Assetto Corsa Competizione Early Access Done Right – Official Blancpain GT Series Game

Assetto Corsa Competizione, highly anticipated sequel to Assetto Corsa, is scheduled for an early access release on September 12th, 2018.  It will be the official video game of the Blancpain GT Series, an European GT3 championship.

Ever since the original Assetto Corsa was released in 2013, Italian software development studio Kunos Simulazioni has made continuous improvements, resulting in one of the best racing simulators available today.

Here is what you need to know about the Assetto Corsa Competizione early access and why I think it is worthy of a purchase on Day One.

Assetto Corsa Competizione – Official Blancpain GT Series Game

Assetto Corsa Competizione, official game of the Blancpain GT Series

Kunos decided to focus their time and resources solely on the Blancpain GT Series.  It is being marketed as the official game of the series, therefore we should see the full roster of cars and tracks from the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

Each season combines two race formats.  Blancpain GT Endurance Cup races are three hours long and require mandatory pit stops.  In contrast, the Blancpain GT Sprint Series are two sprints over the weekend with duration of one hour each.

A noteworthy feature that made the original Assetto Corsa so great was the variety of cars, tracks and countless mods available online.  However, Kunos is taking a completely different approach with Competizione by focusing only on GT3 racecars and tracks from the Blancpain GT Series calendar.

Due to the sequel being the official game of the series, I would not expect mods to be supported the way it was on the original title.

Assetto Corsa Competizione will be powered by the Unreal Engine, a complete departure of from the engine used in the original title.  Understandably, this is an absolutely massive task, especially for a smaller studio like Kunos.  Therefore, I think it is good to take the quality over quantity approach and limit the scope of the game to a single series.

Race Department has uploaded in-depth interviews with Aristotelis Vasilakos from Kunos to discuss the new physics and tire models.  It sounds like the driving experience and feel will be significantly improved in Competizione.

Assetto Corsa Competizione New Features – Night Racing, Dynamic Weather, Wet Tracks, Online Multiplayer

Rain and night racing are just a couple of the new features in Assetto Corsa Competizione.

In addition to the brand new engine, Kunos will also implement a lot of new features into the sequel.  The addition of night and day cycles, wet tracks and dynamic weather conditions have fans excited about the new game.

Online racing and multiplayer will be completely overhauled as well.  Similar to Gran Turismo Sport multiplayer, driver rating will be implemented to keep racing as clean as possible as well as improve matchmaking.

There will also be online leaderboards so you can see how you stack up against the fastest drivers in the world, similar to the third party RSR app for Assetto Corsa.

Assetto Corsa Competizione Car List

Assetto Corsa Competizione will feature a full roster of GT3 racecars from the Blancpain GT Series.

No official car list has been released yet, but it is reasonable to assume all the cars from the Blancpain GT Series 2018 season will make an appearance in the game:

  • Acura Honda NSX GT3
  • Aston Martin Vantage V12 GT3
  • Audi R8 LMS
  • Bentley Continental GT3
  • BMW M6 GT3
  • Emil Frey Jaguar GT3
  • Ferrari 488 GT3
  • Lamborghini Gallardo G3 Reiter and REX
  • Lamborghini Huracan GT3 and Super Trofeo*
  • Lexus RC F GT3
  • McLaren 650S GT3
  • Mercedes-AMG GT3
  • Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3
  • Porsche 911 GT3 R
  • Porsche 991 Cup*

*Not GT3 spec racecars

In addition, new GT3 racecars from the upcoming 2019 season should also be in the game.  These include the Evo upgraded versions of the Audi R8 LMS and Lamborghini Huracan GT3, as well as the brand new McLaren 720S GT3.

Assetto Corsa Competizione Track List

Similarly, the track list should include every track on the 2018 and 2019 season calendar of the Blancpain GT Series:

  • Zolder (Belgium)
  • Autodromo Nazionale Monza (Italy)
  • Brands Hatch (Great Britain)
  • Silverstone Circuit (Great Britain)
  • Circuit Paul Ricard (France)
  • Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli (Italy)
  • Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (Belgium)
  • Hungaroring (Hungary)
  • Nürburgring (Germany)
  • Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya (Spain)
  • Red Bull Ring (Austria)

Assetto Corsa Competizione DLC

Kunos has already announced that cars and circuits for the 2019 Blancpain GT Series will be available as a free downloadable content next summer.

Porsche 911 GT3 R from the Pirelli World Challenge Series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. CTMP is definitely overdue for a new video game adaptation!
Porsche 911 GT3 R from the Pirelli World Challenge Series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. CTMP is definitely overdue for a new video game adaptation!

It is worth noting that SRO Motorsports Group is the organization that runs the Blancpain GT Series.  This makes it possible for Kunos to expand Assetto Corsa Competizione to their other series such as Pirelli World Challenge in North America and Intercontinental GT Challenge.

Potentially, this could add iconic tracks to the sim such as Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (formerly known as Mosport), Watkins Glen, Suzuka and Bathurst.  In addition, it can expand the car list to include the GT4 and TCR classes.

Assetto Corsa Competizione Release Date

Early Access Release 1

  • Available from: September 12th, 2018
  • Price: 24,99 €*
  • Released Cars: Lamborghini Huracàn GT3
  • Released Tracks: Nurburgring GP
  • Features: Special Events, Hotlap, Quick Race (AI)
  • Rating System: Track Competence, Consistency, Car Control

Early Access Release 2

  • Available from: Oct. 10th 2018
  • Released Cars: Bentley Continental GT3
  • Released Tracks: Misano World Circuit
  • Features: Super Pole, VR Support, Basic Pit-Stop
  • Rating System: Performance Rating, Safety Rating

Early Access Release 3

  • Available from: Nov. 14th 2018
  • Price: 34,99 €*
  • Released Cars: BMW M6 GT3
  • Released Tracks: Circuit de Paul Ricard
  • Features: Endurance 3/6h, Multiplayer (Basic), Pit-Stop
  • Rating System: Behavioural data analysis

Early Access Release 4

  • Available from: Dec. 12th 2018
  • Released Cars: Ferrari 488 GT3
  • Released Tracks: Hungaroring
  • Features: Spectator Mode
  • Rating System: Driver Category, Overall Rating

Early Access Release 5

  • Available from: Jan. 16th 2019
  • Price: 44,99 €*
  • Released Cars: Emil Frey Jaguar G3
  • Released Tracks: Zolder
  • Features: Multiplayer (Enhanced)
  • Rating System: System fine tuning

Early Access Release 6

  • Available from: Feb. 13th 2019
  • Released Cars: Honda Acura NSX GT3
  • Released Tracks: Monza Eni Circuit
  • Features: Live Special Events
  • Rating System: System Fine Tuning

Full Game

  • Available from: Q1 – 2019
  • All the Officially Licensed 2018 and 2019** Blancpain
  • GT Series cars, teams and circuits.
  • All game modes including: Career, Championship,
  • Single and Multiplayer.
  • Complete Rating and Matchmaking System.

*Buy on Steam at any time at the indicated price and get all previous and next Early Access releases, 1.0 version included

**2019 Season coming as a free update, Summer 2019

Assetto Corsa Competizione Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Release Date

Unfortunately for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players, Kunos has not announced a console release date.  It is unlikely the XB1 or PS4 version will be available before 2019.

The good news is that console players should expect a polished product if Competizione is released for the Xbox or PlayStation platform on current or next generation hardware.

Why Buy the Early Access?

Assetto Corsa Competizione early access release date

The price listed in each of the early access releases is a one time payment to own the full game.  If you purchase early release 1 for 24,99 € (~$38 CAD) , you will also get early releases 2 through 6, as well as the full version of the game at no additional cost.

Purchasing the early access not only saves almost 50% off the retail price of the full game, but you will also be able to try out the game as a demo.  This essentially acts as a beta test for Kunos to collect valuable feedback to improve on the final release.

Compared to other games like Project Cars 1 and 2, Gran Turismo Sport and Forza Motorsports, I can safely say the Assetto Corsa has the most realistic physics.  iRacing is the only simulator on the same level, but it can be very expensive with the subscription and paid DLC pricing structure.

Now that Kunos is addressing many of the weak points of the original Assetto Corsa, I am confident that Competizione will be a huge leap forward from an already terrific racing simulator.

If you need me this week, I’ll be lapping Nurburgring GT in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 from my basement.

*2018 September 12 Update: Assetto Corsa Competizione is now available on Steam as of 12:00PM EST.

Screenshots: Kunos Simulazioni

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