Can Assetto Corsa Competizione’s ‘next-gen’ patch deliver the 4K60 dream?

Known for its more hardcore approach to its racing simulation and customisation options, Assetto Corsa Competizione is a world apart from the breezy arcade fun of Forza Horizon and the slightly gentler ‘simcade’ experience delivered by Gran Turismo. It’s also more of a PC-centric product, but console ports followed in 2020 – albeit in somewhat compromised form with somewhat dodgy performance. Now we have brand new upgrades for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles, promising a boost to 60fps alongside larger races and other improvements – and the question is this: do we get a smoother, more polished racing experience or have we swapped out one set of technical problems for another?

Visually, Assetto Corsa has always concentrated on an attractive but functional rendition of the racing experience. The GT3 cars are really the stars of the show: exteriors and interiors are well-handled, with strong materials work and accurate-looking reflections. Vehicle bodywork is suitably high-poly and feels like a close match for the real thing. There are some nice flourishes as well – car mirrors are actually functional, for instance, reflecting back a rasterised low-detail version of the environment. The trackside environments aren’t quite as impressive, although they look mostly fine in motion. Track surfaces and grass look quite flat, background buildings and structures are on the low-detail side and spectators are mostly represented by crude 2D billboards. These are typical compromises in last-gen racers but they do tend to stick out somewhat here, particularly at higher resolutions.

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