Assetto Corsa Competition | Preview, towards the next gen

Assetto Corsa Competition | Preview, towards the next gen

Assetto Corsa Competition | Preview

Who said that Italians can't push the accelerator of video games? Precisely in the Bel Paese a videogame tradition is being created focused above all on racing games and we can say that currently one of the highest points of our local production has been touched by Kunos Simulations, a Roman company that with the support of 505 Games, starting from 2014, we allowed to experience the world of virtual cars in the most realistic way possible.

The first Assetto Corsa allowed to drive vehicles of all kinds, from small cars to sports cars, instead this sort of spin off that responds to the name of Assetto Corsa Competizione is presented as the official game of the GT World Challenge and allows you to drive GT3 and GT4 cars on real circuits with all the necessary licenses. Does less car mean less fun? Absolutely not, because by reducing the quantity Kunos Simulations has increased the quality by gradually improving his creature since launch. The requests of the community have been gradually met and today Assetto Corsa Competizione is a truly enjoyable, realistic and exciting product.

Each vehicle has a soul and requires time and passion to be configured properly. The feeling of being in a racing car is really powerful also thanks to the great level of audiovisual detail, complex physical algorithms and an excellent representation of the weather and the different times of the day. There was only one thing missing to close the circle relating to the excellent work done by Kunos Simulations: a dedicated next-gen version. Already in backward compatibility PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S give excellent results in terms of resolution and frame rate, but the public wants more. The desire is to see a version designed specifically for the ninth generation of consoles able to make the most of the potential of the new hardware.

Dates and details

No sooner said than done Kunos Simulations and 505 Games officially announce that the next gen version will take place. We have discovered all the details of this new edition of the title in an exclusive presentation that saw as protagonists the pilot James Baldwin and of course the Co-Founder and Executive Manager of Kunos Simulations Marco Massarutto. First of all, we now have a well-defined date for the new edition of Assetto Corsa Competizione, or the beginning of next year, more precisely on February 24, 2022. It will be possible to get the game in both physical and digital versions. For now, however, there is no inclusion of the title in the Game Pass.

As for the material version of the game, we are talking about a Day One Edition that will include the 2020 GT World Challenge Pack DLC, including the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO 2020, Mercedes-AMG GT3 EVO 2020 and all the innovations introduced by the GT World Challenge last year. For those who own the old gen version of the game, there will be the opportunity to get the next gen upgrade for free and it will be possible to import the backups and dlc that you already have. Unfortunately, cross play support will not be introduced due to the use of a netcode based on dedicated servers and not peer to peer and having to respect some limitations imposed by Sony and Microsoft.

As regards a subsequent chapter of Assetto Corsa will make the appropriate assessments based on technological evolution and changes in the policies of the companies that produce the consoles in question. Beyond this, however, it has been confirmed that the liveries of the year 2021 will be added and that it will be possible to create private lobbies for multiplayer races. We will most likely see some new circuits that are currently being negotiated, almost certainly some American routes that the community is loudly requesting, and a new vehicle category will be introduced, possibly GT2 cars. Unfortunately, it is certain that we will not see exciting routes such as the Nordschleife until they are officially included in the competition calendar.

Support for virtual reality will not be introduced and for now there are no plans regarding the inclusion of the Safety Car , this is because it would not be enough to insert it into the game but a whole series of gameplay-related mechanics should be modified. For now, everything is too complex and we prefer to focus on more important elements. And speaking of gameplay, Kunos Simulations says he is working on continuous improvements to the control system: in particular, a new tire management model will be included in all versions of the game. Good news, however, for those who, in addition to driving, also love to watch because it seems that they are thinking of enhancing the photo mode. However, it is not known whether the relevant update will arrive on day one or with a later patch.

Playing, watching, running

Kunos Simulations is also working hard to update the entire sector relating to steering wheels and joysticks. A good job is being done to ensure support for the new Thrustmaster wheels which will likely support telemetry display and obviously tests are being carried out to integrate the use of the PlayStation 5's DualSense with which braking sensations will probably be simulated. starting the engine or passing over the curbs.

However, we come to the hottest topic of the matter: the graphic layout. It must be said that the game's performance will be the same on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X / S. Mainly it could change the resolution which however will be dynamic. Using the excellent upscaling algorithm provided by Unreal Engine, the ambitious goal of reaching the milestone of 4K at 60 fps is pursued.

It was still necessary to make some choices. Kunos Simulations says that given the heaviness of Unreal Engine, especially on the GPU side, it was not possible to bring the frame rate to 120 frames per second. Furthermore, for now there is no support for ray tracing also because inserting it would mean reducing the general performance by half. Evaluations are still being done but for now we do not see any benefit in using this feature because it would drop to only 30 fps, which would compromise the overall fluidity of the experience.

Beyond all the the power and speed of the new consoles will guarantee an audiovisual experience that is very close to the PC edition of the game. Optimization is still being worked on but the results are already very promising. It seems that certain features that were removed from the old gen such as the configuration of the field of view, saturation, contrast and other dedicated settings will also be reintroduced. In short, the next gen version will be similar to the PC version in practically all respects.

Waiting for further news we can see how the feedback from the drivers remains fundamental for the improvement of the game over time. The collaboration with the protagonists of the competitions was also underlined by the presence of the GT driver James Baldwin. During the presentation we saw an interview about his driving experiences in the real world and in the game. What impressed him most about Assetto Corsa Competizione concerns the presence of all the buttons on the dashboard, the details on the suit and the great level of detail in general. A demonstration was also given by the driver who best drove a McLaren 720S GT3 using a Fanatec station and a preview version of the game for PlayStation 5. We look forward to further updates, confident of the precision and passion that connote from always Kunos Simulations. Good job guys!

If you don't have it yet, get a culture on the world of Assetto Corsa by purchasing the first chapter for PlayStation 4 from here!

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