That Kunos Simulations knows its own fact about the production of extremely realistic automotive simulators is self-evident. Assetto Corsa, in its time, proved capable of putting to the test the knowledge and skills of the best luminaries of the four wheels. Almost five years after the first chapter, after many months in Anticipated Access, the guys from the Italian development studio decided to raise the bar of the genre, finally presenting version 1.0 of Assetto Corsa Competizione, the official simulation of the Blancpain GT Series.
Published by 505 Games, the Italian editor who has distributed many successful games including Stardew Valley and Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Assetto Corsa Competizione allows you to fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the FIA GT3 championship on board of cars of the caliber of Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche, McLaren and other powerful racing wonders. The Blancpain GT Series, an international car competition organized by the SRO Motorsports Group, quickly became one of the world’s most important GT3 events. Assetto Corsa Competizione, without bending to any compromise, aims to reproduce with maniacal fidelity every single aspect. Cars, drivers, teams, events and circuits are the exact video game transposition of those present in the event, so it is logical that there are no elements in contrast with those expected.
REALISM AT ANY COST
Of course, by virtue of its simulative nature, Assetto Racing Competition cannot and does not want to be a game suitable for all categories of players. We are faced with a meticulous reconstruction of the GT racing world which, while perfect for hardcore drivers, will struggle to be appreciated by the riders most devoted to an arcade approach. The target audience to which the title refers is clearly specific: the amount of technical settings of the cars, all extremely modifiable depending on your feelings, requires a certain amount of patience, attention and sensitivity. Throwing yourself into the fray with your eyes closed means ringing one bad figure after another: as in reality, before getting the right driving feeling, a driver must test different set-ups by doing several test laps, otherwise, you risk sweating much more than the seven proverbial shirts. As a man said, just this year, the five hundredth anniversary of his death, never as in this case “the details make perfection and perfection is not a detail.
When I talk about modifiable technical settings I mean the entire technological microcosm that is hidden under the body of each car and that fans of the Assetto Corsa series know well: tires, electronics, strategy, mechanical grip, shock absorbers and aerodynamics just wait for the player to adjust the plethora of values in the way he thinks optimal. Before and during the races you can rely on preset setups (Safe, Aggressive, Wet), or intervene directly on what you are using. Since dynamic weather conditions have been implemented, it is essential to take these weather elements into account when fine-tuning the car’s trim; the wind affects the aerodynamics, just to make you understand the impact that any factor has on the performance of the vehicles. If you are not a mechanical dragon – or an Anglo-Saxon idiom – don’t despair, the game texts are completely localized in Italian and fortunately the explanations are precise and clear. Change after change, lap after lap, the driver feels the involvement and the feeling with his own object of pleasure grow (from a certain point on they won’t be mere cars anymore, I guarantee you), finally arriving to have the full control of it in every circumstance. Like a wild horse, it will take a few clumsy attempts before the game lets itself be tamed, but perseverance over time will be rewarded. As the player’s skills increase, the purebred will eventually calm down and let himself be assembled, giving great satisfaction to motor fanatics.
BLANCPAIN GT SERIES AND SURROUNDINGS
There are five ways in which you can try out: career, single player, special events, championship and multiplayer. Career provides a first phase consisting of three initial tests aboard the Lamborghini Huràcan SuperTrofeo which, depending on the results achieved, will define the degree of general challenge of your journey to success. After the introductory phase you can dedicate yourself to events and competitions, trying to carve out a place of honor among the GT drivers. A Blancpain GT Series Sprint Cup event consists of two one-hour races, while the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup races range from three-hour events to a 1000 km race until the highlight of the Total 24 Hours of Spa season , one of the main races of the world held in 24 hours. The single player mode allows you to choose track, car, driver, team and which of the many races that characterize the Blancpain GT Series face. Special events, on the other hand, will allow you to experience the most significant experiences of the event in person, while the championship will give you the opportunity to face a season that includes Sprint, Endurance or both. Career, single player and league are all extremely customizable challenges, thanks also to a tutorial and a system of aid to progressive levels that allow to adapt the artificial intelligence and the stability controls of the car to their abilities. The multiplayer offers the possibility of launching into rapid challenges thanks to the Quick Match, or to participate in longer events. Matchmaking, thanks to the safe guide filter and many other selectable parameters, finally guarantees a wide possibility of choice among the servers also based on the degree of skill and correctness of the pilots.
With a graphic section rich in meticulously embroidered details, excellent dynamic atmospheric effects that, increasing the sense of involvement, radically change the way the car responds to commands, breathtaking night races (Monzafiato!), Cars and circuits perfectly adherent to the In reality, the visual impact is very good. The Unreal Engine 4 that moves the frenetic game world, even in moments of greater polygonal brawl, manages to manage the situation quite easily. I tried it on a PC equipped with I5 7400 @ 3.00ghz, 8 GB of RAM and GTX 1050 Ti in a Windows 10 64-bit environment and, with the settings on “Ultra”, I noticed sporadic and slight drops in frame rates especially in the moments of greatest confusion, such as following a fearful frontal. I note that I am not a murderer, I just wanted to understand how far the external damage was reproduced; By the way, don’t expect to see a crumpled Lamborghini: as a fairly common practice now, when famous car manufacturers are involved, unlike the mechanical / technical ones, the reproduction of surface damage is limited. I think the extremely elaborate physics ends up having a weight on the hardware, but it is a purely personal feeling. The excellence on which there are no qualms certainly concerns the sound effects and above all the real driving feeling, absolute strength and soul of Italian production; the feeling of being at the wheel of a monster with unprecedented power is powerful and can be perceived from the first accelerated. The physics of the driving model is the most accurate, precise and satisfying ever seen in a racing simulator, so adding more would be superfluous.
A very multi-faceted ranking system for pilots, a clear predisposition towards the world of E-sports, clean and intuitive menus, a streamlined interface compared to its predecessor, a never intrusive soundtrack and a long series of micro-details are the others elements that contribute to the player’s sense of identification. If you are a fan of hyper-realistic racing, Assetto Corsa Competizione is the goal you have a moral duty to aspire to. Since we can always improve, the title of Kunos also has some aspects that could be more refined. The AI of the opponents sometimes tends to behave less realistic and “smart” than one would expect, while the impossibility of saving the game between the various phases that make up an event during the career can be tantalizing, especially if you had initially set the length of the races at the highest levels. Probably, future updates will be able to further enhance the already high quality of the game, smoothing out small defects found with version 1.0.
Assetto Corsa Competizione is in effect the new yardstick for realism in car simulations. The driving feeling is unparalleled, amusing and passionate in its complexity, while the spasmodic search for detail exudes passion. The physics of vehicles reveals an exceptional competence on the part of the developers and, often, leaves the player forbidden thanks to its majesty. Being devoid of half measures, the title is aimed at a niche audience, deserving a place of honor in the collection of every hyper-realistic fan lover. Some minor defects do not succeed in ruining the overall quality of the game, although they prevent it from reaching the Olympus of absolute masterpieces, blocking the race just a step from the finish line. By intervening surgically and improving it with the same mastery with which it was designed, Assetto Corsa Competizione has everything it takes to make that last effort and thus make its triumphant entry into the never-quite-crowded pantheon of videogame deities.