While Assetto Corsa is one of my favorite Sim Racing titles, there’s no denying that there is more of a focus on the “Sim” than the “Racing”. Assetto Corsa feels like there was a “lost identity”, in a sense. It had all sorts of different content, but it ended up feeling a bit like a hodge-podge of content, rather than a cohesive mix of racing content. For example, you had great LMP1 cars such as the Porsche 919 Hybrid and Toyota TS040, but we were missing support for “True Endurance Races”.
This was part of a trend that I felt was somewhat apparent in this generation of Racing Sims, where there was an extremely high focus on simulation of vehicle dynamics, and physics, that the “Racing” element of the “Racing Sim” was getting slightly neglected. Now don’t get me wrong, I want the accurate experience as much as anybody, but the reality is, Racing is something that should be properly implemented as well!
However, the announcement of Assetto Corsa Competizione notes a large shift in direction for the series, and it is ruffling quite a few feathers. It seems like AC:C is going to be fleshing out the racing element in the series, and I think that’s a great thing!
Assetto Corsa Competizione is going to be the “Official Title of the Blancpain GT Series”, and with that, I think a lot of elements from the series will be simulated, rules included. One major element that I’m happy will be included are the support for Endurance Races and Driver Swaps! Now, we don’t know how far the functionality will go, but I’m happy to see that being included.
As mentioned in the title, is Assetto Corsa Competizione going to be the title that we “Need”? Though? In some ways, I think so! While there is a chance AC:C may be a stop-gap title, between now and “Assetto Corsa 2”, it feels like there is something there that is missing from a lot of other racing Sim titles: Atmosphere.
If you look at a lot of the modern racing titles, one word you could call them is “Sterile”. While they do a good job recreating the physical feel driving the car, you don’t get a “Sense” of the surroundings around you to an extent. You look around, and you don’t see much activity, much changing around. That’s partly due in part to the systems implemented (like how some titles don’t have dynamic time-of-day, or weather, or systems like that recreated).
One exception to this I’d say is RaceRoom Racing Experience. RaceRoom Racing Experience has an incredible feeling of atmosphere and activity in the sim. It doesn’t just feel like you’re driving a car around a track, it feels like you are RACING in an actual race weekend, with cheering fans, PA announcers, etc. While R3E is missing some features (like Day-to-Night, Weather, Dynamic Track, etc), it still has a sense of atmosphere that, in my opinion, beats out any other current generation Sim Racing title.
I think this is also something that AC:C will bring to the table. looking in the above trailer, there is no denying that there is a sense of atmosphere to the title! Seeing the fans (waving flags in the pouring rain MAY be a bit unrealistic though 😉 ), the fireworks, the activity around the track, it adds an extra dimension to the experience, and a higher level of immersion.
There are still a lot of questions though. Will this just be a “One Series” game, or will there be multiple series under the “Competizione” banner? Will an apparent lack of Developer Supported Modding lead to AC:C being less popular, despite it being a technically more advanced title? Time will tell, but I’m believing that regardless, Assetto Corsa Competizione may lead us into the Next Generation of racing titles, and that’s a great thing!
So what are your thoughts on Assetto Corsa Competizione? Are you excited? Let us know in the comments!