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Assetto Corsa Review

Plunging for an early access game is always quite a risky business. In reality, you are paying the full price for a game that may not ever even be fully completed. But there are so many early access games that look so delicious, you have to join the bandwagon.

Assetto Corsa is just one of those delicious games. I paid £20 for it, although its normal price is £30. Thirty quid is very steep for an early access game, so is it worth taking the plunge for all you petrolhead gamers? Let's see.

After launching the game, you are presented with four tiles which lead to different parts of the game. If you have ever played Gran Turismo 4, you'll find them very recognisable. As I write, two of the tiles are blanked out and unresponsive to a mouse click; the career mode and the mods section. For now, you are able to do hot laps, race the CPU and join online servers.

The UI of the menu is quite nice, although nothing groundbreaking. There are no fancy animations or sounds, just a well organised and good-looking selection of sub-menus. It allows you to easily select your car and track, and that's pretty much all that matters when it comes to a racing game.

In practice mode, you have a few choices. You can race the CPU (up to 22 cars on one track), which is nice because the AI cars are not stupid; they have sneaky tactics and can even be downright rough at times, which all adds to the fun. There is an option to drag race a CPU car on a 400m or 1km track, but I found this quite boring and repetitive because there only a few cars you can race with your chosen car, but more on that later.

What I have been doing the most during my gameplay though is simple hot lapping. What this shows is that Assetto Corsa brings enough enjoyment that even simple driving on your own brings a smile to your face. It achieves this by having excellent sounds, textures and an admirable physics engine. Compared to the Gran Turismo series, Assetto Corsa is generations ahead. Even the gearstick vibrates.

However, all of this does mean that you need a pretty decent computer to run it nicely. To get a desired 60fps on my PC, I do have to tone a fair few things down. But after all, this is a next generation game, so you're going to need next generation parts.

Because Assetto Corsa is still in early stages (0.20 at time of writing), the car selection is quite sparse. Credit where credit's due, the developers have done a decent job of having a nice spread of cars. So even though the count is only about 25 vehicles, we have hot hatches, classic F1 cars and modern supercars. However, this does mean that you're going to struggle to find fair opponents when you want to race something. Would I rather have dull cars but over a thousand of them (Gran Turismo), or would I rather have a few really pretty cars? I think it should be a case of meeting in the middle, personally.

We also get 'special events'. In reality, these are the same as practise hot laps, except with a time limit pegged on, or possibly a score system for drifting. I suppose it's good if you want a challenge, but I much prefer just leisurely drifts; if there ever is such a thing.

There is also online servers for you to join, but as you may imagine, they aren't heaving with people right now as the game is still in early access though. Still, if you have a mate with this game, you can create your own private server and race each other.

Overall? The Ferrari 458 actually sounds like a Ferrari 458. Job well done lads, I'm looking forward to the career mode.

Assetto Corsa Review Assetto Corsa Review Reviewed by Jack Cooper on July 08, 2014 Rating: 5

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