Assetto Corsa Review: Fantastic Physics, Niche Appeal

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_18

There’s a local brewery that has gained a lot of fans in Toronto since it started selling beers at the turn of the millennium. Despite winning numerous awards, the team has bucked the craft beer trend of branching out, opting to exclusively stick to the original product their reputation has been built on. The motto? “Do one thing really, really well.”

We haven’t met the folks that make up Kunos Simulazioni, and we’d wager the Steam Whistle Brewing founders probably haven’t either. If that’s the case, it’s a bit of a shame: we think both camps would find they share a lot of common bonds. Assetto Corsa certainly feels as single-mindedly focused, more so than any other driving game we’ve played on consoles.

Full disclosure: I was given early access to Assetto Corsa on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One through 505 Games’ US PR firm. Thanks, Karina!

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_13

Controls

We initially approached both versions of the game with the respective system’s default controller to get a baseline. Optimization for pad users is acceptable, as expected after Kunos showcased just that prior to release. Helpfully, players are able to change a handful of settings, from vibration intensity to deadzones.

Unfortunately, there is no in-game explanation for these options. Some are fairly straight-forward, while others will be less clear to players unfamiliar with this level of input customization. Steering Filter, for example, affects how controller inputs are smoothed, blending successive taps of the analog stick into a continuous movement. Steering Gamma changes the linearity of the analog stick, where a higher setting causes small movements to have less of an impact on the steering versus the default 1:1 ratio.

Bizarrely, there’s also no “Reset to Default” option, so we’d recommend snapping a screenshot before you start tinkering. There’s also no way to customize the button mapping; you’ve got three Kunos-designed layouts and that’s all. This means pad users are locked out of controlling their clutch.

A big advantage the game has over most other titles in the genre is the ability to cycle the turbo and traction control on the fly. This gives players the opportunity to ease themselves into the experience, which can prove invaluable when you’re strapped into a Yellowbird that’s trying its hardest to introduce you to the barrier.

The controller is a blunt instrument, at least out of the box. Cars are very twitchy with the default settings, making any of the faster vehicles incredibly difficult to control. It’s more manageable than Project CARS was during its console launch last year, but doesn’t hold a candle to the controller optimization of Gran Turismo, Forza, or even DriveClub. If you’re coming from any of those games, we recommend bumping the Steering Gamma up quite a lot.

Of course, plugging in a wheel transforms the game. We took the opportunity to try Assetto Corsa with Fanatec’s latest offering, the CSL Elite bundle (full review coming next week). The only change we needed to make from the default wheel settings was knocking the FFB effect down to avoid the wheel see-sawing on straights.

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_14

Physics

There’s no point waiting any more to talk about this part of the game. Ever since Assetto Corsa was first ear-marked for consoles last year, the physics have been at the forefront of any discussion. It’s arguably Assetto Corsa’s primary selling point.

If we had to sum up the Assetto Corsa physics experience in a single word, it’d be “natural”. A lot of other reviews of the game have heaped praise on this aspect of the game, with good reason: it really does set a new standard on consoles. Consider the Kool-Aid thoroughly drank.

A seemingly-simple feature that we wish every driving game included is the Factory setting for ABS and Traction Control. Our man Brendan called it “pure genius”, before adding “I love being able to drive a car the way it should actually be driven as opposed to artificial difficulty”. It means less time spent shuffling through the settings when jumping from one car to the next, and more time doing the important stuff: driving.

“The Abarth 500 handles exactly the way I would expect,” said Brendan, after taking one of our most-anticipated cars around the track. The little scorpion-badged car is a joy, sniffing out apexes while letting its rear tires take on some attitude.

The Nismo GT-R — part of the Prestige Pack — is monstrously fast, but you never doubt its quite considerable curb weight. Easily the biggest stand-out in terms of its dynamic makeup is the amount of oversteer it’s capable of: despite all the rabble you’ll hear of the car being a cinch to drive, the Nismo really does feel like a rear-drive car most of the time.

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_02

A car’s vintage plays a huge part in how it drives. The Ford Escort RS1600 is a tiny little buzz-box of a car, with period-appropriate levels of rubber housed inside those flared arches. It will get sideways at a moment’s notice, but the edge of its performance envelope is soft. You can almost feel the taller sidewalls doing their part to make the car more malleable. The Ferrari 312T tells a similar story, though with exponential increases in speed and downforce.

By comparison, the closest thing to a modern F1 car currently in the game (the Lotus Exos Stage 1) has bags more grip, aerodynamically and mechanically. Its limits are so high that you’ll constantly find yourself re-evaluating what you thought was an acceptable entry speed for corners. When you do eventually cross the threshold, however — and you will — you’ll be greeted with a very, very sharp drop-off in grip.

Basically, every car feels different, with its own unique positives, weak points, and quirks.

Nearly every track in the game is laser-scanned: the dedicated drift track and Zandvoort are the exceptions. Using a wheel drives the advantages of this approach home, as you feel every bump through the rim. You’ll also feel the wheel lighten as you lose grip at the front, while it will load up when you get sideways.

Catching small slides is easy enough, but you’ll need a some serious skills if you’re hoping to catch the bigger, smokier variety. That’s not a bad thing: video games have lulled us into the idea that drifting can be easy, but skill definitely plays a major part in the equation. When you pull off a proper string though, it makes it that much sweeter.

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_12

Cars And Tracks

Assetto Corsa arrives on consoles with 90+ cars. That’s a bit of a misnomer, as a fair amount of the garage is made up of the Kunos-tuned versions of stock rides. These do feel different from the normal cars they’re based on, but it nonetheless needs to be mentioned.

If you’re a fan of Ferrari, Lotus, or BMW, you will be very satisfied with the lineup. Those three marques make up a substantial portion of the list. American cars are represented with a handful of Fords (though really, only one of them can claim to be all-American), two C7 Corvettes, and a monstrous Shelby Cobra. Japanese cars are similarly light on the ground, with only three cars available. That will be rectified slightly when the Japanese Car Pack makes its way to consoles.

There are some inspired inclusions, however. Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus makes it in with two of its machines; the F430-based P4/5 Competizione and bespoke SCG-003C. Sauber’s bonkers C9 represents the madness that was Group C, while tasty F1 cars from Lotus’ rich history provide a look through the ages of the sport. Console users also received the Ferrari FXX K, 488 GTB, and the Czech-built Praga R1 track car.

GT3-type cars are well-represented, with entries from McLaren, Mercedes, Nissan, and Lamborghini joined by similar-spec cars from Ferrari and Chevrolet. Fans of touring car racing will be delighted by the high-revving Alfa Romeo 155 TI V6’s inclusion, alongside the legendary BMW E30 M3 Group A and Mercedes-Benz 190E Evo II.

The track list is a mixed bag. It’s a small bag, with 12 locations (including the drift track). Brands Hatch, Nürburgring, Silverstone and Spa are all on the list, seemingly required content now for all sim driving games. Regardless of this familiarity, they’re all recreated accurately: Surtees is just as difficult to pin down as you remember, and Pouhon requires commitment in the quick stuff.

The ‘Ring is seriously impressive, offering more layouts than any other game on consoles, including the Tourist setup. The track feels like it’s truly located smack dab in a forest, with the trackside littered with trees. Personal favourite Mugello is a jewel, while Kunos’ home circuit of Vallelunga is a deceptively hard circuit to master.

Outside of the limited track selection, our biggest criticism of the locations is the lifelessness of the surroundings. There’s very little going on around you, and while that’s fine for hotlapping, it can make race weekends feel dry and anticlimactic. Some atmosphere would go a long way.

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_04

Sounds

The sounds of the game are amongst some of the better ones found on consoles. Each machine’s unique voice is captured accurately — and change noticeably based on view used — but engine notes are only part of the equation. Racing gearboxes whine as you pile on the speed, and climbing up the ‘box is accompanied with a satisfying slam in paddle-shifters. Wind and road noise are both present and accounted for, contributing to the all-important immersion factor. Our favourite bit of sound engineering is the pinging in the wheel wells after you’ve encountered a patch of dirt.

Assetto Corsa offers players the ability to fine-tune the sound mix. In the Options menu, the Master volume option is joined by 7 separate volume listings: engine, wind, tyres, opponents, brakes, music, and UI. This lets racers place importance on the aspect of their choosing. No matter what volume you set it at, the music will not play during a race, only in the menus. Given the game’s focus, we’re not very surprised by that.

All is not perfect in sound land. While the cars sound great overall, some recordings are noticeably better than others. The E30 M3 — stock, not the racing or drift versions — suffers from a near-constant burbling/gargling sound mid-way up the tachometer. It sounds like backfire, which is in the game, but it occurs far more than any other car we drove in the game, and isn’t accompanied by the visual cue.

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_01

Graphics

Assetto Corsa isn’t the best looking game in the genre. We’ll get that out of the way now. At some points, it doesn’t look appreciably better than select games from the previous generation. While some never expected it to match up in that regard — it’s a title from a very small team that has consistently made physics a top priority, and are only just now dipping their feet in the tricky console pool — the gaming public are likely to compare the game unfavourably to other, more established titles.

This being said, the game is far from ugly. Setting different times of day — sadly, not dynamic — changes the look and feel of tracks. The interiors of the cars are faithfully remodelled, with a truly impressive amount of data available for number nerds in the race cars. Car models as a whole are very good, and liveries are of impressive quality.

Tires pick up dirt after a car has taken an off-track excursion, slowly disappearing over the next few turns. This is obviously more noticeable on the open-wheel cars, but it’s a nice touch by Kunos to remind players of the consequences of mistakes.

It may be a cliché, but the quality of the graphics seem to matter less when you’re deep in a heated race. This is likely due to the realistic colour palette Kunos has adopted by default for the game. If you’ve watched an in-car video on Youtube of someone hoofing a Ferrari around Mugello, you’ll find the in-game visuals surprisingly similar. The game could still use more track-side atmosphere, however.

Similar to Driveclub, there are other colour filters to choose from: Expanded, Sport, Black & White, and Sepia. These add more to the game than you’d expect, and they’re best shown off in the Replay Mode (especially as there is no Photomode within the game). The mode itself is both good and bad: the TV angles are very well-chosen, showing off the game in its best light. Unfortunately, replays appear to be limited in terms of length. Recording starts from the moment you hit the track, even though you’re first in a menu before hoping in the car. This seems like a waste given the time limit.

Screen tearing is very noticeable on both consoles. Framerate fluctuation is too, and sadly, both can rear their heads even if it’s just you alone on the track. Multiply that by sixteen to achieve a full grid, and the result is a game that chugs along when the pack is close together. To their credit, the Kunos team has already announced an update is coming later this month to rectify these issues, but that doesn’t change the existing game’s performance foibles.

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_03

Game Modes & Menus

Players are presented with three options at the main menu: Special Events, Drive, and Career. Drive offers seven options of its own, which are used variously in the other two: Practice, Quick Race, Race Weekend, Online, Hotlap, Time Attack, and Drift. Practice and Hotlap are essentially the same; the major difference is where you first start on the track (pits versus end of lap) and the existence of a ghost (Hotlap).

Quick Race is straight-forward enough, letting you hop straight into the action. AI options include difficulty level, quantity, and type (single make or same class). Race Weekend expands on that, offering practice and qualifying sessions before the main event.

Time Attack is built in the same spirit as 90’s arcade racers: players must circle the track as quickly as possible, hitting checkpoints to add more time onto their remaining tally. Keeping the timer from hitting zero for longer nets a higher final score. Unfortunately, the mode could use some revisions, or at least the UI. The map doesn’t show where checkpoints are, so you’re left guessing until the locations are familiar.

Drift mode is almost worth skipping, at least in terms of practicing the art of slideways. Jumping onto the track, you’re given a hilarious 60-second time limit to garner points, which extend the time in much the same way Time Attack functions.

Those looking for a robust, interesting offline career mode will likely be disappointed. For starters, it’s very linear. It follows the path typical of racing games, starting out in slower, more pedestrian machinery before graduating to the quicker stuff. That on its own is fine. But the only way to select a later series (at least as far as we’ve seen) is to complete the preceding one. Progress is measured in medals, with set amounts needed for each series.

In the series themselves, there will either be a collection of events that can be completed in a random order, or a set-order championship. The former will swap between a few different cars, letting you get a quick taste of the variety the game has on offer.

Special Events are standalone car/track combos meant to further challenge players. In that sense, they succeed; the difficulty is all over the map, meaning some tests will be a cakewalk, while others are controller-threatening levels of hard. The amount of events on offer is impressive — there’s 94 of them — but as every one boils down to Hot Lap, Quick Race, Time Trial or Drift, it begins to blur together.

The finish of a race is, for lack of a better word, simply bizarre. After the checkered flag flies, players are left to lap the circuit for a few seconds before being instantaneously transported back to the pits. The results don’t pop up until a short while after that, but you’d better wait: the results will be lost if you exit prematurely. Some community members have also reported the teleportation back to the pits has affected finishing orders. A little bit of polish in this area would go a long way.

The menus are very quick-loading, which is good. The bad news is they’re not especially pretty, feeling distinctly 90’s thanks to a font selection with appalling readability. What’s more surprising, the tiny thumbnail images used for the career races are blown up in later menu screens, resulting in all sorts of pixelization. Image resizing should always go down, not up, and this move makes the game feel unpolished.

As mentioned way back near the beginning, there’s no explanations for most of what’s seen on screen, relying on the player to instinctively know about what they’re experiencing. This is fine for sim racing regulars, but can make the game unapproachable for those less familiar.

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_19

Online Experience

This will be a big letdown for players excited to race their friends: the online mode has no custom lobbies option currently. There are only pre-made lobbies, featuring a variety of themes. This approach severely hampered our ability to test out the online, as rooms will only progress if there are numerous players in them. The majority of the list had empty lobbies, on both XB1 and PS4 versions.

The car selection is a lottery, too: each room comes with a set number of models of allowed cars. If three people have already selected the car of your choice in a GT3 room for instance, you’re forced to pick another one. We can’t think of a reason for this approach other than perhaps wanting to limit the chances of duplicate liveries, or rooms becoming one-make races. Either of which seems pretty silly.

When we did get to race, we found the experience roughly the same as what’s available offline in terms of the game’s performance. There were the expected framerate and screen tearing issues, but very little lag from other players. We watched some impressive drift trains in one room, with cars keeping side-by-side through transitions cleanly.

Kunos has promised that private lobbies will make it to consoles in a future update, but it’s shocking the game was shipped without any real way of setting up dedicated events with friends. That’s an essential portion of the sim racing genre, and it can’t come soon enough. The same goes with leaderboards, also conspicuous by their absence.

Assetto_Corsa_Console_Release_17

Conclusion

3000 words later, the most important question remains: would we recommend Assetto Corsa to friends? The answer, as you’ve probably figured, is “maybe”.

We can’t stress this enough: the physics are quite impressive indeed. Not perfect — no sim is, and it’s a harder sell on the pad — but with a wheel, it’s sensational. Kunos has nailed down the force feedback of the game, helping it feel very natural. On numerous occasions, we lost track of time just hotlapping a circuit, which is something that hasn’t happened too often recently.

That brings us to the crux of the issue with the game in its current form, however: it functions primarily as a hotlapping simulator. Racing with friends online is only possible in Kunos-designed hoppers, all but removing custom community championships from the table. Offline isn’t much better: there’s AI that can PIT-maneuver you on a straight with no consequence, the unusual end-of-race sequence, and the tedious nature of the career mode. “But Kyle,” I can already hear from the comments section, “a vast career mode is not the point of the game.” This is a specious argument: if a career isn’t the point of the game, it shouldn’t have been added.

We can’t help but circle back to that tag-line: “Do one thing really, really well.” Other games offer a wider range of flavours: taster packs highlighting the breadth of the company’s offerings. If your preferred flavour profile includes a base of authentic physics and feedback, Assetto Corsa is a veritable 24-pack of your favourite beer.

See more articles on and .

Related Posts

Comments (53)

Sort by:
  1. research

    A hotlapping sim? Why am I having the virtual racing experience of my life with the A.I.? They are really good racers compared to most* racing games.

    GT ai gets a 3/10. AC ai gets an 8/10.

    I’m having great battles with clean passes by the A.I. on both the inside and outside of corners. The only flaws are sometimes they will back each other up when they’re all bunched up early in a race, and some certain corners at certain tracks they will be consistently slow- allowing me to gain time/make passes at the same turn, every lap. This is not a major problem, at all.

    Do the console versions have some sort of different A.I. than PC? I have really high standards for the computer opponents and I’m having a blast with AC.

    Report
  2. TomBrady

    I really disagree with the ridiculous notion that this is a hot lapping sim. The AI isn’t nearly as bad as you described and neither is the online racing.

    Report
    1. GrumpyGrumps

      The prevailing opinion (which is all any of this is) is that the AI is as bad as he described, which is why the devs are re-balancing it in the coming update.

      Report
  3. PSN:And-War

    That is so weird I was at the Steam Whistle in July I was on Vacation Kyle, Great Review yes there are things that need fixing like button mapping is my biggest grip and a AI that does not push you off the road would be nice.

    Report
  4. ALB123

    ** BREAKING NEWS **

    Luca Sodano, the man responsible for the sounds you hear in Assetto Corsa has just posted on his Twitter page that he is re-recording & fixing the sounds of the Straight-6 in the BMW E30 M3 soon!

    Nice review. I would agree with 95% of it. Frankly, I think console players should absolutely give Assetto Corsa a shot if they own a steering wheel. If they don’t own a steering wheel, but plan on buying a wheel for Gran Turismo Sport – get it now and grab a copy of AC. Even with the flaws, if you enjoy racing or even just hot-lapping you will be blown away by the characteristics of driving in Assetto Corsa with a real steering wheel and actual set of pedals and shifter, paddles or stick. Of course, there is Auto Transmission Mode for the tiny percentage who needs it.

    Report
    1. boxster233

      That’s close to what I did. Eventually was going to buy GT Sport and get a wheel for PS4. AC had Porsche, so I decided to buy AC now along with wheel and Playseat. Love AC. It and PCars are an awesome pair together.

      Report
  5. JacoJa

    Great review Kyle. I bought the game about 3 days ago, and was blown away by how realistic the steering feels on the T300. No other game I’ve tried before comes close.

    Report
  6. MrWaflz55

    Once I upgrade the PS4’s hard drive space, I’ll buy this game and then I’ll have 2 out of the 3 games in the trio of racing sims for the PS4.

    Report
    1. GrumpyGrumps

      I’ve never met a single person named Bartholomew, but I bet there are some out there all the same. =)

      Report
  7. Ridox2JZGTE

    I think the online region lock should have been mentioned in the review and I had expected more detailed physics review compared to the AC review threads ( setup changes, car behavior, suspension interaction, tire pressue, car accuracy etc ). The Nismo GTR oversteer and being rear drive most of the time is alarming ( Does the VDC-R mode available as factory assist ? ). Anyway, quite a comprehensive review on most aspect of the game, though not detailed enough on the AI part.

    Report
    1. Ridox2JZGTE

      First of all, the R35 GTS ATTESA-ETS PRO is an evolution from the R34, with more aggressive torque being sent to the front axle to accommodate much bigger power/torque.
      The numerous changes in GTR model change have been in direction for stability, and the NISMO has been long development ever since the first Club Track Edition appeared as JDM market model, sold/build by NISMO. The Club Track had custom VDC calibrated for track with more focus on aggressive front and side to side torque split, Seiji Ara when tested the car at Tsukuba on unfavorable condition, cold winter, and Dunlop slick, the car was praised as having neutral balance and only slight understeer, in contrast to ordinary GTR in same condition. This behavior carried into the NISMO GTR. The custom ECM, VDC and suspension tuning from the Club Track Ed development and feedback went into the NISMO GTR, which had comprehensive aero addition and tuning to make sure consistent stability from low speed to high speed. The tires for example have had several changes, from compound to sidewall for this purpose. Then the suspension, spring/damper, caster increase in 2011 MY, lower rear roll center height for better toe performance/more grip, downforce increase in 2011 along with lower CD. More updates in 2012, 2013 and 2014, lower COG in 2013, cam bolts on front suspension for consistent camber accuracy, body reinforcements also in 2013, in 2014, tires sidewall stiffness increase, stiffer front roll bar and bushing update. 2015 also received another updates in suspension damper rates/steering/ and ECU ( VDC modes in unison with NISMO GTR release ), all aimed at stability on all GTR models. 2007 GTR to 2015 GTR would be extensive transformation when compared.

      In 2011, GTR had an often overlooked update in the ATTESA-ETS for low speed cornering where it will switch to 2WD mode when certain condition are met ( speed and steering wheel turning ), this may have been mixed up in the AC NISMO GTR.

      NISMO GTR also has special tire from Dunlop, with specific designation, different tread patter and depth, stiffer sidewall, all for stability and neutral balance.
      NISMO GTR can oversteer if intentionally initiated or with worn rear tires, but a good throttle play will help stabilize it ( forcing the ATTESA-ETS Pro and the VDC if enabled do their job ), and it should not give the driver feeling of being in rear wheel drive when pushing at the track ( this is also depend on the VDC-R either on or off ). This is the statement from review above that intrigues me :

      “Easily the biggest stand-out in terms of its dynamic makeup is the amount of oversteer it’s capable of: despite all the rabble you’ll hear of the car being a cinch to drive, the Nismo really does feel like a rear-drive car most of the time.”

      Randy Pobst would have disagreed with that based on his review on 2015 NISMO GTR vs Corvette Z06 in MotorTrend Head to Head.

      I’m curious of the VDC-R ( On and off ), is this available in AC to adjust ? If it does, it would be very complicated system to simulate. Can the torque split be displayed in real time telemetry ?
      Even on rolling start from stand still, the ATTESA will automatically send at least 2% torque, so 98% rear, but this hard to be felt when going at city driving speed and when on track, the torque split would be more frequent/active sent to the front and at larger percentage, should be closer to 50% when on the limit ( the strategy is unique, less front torque on high speed corner where rear grip usually less likely needed front help, more front torque on lower speed turn to help with rear wheel traction, dynamically changed for optimum cornering grip, contrary to what typical people would think, or maybe AC got it mixed up )

      In the real GTR, with VDC-R off ( which means 100% off ), there’s no stability control or traction control, but there is RIGID mode for ATTESA ETS-PRO that can send permanent 50:50 torque split ( stated by Kazutoshi Mizuno-San, the GTR Chief Engineer ) as needed, this often can do 4 wheel slide when provoked by the driver and often used for hard launching acceleration ( Nissan void the warranty when the car is broken without VDC engaged )

      The NISMO GTR should give confidence when driven not giving the impression that the driver/reviewer said.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5F18o8xayA

      Report
    2. Johnnypenso

      Turn in harder, and get on the throttle sooner, and the four-wheel drive GT-R will oversteer and power through into a neutral state just as the corner opens up on the exit. – Evo UK

      The car is capable of oversteer there is no doubt. There are tons of videos of GT-R’s oversteering through corners, drifting etc. Not surprising this is also possible in a game where you can drive the way you want without fear of death or injury, with varying track conditions. Note that all he said was he was surprised at the amount of oversteer not that it was excessive. Perhaps he was comparing it to Gran Turismo where oversteer in a GT-R is a little harder to come by.

      Report
    3. Ridox2JZGTE

      We are talking NISMO GTR here and yes, you are talking different things, oversteer can be provoked on a GTR entering a corner or mid corner, but it will be much less than FR like the Z06 on the head to head video I linked, did you even watch that ?
      The amount of it and how he describe it being rear wheel drive most of the time is the problem when he is driving at the track, I’m sure he didn’t drive it like a drifter or rally driver all the time, someone who drove a GTR would want grip from the car, not making it oversteer.

      Gran Turismo ? Why do you have such idea ? NISMO GTR with it’s broken stock setup in GT6 lol PD messed up GTR since GT5 lol

      I’ll try to get the AC car data for the NISMO GTR, someone here may be able to help, I’ll know more the details on the car that way. No point arguing about this with you as you seem to feel that all AC cars are perfectly done and you are always right.

      Report
    4. Johnnypenso

      That article I quoted is reviewing the 2015 Nismo GT-R. Sounds like they were able to induce oversteer on entry at will and smooth it out with power on exit. Coincidentally that’s how the car drives in the game. Nowhere in this article did he say the GT-R was rear wheel drive most of the time he said “it felt like rear wheel drive”…big difference. Where did I say the car was perfectly done in AC? I’m just offering up a counterpoint to your assertion that the oversteer was worrying. You yourself said the car can oversteer if initiated so I’m not sure what you’re arguing about really. Why don’t you fire up the game and play for yourself and report back on actual, hands on findings, rather than worrying about somewhat vague and imprecise wording from a game review?

      Report
    5. Kyle Patrick

      I think you’re misinterpreting my comment Ridox. The Nismo is surprising because of the commonly-heard (untrue) stereotype that it’s some sort of computer-powered idiot-proof machine with “no soul”. That, and most other console games have the GT-R erring on the side of understeer.

      In AC, the car will bite you if you’re being ham-fisted. It’s refreshing, because that’s what reviews have said out in the real world.

      I’d recommend trying the game yourself.

      Report
    6. Ridox2JZGTE

      I’m not going to get it now, will wait for more patches. It’s pointless debating this with people who don’t know the difference between GTR and Club Track Ed + NISMO GTR, they behave differently.

      Now, please answer the question I have asked, does AC NISMO GTR have VDC-R ( stability control ) simulated or do you assume it’s VDC-R OFF by default when driven in game ? My reference is professional driver reviews like Seiji Ara, Keiichi Tsuchiya and the likes who drove this car 100% on the limit at the track with VDC-R OFF. The older 2012 GTR alone have undergone lots of handling improvement vs 2007 GTR.

      This is what worries me, a lot of people believe that AC renditions of cars to be accurate or the best, when it may not be true. I see players who reviews praised it without ever going into details of why they think that way ? Do they know what exactly is simulated accurately in how the car react when driven ? Their quirks, handling balance, reaction to driver input in certain situation ? They seem to be in false sense of believe that the realism in AC is the best or correct one. Why is there someone go into details, say on one car, explaining how the physics simulation is as good as people say ? Don’t just say it’s sublime, fantastic or excellent, they are pointless word in this day of many sims on the market.

      Report
    7. Ridox2JZGTE

      I also hate it when people just mixed up the FFB experience with the game simulation physics.

      I just saw one video of AC press preview event at Vallelunga, they compare ordinary GTR vs driving NISMO GTR in game at Vallelunga. From short view of the NISMO GTR taking a high speed corner in 6th/5th gear, and the car oversteered like an FR, and when corrected, just snap, that’s a red flag for me ( the host driving it )

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9P5mpGd_lI

      Start from 14:45

      Report
    8. Johnnypenso

      The FFB in this game is directly tied into the game physics. Unfortunately one can’t get the full AC experience without a FFB wheel nor without playing the game to begun with…lol.

      Report
    9. panjandrum

      Ridox – Don’t overthink it too much or you’ll risk missing out on some of the best physics (and FFB) that we’ve seen. There is a reason those of us involved in RL motorsports like the way AC feels. That’s because they’ve somehow managed to get things feeling really “spot-on” when it comes to vehicle dynamics and how they communicate that through the wheel. (I have never played any racing sim, or even a racing game, with a gamepad, so I can’t speak to that.) It’s a bit unpolished in certain areas, yes, but those areas are not the physics or FFB.

      Report
    10. spikyone

      I’m pleased to see Kyle took the time to reply on this – when I was reading the review, I was instantly reminded of a recent Pistonheads review of the R35 GT-R. It described the handling almost exactly as the article does:

      “if there’s one thing the GT-R proves, it’s that an awful lot of rubbish is spouted about this car. Mainly concerning the myth it drives itself and is no more demanding or risky to operate than its many videogame representations.

      Nonsense. The GT-R will happily shatter your ego faster than it’ll lap the ‘ring or sprint from zero to whatever. Just drives itself? Like hell it does.”

      Report
  8. KiroKai

    Fair & balanced, great review! Thanks Kyle :) How’s the AI? That’s the only aspect I noticed missing, I know the patch announcement mentioned AI tweaks. But is the AI right now as bad as some blogs make them out to be?

    I really wanted to like AC as a substitute for pCars but I think I’ll pass on it as well. At least for now

    Report
    1. TomBrady

      No, the AI really isn’t bad at all. It’s nearly on par with pCars frankly, and better in some ways.

      If you like sims, you should own it because it’s the best. Simple as that. You won’t find better physics or force feedback. Pcars is better in a lot of ways but not the 2 ways that count the most IMO

      Report
  9. Tyger

    Great review, balanced and well-written. It bears out some of the doubts I had about the game. I’m more about the offline experience, and had heard that the AI in this was a bit flakey, to say the least. However if it made up for it enough in other respects, I was going to give it a chance. The physics are apparently pretty much second to none, which is a major plus point, but when the online experience nowhere near makes up for the offline one (not yet anyway), and when the car roster is somewhat limited (more by variety of marques than sheer quantity) and other oddness like the way the race “ends”, yeah…no. Not for me anyway.

    Report
  10. celtiscorpion73

    Great article. I’m actually kinda glad I don’t have my PS4 yet and don’t have this game. I’m happy waiting for the bugs to get worked out and see this game get better as they rectify anything before I pick up a copy.

    Report
  11. RodolphoPNeto

    That’s a damn good review, thank you and congrats! I remember the early days of pCars, it was a handful… and by the looks of it, AC is quite good right out of the box, so i can only expect it’ll be brilliant after all the DLC’s and patches. I’m really really excited to get my hands on it.

    Report
  12. IngRobNy

    A great and spot on review :) I miss reset to default myself and be moved to pit after a race feels a bit odd, the AI needs a tweek, other than that i’m very pleased with AC on PS4.

    Report
  13. VBR

    NO CUSTOM LOBBIES! Seriously? I knew there were no private lobbies, but finding out that there are no options to customize a lobby has left me bewildered. This game holds no appeal to me at the moment, as I like sim racing online against real people. I hope that they give players a whole host of options to set up their own lobbies in a future update. Will certainly not be buying this game until such a time as these basic features are included.

    Report
  14. Ameer67

    Well-written review, Kyle. Just found one mistake under the “Controls” section of the article. Something is missing after the sentence: “This gives players the opportunity to ease themselves into the experience, which can prove invaluable when you’re strapped into a Yellowbird that’”

    ——

    I wonder how well the game will do in sales after more and more people realize the game works better as a hotlapping sim for the most part.

    Report
    1. Johnnypenso

      Sales wise I don’t expect any miracles or anything earth shattering that’s for sure. Not sure if we’ll ever see any numbers but I’d be shocked if they got past 500k

      Report
  15. Johnnypenso

    Great review. I’d really like to see an updated review in a couple of months after a couple of patches are out though. Well done.

    Report
  16. Pillo-san

    I have been playing AC on pc since the very begging, but it felt very understeer:ish and instead of turning into the turn it wanted to skid regardless of the speed. Now when 1.8.1 at steam was released AC is totally different game. Now it feels like I drive a car on a track. Took about two years to get here and I dont understand how people could say that it was the most realistic games on the market before 1.8.1 when it was simply a skid feast.

    Report
    1. Johnnypenso

      People said it was a good game because it’s untrue that “it wanted to skid regardless of the speed” for the last two years and was anything but a skid feast.

      Report
    2. Pillo-san

      Hmm, why do I not see a reply button to Johnyypenso’s post.

      Anyway, how could it be untrue when I have complained about this since the very beginning.
      That the cars felt like they were using old dried out tires from the 80s. The cars did not want to turn in at all, now I can take which ever car there is and drive with an heavy/lazy left foot and still it will not skid nor understeer like before the 1.8.1 patch. I simply can not understand how people can not see the issue I explain. Someone in the forum said that there was an bug that was fixed recently that had to do with the tires not warming up, and I did some testing just yesterday that actually confirmed that that was the case. So it was a bug that was not fixed for two whole years.

      Right now after the patch I cant get enough of AC, waiting eagerly for more cars.

      Report
    3. Johnnypenso

      There was a tire heating issue but it didn’t affect every car the same and it didn’t cause every car to “skid regardless of speed”. Colder tires mean less grip but it doesn’t change the underlying physics. It’s not much different than what would happen now if you chose an old or dusty setting for your track. I suspect something else is at play in your experience beyond an update to the tire model.

      Report
    4. Pillo-san

      It does change the driving experience, as no heat in tires will be longer skids and more understeer. It will be more slippery, the car will just try to go in one direction.(understeer)

      I have used two different rigs and wheels, and this has always been an issue for me.

      Even friends that usually do trackdays irl with me, said that this is like driving on ice.
      But now it is totally differently, and the cars change line directly.

      I tried this:
      if the track is cold, say 14 degrees, and you are using too hard tires with to much air pressure it will give the same issues I had before the patch, regardless if it was hot and with soft tires.

      I could drive 50-60km/h and wanted to take a turn knowing that this turn should be possible to take at much higher speeds and yet it skid and understeered like I was doing double figures on the speedometer.

      Maybe more issues was resolved recently but, the thing is the game plays/drives totally differently now, for the better which of course is great for all of us, but it took some time :P

      Report
    5. Johnnypenso

      Shocking that so many people on the official forums and on GTP have a completely different experience than you. I suspect the problem was on your end.

      Report
    6. Pillo-san

      Perhaps, even though I used two different systems maybe the bug persisted because of some settings or hardware that was used on both sys. Or I just am used to how things(cars and bikes) should behave at high speed compared to most of “sim racers”. I dunno, but the point is that it feel superb right now.

      Now I can say with 100% confidence that it is the best sim out there, only thing it is lacking is tracks and cars. Would be nice to have a better mix of cars then it has now, but still it is truly a fabulous sim now.

      Report
    7. Johnnypenso

      All’s well that ends well I guess…lol. 24 Porsches on the way, going to be lots to drive in the next few months. I wonder if there is any other DLC on the fire?

      Report
    8. TomBrady

      A lot of the perceived understeer had to do with the way AC handled steering rotation. At first, AC didn’t give you the rotation of the car you were driving and instead default to what your wheel was set up for, in most cases 900 or 1080, both of which are too much, 90% of the time.

      Report

Comments are closed.