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Gaming: Assetto Corsa is coming to PS4 and Xbox One

Console players to discover what all the fuss is about on April 22nd

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It’s good to have a friend you can rely on. It’s particularly good when that friend is a purveyor of fine automobiles from the North of Italy. That’s the reason why a handful of Italian game development garagistas called Kunos Simulazioni managed to secure the notoriously elusive Ferrari license for their PC racing simulator Assetto Corsa. And from April 22nd, owners of TV-bound game boxes can join in the fun too.

For those not versed in la lingua, Assetto Corsa is Italian for racing setup and the game is exactly that; it’s as stripped back as a competition cockpit. This isn’t a flowery tale of going from karting hotshoe to bionic world champion, this is a meticulously picked selection of iconic cars and a brace of centimetre-perfect stretches of famous tarmac on which to thrash them.

That’s if they don’t thrash you first. Kunos is particularly proud of the inclusion of the Ferrari FXXK, the 1036bhp track-only physics experiment based on the LaFerrari. Given that there will only ever be 40 of them and that they’re €2.5m a pop, this is almost certainly the closest you’ll ever get to driving one. Well, unless you’re a billionaire oligarch, in which case can we borrow a tenner?

It’s not just Ferraris either, there’s the Mclaren P1, a 1992 DTM-spec Merc 190E, a Ford Escort RS 1600, several Alfas (obviously, because Italy), Senna’s Lotus 98T and a healthy grid of GT3 racers. Most importantly, they all handle responsively and intuitively and range from sedate to utterly savage.

From a tedious, technical standpoint, the game is targeting 60 frames per second on both consoles, the same as Forza Motorsport 6. What this means in practice is the action remains silky smooth, allowing you to scythe rather than stutter through the corners. It also allows you to react more quickly and instinctively when the car steps out, for the sort of oversteer heroics we all not-so-secretly aspire to. A good thing, then.

Those keeping an eye on the game’s development will be pleased to hear that the console edition will arrive with all of the downloadable updates that PC players had to pay for. That means Brands Hatch, more classic Lotus Grand Prix cars and the almighty Nordschleife are bundled into the box.

Assetto Corsa might not have the same storied history as Forza or Gran Turismo, but it’s established its brilliance on PC already and as with just about everything built by Italians it’s forged with all-consuming passion. Magnifico

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