Assetto Corsa Competizione is one of the most realistic racing experiences one can have on the PlayStation 4 sans Gran Turismo. The world and the vehicles are gorgeous, but unfortunately, there isn’t much else to the game Assetto Corsa Competizione (ACC). It’s a reasonably straightforward racing game that is relatively bare-bones.
For most, the game will not hold your attention. There’s no in-depth progression to keep your interest or even a story per se to engage you. The game is strictly about getting on the track and racing. For fans of simulation racing or GT3 racing in general, this can be all that you would need. I would want something a little more, something that entices you to keep playing, a carrot-on-a-stick situation.
Typically a story’s progression or the chance to unlock more amazing cars would suffice; ACC does not provide this. There is a career mode where they place you into the Lamborghini Youngster Programme as their new driver, but it mostly ends up being a bunch of driving tests and races that will throw you right back into a menu when completed. To put a little perspective on it, it felt dryer than the progression you’d find in the original Gran Turismo on the PlayStation. The career can be entertaining, but to drop you right back into a menu right after without the tiniest bit of pomp-and-circumstance killed the mood for me.
Assetto Corsa Competizione does features over a dozen licensed cars from the GT3 endurance racing series giving the player access to some of the world’s most incredible cars. Aston Martins, the previously mentioned Lamborghini’s, even the wicked-looking Honda NSX, is included. All the vehicles look well modeled and accurate to my eyes, and once in the world, they look astounding. All the tracks feel photo-accurate and look just as good even on a PS4. To be quite honest, it doesn’t hold a candle to GT Sport, but I would say it looks better than something like Project Cars.
The moment I got my wheels on the track, I could instantly tell that the DualShock 4 is not how to play this game. If you want to appreciate the physics ACC has to offer fully, you need a force feedback enabled wheel. Using the DualShock 4, I found myself constantly over correcting or making my entries into turns way too hard. Over time I was able to finesse my way around, but it never felt “good.” I do not have a wheel to try, but with my experience playing other titles with and without wheels, I can tell by the feel that you’ll want a wheel to play ACC. This game asks for some smooth entrances and exits into and out of turns. It loves to keep you on your toes while feathering the throttle. I could see myself having a lot of fun on the track, not with a DualShock 4, though.
Because of the nature of the physics, one could assume that consistency is what is critical in ACC. I would say that assumption would be spot on. You could do a few perfect laps but get yourself out of the groove, and the AI will be right under your nose. Racing in and around others, even on a DualShock 4, felt tense, and one wrong move could spell tragedy. You’ll want to make sure that you’re intimately familiar with each track if you’re going to succeed. As such, perfecting your lap times and being consistent is the only real way to finish high in ACC. This is a game where the phrase practice makes perfect is literally the rule.
The underpinnings of a great racing sim are here, but for Assetto Corsa to branch out and hit that next level, it needs more next time. They have a physics engine that feels good, even if it’s too temperamental with a gamepad. The cars and the environments are stunning to look at, even if it’s not the best you’ll find on a PS4. It can even be fun to play, but with how dry the game feels, there isn’t any incentive for those other than your hardcore endurance sim fan to continue racing.
A PlayStation 4 code for the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes