Recently, I’ve blasted through the entirety of The Last of Us: Part 2, in a matter of days. And it is not because I enjoyed it, but because I just wanted to be done with it. And this was mainly due to the fact that while The Last of Us: Part 2 is a technical masterpiece, it is ultimately a game which brings me no joy, in any way, shape or form, and once the credits rolled, I deleted it instantly, and jumped straight over to Assetto Corsa Competizione, hoping that it would give me the kick, which The Last of Us: Part 2, ultimately couldn’t.

Just like its predecessor, Assetto Corsa Competizione, is a complex racing simulator, which is more about the nitty-gritty of the motorsport, rather than shine and glamour, and by complex, I mean it is as complex as it gets. The said complexity begins at the very core of the title’s driving mechanics and physics, and ends on the minute details of car tuning and day-to-day race weekend operations. However, that being said, telemetry data which was present in the previous instalment of the title, and is ever-present on the PC version, is ultimately missing from the console release of Assetto Corsa Competizione.

If you were to go into Assetto Corsa Competizione blindly, expecting it to be a complete sequel to the original, then you would ultimately end up being immensely disappointed. This is mainly due to the fact that Assetto Corsa Competizione is a spin-off, rather than a sequel. As this particular title concentrates on the GT series racing, meaning that you won’t find here any other competitions other than the Gran Turismo, which involves vehicles with two seats and enclosed wheels.

What comes with the hardcore simulation of the Gran Turismo, is rather jarring lack of content. Sure, the title stays true to its core, but besides a dozen or so of tracks, and another dozen or so of vehicles, there is not much else. Customization is basically non-existent, as the only thing which can be customized is the liver branding. And while some vehicles feature more than five livery sets, then some only feature a couple, or even a single livery. Cars, cannot be upgraded mechanically, as they all follow the Gran Turismo standard, and once you select your car, you have to use it exclusively throughout the entire season, or a championship.

The abundant lack of content of Assetto Corsa Competizione, makes the title feel rather two dimensional. I understand, that this particular game was designed from ground up, to be a GT racing simulator. But if you are a casual, or even a weekend games, and were to buy Assetto Corsa Competizione, expecting it to be an extended sequel, due to its branding, then you might walk away feeling cheated, or even lied to, as Assetto Corsa Competizione is far from being a sequel to the rather brilliant original.

As far as content goes, Assetto Corsa Competizione is designed to be a service based title, meaning that it will be supported with a number of paid and free DLC’s. Meaning that with time, it may just receive the Gran Turismo Sport treatment, and become a cult classic, beloved by many. But this generation of consoles is coming to a close, and if Assetto Corsa Competizione is going to take a year to get rolling, it is more than likely going to be forgotten come the release of Gran Turismo 7, as this particular title, is bound drain Assetto Corsa Competizione player-base.

Same as the original, Assetto Corsa Competizione is a fantastic racing simulator with great controls, and great car-feel. However, it feels great to play only when it work as intended. Because unfortunately, this particular release suffers from plethora of bugs which affect it on both mechanical, and technical levels. First of all, Assetto Corsa Competizione is not exactly a looker, and while this is not an issue in and of itself, then what is really jarring when it comes to visuals, is that despite of them being rather low-rent, they still suffer from texture and object pop-ins. In fact, texture related issues are so common, that the vast majority of textures for competing vehicles do not fully load in, well into the first lap. And this is not a one-off thing. In fact, this happens time and time again, and it is much more common for you to start a race with half the cars looking like bars of soap, rather than to compete against fully rendered models.

Despite of its rather average visual façade, and all the issues which come with it, Assetto Corsa Competizione still fails to perform at a reasonable level. Sure, not every game has to run at 60FPS. But Assetto Corsa Competizione does not run at 30FPS, it aspires to run at 30FPS. As for the most time, the title’s framerate can, and does hit low teens, and it is not uncommon for it to go into single digits during more action-packed races.

To say that Assetto Corsa Competizione features insufficient framerate would be incorrect, but only if this particular title was a slideshow, and not a video game. But as it is not only a game, but a skill and reaction-based simulator, then its subpar framerate is not just pathetic, but also downright unacceptable, and this is all thanks to the fact that even the slightest mistake within Assetto Corsa Competizione is incredibly punishing. But when you cannot control your car for a quarter of a 20 lap race, because the title turns into a slideshow whenever more than three cars appear on the screen, it is not just infuriating, but absolutely maddening.

Another major issue which affects Assetto Corsa Competizione, relates to the fact that at least the console version, has a hard time working with driving wheels. And while I’m not mad enough to spend hundreds of Pounds on a plastic wheel, then I know people who are. All of them who have tried playing Assetto Corsa Competizione using a wheel set up, complain that there is massive input delay, that Logitech wheels have a mighty difficult time even working with the game, and that the title appears to completely ignore any and all clutch peripherals. The latter comment, was not just made by my mutuals, but dozens of people online.

Inability to play a hardcore racing sim with a wheel, somewhat defies the purpose of it being a hardcore racing sim. And you could take this particular flaw, as an icing on this rather unappealing, and under baked cake. I really want to emphasise the term under baked here, because Assetto Corsa Competizione, really needed more time in the oven – at least another 6 months, if not another year. In fact, if the title was nearing completion – at least according to the developer – then why not wait, and make it a day-one release for next gen consoles?

Sure, it is easy for me to say that a game should have been delayed, when I don’t have to run a studio, and pay people in order for them to be able to feed their families. But Assetto Corsa Competizione just doesn’t feel, and most importantly doesn’t play like a complete release. It is all so incredibly barebones, that it feels more like an early alpha, than full release. And while I really liked the original, which had that something about it, then honestly, I’m really clutching at straws trying to think of anything positive about this game. If you were looking to pick Assetto Corsa Competizione up, then you should really just throw it in reverse, and stay as far as it is humanly possible from this title – at least for another year.