Assetto Corsa: Red Pack (PlayStation 4) Review

By Tomas Barry 01.02.2017

Review for Assetto Corsa: Red Pack on PlayStation 4

The console version of the critically acclaimed racing simulator Assetto Corsa from Kunos Simaluzioni and 505 Games finally receives the Red Pack, which adds seven iconic Italian sports cars to the game, as well as Austria's exhilarating Red Bull Ring circuit. Cubed3 steps behind the virtual wheel once again.

While PC users received the Red Pack back in July 2016, after some stalling, it was only earlier this month that it went live for PS4 and Xbox One. The much-anticipated DLC download features three Ferraris, the modern F1 cars the SF-15T GP and the F138, along with the 2015 488 GT3. It also boasts the Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce sports car, along with three vehicles from Maserati - the 2016 Grand Turismo MC GT4 coupe, and the 250F 6C and 250F T2 12C F1 cars from the 50s and 60s. This a serious set of Italian cars.

Such an array of classy cars, from past and present, is bound to arouse enthusiasm in car nuts, particularly as Assetto Corsa's physics engine provides such an accurate representation of each car's unique kinks and details. The laser-scanned Red Bull Ring circuit is playable in two track variations, the shorter National, and the longer GP, which really shows off the Austrian mountain surroundings.

Screenshot for Assetto Corsa: Red Pack on PlayStation 4

It's worth noting that recent updates have noticeably improved the console version's performance. Gone are screen-tear issues that many players reported experiencing at times, and even better, the framerate seems to be noticeably smoother now. Compared to the reportedly buggy build around its console launch window, Assetto Corsa is a much slicker driving experience after these fixes. It's just as well, since players will probably take all the frames per second they can get when trying to tame a T2 12C that clipped the kerb out of a turn.

The classic Maserati F1 cars tear around the track with an acute and distinct roar. The game's excellent physics engine and implementation of force feedback (when using a wheel like the Logitech G29 used during testing) means the intensely terrifying experience of F1 in the 50s and 60s is very well represented. They perform fairly similarly, wild and rapid, and prove very challenging to control without overusing the brakes. Fans of this type of racing will be impressed by the authenticity of the experience, though players with preferences elsewhere might find these classics too frenetic to persevere with.

The modern Ferrari F1 cars, by comparison, are a little friendlier to driver consistency and ability. The Ferrari F138 is from 2013, so it's wider and therefore sticks to the track more. Once settled in this car, drivers will probably start to push their limit quite quickly as it's fairly forgiving. The SF-15T is a lot more ferocious, and hence more frustrating until the driver has learnt how it behaves and reacts, particularly when it comes to getting to grips with the ERS system in that vehicle. Persevering with it is definitely worth it, though, since the well-represented complexity of the sport comes across very well in the modern vehicles, with DRS and KERS and all. Considering the clear emphasis on F1 cars in this pack, which definitely succeeds in delivery of the small but all-important details, one can only wonder what Kunos could do with the official licence for that sport.

Screenshot for Assetto Corsa: Red Pack on PlayStation 4

Moving on to the other cars: the Ferrari 488 GT3 does join a sizable crowd of existing GT cars, but it distinguishes itself quite expertly. Though some GT drivers may initially expect a little more grip from it, the car's learning curve is fairly low and once a few sticking points are ironed out it quickly becomes a favourite vehicle in Assetto Corsa, and will no doubt be a popular choice for racing online. As with all the other cars in this pack, the engine noise is very distinct and amongst some of the best audio in any racing game around. The satisfying growl of the 488's turbo-charged twin V8s, which quickly evolves into a roar on straights, is hugely convincing and will bring a smile to Ferrari GT fans everywhere.

The Maserati GranTurismo MC GT4 performs quite well, though its brakes seem to be more inclined to lock-up than similar GT cars. As with any other vehicle, it's a case of acclimatising to its quirks and seeing whether it's worth the adjustment personally. On the whole it's a very fun car, just a little more temperamental on braking than one may prefer, especially if the player has clocked hundreds of races in another GT car.

Screenshot for Assetto Corsa: Red Pack on PlayStation 4

The last car is the Lamborghini Aventador SuperVeloce, a super sports car that is unmistakably the work of Lamborghini. With an emphasis on lower weight and improved aerodynamics, it will set incredibly fast lap times once the driver is accustomed to it, especially as better weight distribution certainly makes it feel substantially more balanced than other Lamborghini sports cars. That said, in Assetto Corsa, there's not much else available to compare or compete with this monster. Still it's incredible fun taking it out on the track alone.

The addition of the Red Bull Ring is certainly a welcome one, adding to what was already an impressive choice of courses. The GP version has some long straights, which show off the beautiful mountain backdrop and also allow for intense three-wide situations to play out. It's not very complex but still has a specific way of drawing out interesting race situations, allowing drivers to be consistent and concentrate mostly on gaining positions rather than worrying about their own line. The national, can on the other hand be a little dull as it's simpler and shorter, though it's still nice to have it available, especially for other vehicle types.

Screenshot for Assetto Corsa: Red Pack on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

The Red Pack represents very good value for the asking price, though this may not be the case for players with absolutely no interest in trying F1 racing, as there's quite an emphasis on it here—but even then, the GT cars, Lamborghini and the Red Bull Ring are certainly worth having, as they improve the scope of vehicle in Assetto Corsa. Those with a season pass will see the Red Pack as another piece of excellent content, extending the life and enjoyment of this serious racing sim.

Developer

Kunos Simulazioni

Publisher

505 Games

Genre

Driving

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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