We take Assetto Corsa, the new sim racer with native Oculus Rift support, for a spin. Is it VR racing heaven or hell?
First things first, I’m not a Sim Racer. Don’t get me wrong, I love cars and the driving of them, but my all-time favourite driving games would include such lightweight examples as Ridge Racer or Project Gotham Racing. That’s me, but there are plenty out there who love nothing more than tinkering with the minutiae of engine tweaking, suspension setups and telemetry data.
Assetto Corsa, the in-development driving game from the Kunos Simulazioni team, probably sits somewhere between iRacing and PGR, think Gran Turismo with a proper physics engine. The game engine has evolved over several iterations with the guts of the apparently excellent physics engine primed from netKar and the Ferrari Racing Academy. Assetto Corsa (“Racing Setup” in Italian apparently)
The reason why a Sim Racing noob like myself is writing about this? Assetto Corsa pledged Oculus Rift support from the beginning. After a shaky start with version 0.2 (plagued with z-Buffering issues in the right eye) 0.3 has just been released and promises to fix these issues.
I was pleasantly surprised as you’ll hear in the video and in terms of offering an accessible and fun VR experience, despite the serious slant of the gameplay, Assetto Corsa gets it just right. Tearing down straights with your virtual head strapped to the bonnet of a car is a great experience and with the exception of the in-car view suffering from a scaling issue (everything is a little too small) it all works beautifully. Only one major gripe: killer drift, in the head tracking that is. After 10 minutes of racing I found myself rotated 90 degrees on my swivel chair, craning my neck to the left in order to keep my car in view. Hopefully magnetometer and drift correction will arrive soon, as it seems the developers update fairly rapidly
Check the video out and let me know what you think. Also, all you Petrolheads out there who own the game, how does it drive? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
You can get early access to the Assetto Corsa beta via Steam here.