Review – Assetto Corsa Competizione

Racing is one of the most competitive gaming genres, both in and outside the driver’s seat. The line between individual games is so small, that it’s the small things that decide victory. When every game is more beautiful than real life, has physics systems as close to the real thing as possible, and almost makes you feel like you’re actually driving, it’s in the execution of your mechanics that determine if you make your sale. Sadly, despite Assetto Corsa Competizione’s undeniable superiority in those areas, it’s hard to suggest in the face of what its competitors offer.

Almost any review for a brand new racing game always says how it’s both the most beautiful racing game ever made and how no racing game has ever controlled this well before. For Assetto Corsa Competizione this is once again true, even if the improvements aren’t quite as big as when we went from seeing pixels to polygons. Car exteriors and interiors, the track detail, and weather effects; it’s all beautiful.

Assetto Corsa Competizione

We’ve come a long way since the PS1.

Similarly, handling and the feel of driving are better than before, and it feels even more natural. It’s not exactly a scientific measurement, but anyone who’s played a sim knows the difference between feeling right and feeling RIGHT. Assetto Corsa Competizione is definitely the latter, and it’s with the most hardcore of the hardcore sim-racers that I feel would get the most out of this game. It simply plays the best while also looking the best, so if that’s all you’re here for, feel free to hit that purchase button. You will no doubt have played worse in your search for the perfect sim: this won’t be a disappointment.

For everyone else though, at least in it’s current state, I can’t suggest it over other games available, especially at it’s price point.

Assetto Corsa Competizione

This is all the tracks we have, limited to the 2018 season.

I’d hesitate to call the Single-Player barebones, because that would imply there’s really anything to Single-Player. Comparing this game’s Career mode to what other games offer, is laughable. It’s merely a series of qualifiers and races strung together, with little rhyme or reason. You won’t find any engaging campaign mechanics such as what F1 brings to the table, or the expansive and varied options Dirt Rally 2 has. You’d get a similar experience just playing Quick Play. Not to mention that Driver AI is terrible and perpetually stuck in the immobile train syndrome that’s replaced the over aggressive ramming AI that used to be the norm. It’s the weakest part of a weak game.

One of the most hyped and talked about features about Competizione, was its ground-breaking ranking system. In theory, it would so accurately rate you that you would only be placed with racers just like you for the best competitive experience. It’s in the name after all. In practice however, that’s not how it works at all. I don’t know if the system simply doesn’t work or if it’s not being utilized properly due to low population, but for me, no matter how good or bad I played I was always placed with the same people you would get in any race. It might have even been worse, honestly. You had sim masters racing alongside brand new players along with that one guy who thinks it’s Mario Kart in basically every single race no matter what you did.

Assetto Corsa Competizione

The depth of the tuning system is absolutely fantastic, probably the best you could ever make. The addition of a detailed explanation for everything is the icing on top.

You’re stuck between a near nonexistent single-player with it’s sub-par train AI or multiplayer with each race a grab bag of racing stereotypes. When you have other games like Dirt Rally 2, F1, Project Cars 2, or even the original Assetto Corsa, Competizione brings so little to the table that it’s not merely in their shadows, it’s not even in the same league. Now to be fair, the first Assetto Corsa launched in a similar state and was slowly brought up to speed through fantastic free post-launch support and that may be the case again here. Right now however, it’s simply not worth it unless the only thing you care about is what game plays and looks the best, in which case Assetto Corsa Competizione is certainly the game for you.

Graphics: 7.5

It’s the best looking racer money can buy, until someone else comes along.

Gameplay: 9.0

No currently available sim racer feels this good.

Sound: 9.5

While Sound is where a lot of racing games fall short, Competizione most certainly is not one of them.

Fun Factor: 5.0

As fun as it is to drive, there’s little fun to play. Single-Player feels nonexistent, and multiplayer is a crap shoot.

Final Verdict: 7.0

 Assetto Corsa Competizione is available now on Steam.

Reviewed on PC.

A copy of Assetto Corsa Competizione was provided by the publisher.