Having spent a lot of time with games such as DriveClub, Forza and of course Gran Turismo, it’s always interesting to see a newcomer arrive on the scene. Simulation racers must be hard for developers to get right, after all there are a lot of details to get right, from the look of the cars all the way to the feel. Then of course there’s the tracks too and all the elements that make up the game such as career mode, online etc.

While I can generally appreciate all the work that has gone into these game while crashing into walls at practically every corner, I’m always reassured that at one point I’ll follow the learning curve and eventually manage to get myself into a decent position during the race. Unfortunately for me then, Assetto Corsa developer Kunos Simulation seems to have completely forgotten about amateur drivers and instead throws you right into what seems like a highly unforgiving and competitive racer, with no time for those of us who like to bed ourselves into the cars.

While I generally like to be eased into Career Mode with races you'd have to reverse the whole way around the track to lose, Assetto Corsa just presumes you are good; in fact it even has manual transmission on as standard, something I’ve never even used before in a racing game. With no tutorial, instead you’ll just need to jump into quick race to practice; either that or take your chances with the career mode. If you are great at racing games, then this is probably ideal; if you’re like me and need time to get used to how the game feels, then you are in for a long few hours.

Of course Assetto Corsa does have driving assists but they aren’t the greatest to work with and don’t seem to help as much as in other games. There is also no explanation of any of these, which is no good really. Like I say, this is probably brilliant for those who can just pick up a controller and wipe the track with any opponents who dare to challenge them, but I can only speak for myself and I pretty much struggled all the way through it.

The main area of play is of course Career Mode, which has you playing through events which you will need to win medals in if you want to progress. Don’t win and you’ll be playing the same event over and over again until you do. Career mode consists of 27 tiers of races made up of Time Attacks and Quick Races, so if you do get good at the game then there is plenty to keep you busy here. 

Speaking of these race types, Time Attacks, sees you go up against a timer. The better you do, the more chances you’ll earn a gold, silver, or bronze medal. If you run off the track at you're deducted points, so let’s just say that my medal display cupboard is looking rather bare at the moment. Quick Races meanwhile, start you at the rear of an eight-car field and sets you the task of finishing in the top three. The A.I is extremely tough as far as I’m concerned, so I wasn’t too happy with my performance most of the time.

If you are looking to head online mode then you’ll be greeted with 50 different events for up to 16 players. Each race has different rules and includes a practice session and qualifying laps before the main race. You can join in when you feel like it, though perhaps you should be spending some time on the practice track if you don’t want to embarrass yourself too much.

On the presentation side, Assetto Corsa certainly looks ok, although it’s no match for the likes of Forza or DriveClub. The tracks do seem well designed, and the 80+ cars are well modelled. It’s just that the smaller details, such as a weather system and that extra attention to detail, seems to be missing, meaning that it feels lacking, despite the obvious effort that has went into making the game.

I’ve no doubt that those looking for a racer to tide them over until Forza Horizon 3 or GT Sport may enjoy Assetto Corsa. It’s not going to win any awards or maybe admiration from the elite gaming press, but if you appreciate a tough as nails racer that doesn’t hold your hand along the way, then you may find yourself enjoying Assetto Corsa.

Words by Joe Anderson
Twitter: @_wotta | PSN/XBLA: wotta

(Version Tested: PS4)


+ A decent racing experience
+ 80+ Cars


- Very unforgiving
- Lacks attention to detail

Edited On 26 Aug, 2016

( 3 )
Anonymous user's avatar
LONIA 5 months ago
This is a proper simulator for gamers with a racing rig really.not to be compared to arcade racers like driveclub in my opinion.
opt1mus76's avatar
opt1mus76 5 months ago
Thank you Joe, suddenly I feel less guilty of not bothering to play racers with manual gears. To be fair to the game, handling when playing on joypad is vast improvement over Project Cars
symon1010's avatar
symon1010 5 months ago
I've been playing this game for a couple of days now and i can truthfully say... it's hard . Like opt1mus76 pointed out its a vast improvement on project cars in both handling and menu layout , although i still find using a control pad with this game makes the handling of the cars extremely twitchy (using a steering wheel is much easier). You can try to make the game more forgiving by setting the AI to easy but it does not make much difference as its still quite hard (and i am a seasoned racing game player) . Overall , hard , looks nice , lots to do , not for everyone.

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