Assetto Corsa: Ultimate Edition (Xbox One) Review

By Josh Di Falco 05.08.2018

Review for Assetto Corsa: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One

While gamers have seen an abundance of both arcade racing titles and simulators alike, Assetto Corsa really sets the bar in terms of what should be expected from future racers. Kunos Simulazioni has displayed its passion and love for racing in the form of the Ultimate Edition, which combines the base game with every single downloadable-content pack to deliver quite a hefty and jam-packed offering. Containing real-world circuits and 178 cars to choose from, Assetto Corsa is made for the professional drivers with years of videogame racing experience, while beginners and newcomers may find it daunting due to a steep learning curve, but it is hugely rewarding when the persistence pays off.

The Ultimate Edition contains all the previous downloadable-content packs, such as the Prestige Pack, the three Porsche Pack releases, the Ferrari 70th Anniversary Celebration Pack, Ready to Race Pack, the Red Pack, the Tripl3Pack, the three Dream Pack ones, and the Japanese Pack. With all this, that brings the total amount of cars up to 178, as well as 19 different tracks that were developed using laser-scan technology to ensure the courses are as genuine as possible. For car lovers in need of a racing game, this version of Assetto Corsa provides enough content and track configurations with cars to boast quite a roster.

Assetto Corsa tries to keep the entire package as simple as possible, which is a stark contrast to the little intricacies of each car, as well as every single piece of track. Unlike other racing simulators, which lean a little bit on the lenient side of things, Assetto Corsa does not take any prisoners. There is a steep learning curve that requires a lot of patience and time to slowly conquer and being successful in races or time trials means having to learn about all the capabilities of the driven car, as well as every possible track-clip or other deterrent. Don't expect to jump in and begin winning races easily, like in Gran Turismo or even DiRT 4.

Screenshot for Assetto Corsa: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One

Even on 'Very Easy' mode, racing against the AI opponents is truly unforgiving, especially in 'Career' mode. This is the stock-standard season-progression mode, with emphasis on starting at the bottom and rising to the top. However, the mode itself seems to lack any sort of progression that is found in other racing simulators. The races start off with the 'Novice' events, and continuously progress into harder events and challenges. The only form of progression, though, is just driving around a better car in each subsequent race.

When the 'Drive' mode is also available from the outset, with all the available cars unlocked, then it kind of makes 'Career' mode quite pointless. There is no garage, there is no in-game currency or sponsors to sign on; therefore, it leaves the entire progression part out of 'Career' mode. This mode is just a string of Drive matches tied together with a medal system that seems to just be there for bragging rights and nothing else. Having 'Championships' and 'Special Events' modes is also quite puzzling, as they all seem to just overlap in terms of what they offer, and they could have just been combined into a single mode. Of course, racers do not necessarily require a career progression mode, although other console competitors have got their own forms that provide enough of a "carrot" to make it worth chasing. Assetto Corsa instead probably would have had a cleaner offering if it just had the 'Drive' and the 'Online' modes, instead of cluttering up the menu screen with a vague variety of other modes.

Screenshot for Assetto Corsa: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One

Due to the simulation style that Assetto Corsa is trying to convey, it means that the vehicles themselves don't drive in the same way that is normally expected from the more arcade-based racing titles. These vehicles are a lot harder to master, and they don't tend to turn corners easily. Due to this, there is a steep learning curve that is required to get the most out of these cars. Thankfully, jumping into 'Drive' allows quick access to the best cars, which will further make learning how best to control the vehicles around the tracks easier.

The main issue that is glaring in terms of usability is that the best experience derives from repeat playthroughs of the tracks with the same vehicle to best learn how each car handles and turns around corners. While this is all well and good for those who have all the time in the world to master them, those with a lack of time or even a lack of patience will be turned off by this barrier-to-entry. It will especially turn off the casual-racers, while appeasing the real hardcore market. However, for those who are seeking a genuine racing experience that truly showcases the appreciation of what these vehicles can do, then Assetto Corsa does exactly that.

Screenshot for Assetto Corsa: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One

The Ultimate Edition looks truly impressive in action, and the many different angles and viewpoints each highlight the attention to detail. Playing in first-person mode in a bevy of different vehicles shows all the different car interiors, plus the bells and whistles that went into making each vehicle feel like the real thing. Coupled with the gorgeous looking tracks, the tech used by the team at Kunos to bring this racing title to life is a masterful one at that. Probably the only notable issue that is both a graphical complaint, as well as a mechanical complaint, is that oftentimes during a race passing opposition cars does not always necessarily result in moving up a position on the display screen.

Racing online features drivers from around the world, and it is pretty stock-standard in terms of set-up. Fortunately, it is more fun to race around online than against the AI competitors, as it does appear to be less random online due to how serious the opposition drivers take it. This is a major detriment to the AI drivers, however, as they are just reckless opponents who find it more fun to just ram into each other instead of trying to jockey for the right positions on the track.

Screenshot for Assetto Corsa: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Assetto Corsa: Ultimate Edition is an impressive display of technology. With a powerful graphical engine, the large assortment of vehicles sitting at the 178 figure provides plenty of racing variation. With each car feeling very different to each other, patience and paying attention to every little turn, while seeing how the car handles, is the ultimate decider between winning or losing a race. Unlike other racing titles, which have a low barrier-to-entry for newcomers for their more general sense of play, Assetto Corsa is made by professionals, for professionals who truly appreciate the display of the vehicles, while paying great respect to the tracks and the challenge ahead.

Developer

505

Publisher

Kunos Simulazioni

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 Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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