Ready, set, Assetto!

When I was first asked to review Assetto Corsa, I was taken aback for a bit. I'd had heard how Italian developer Kunos Simulazioni had managed to take the simulator world by storm when it released its sim-style driving game for the PC in 2013. It had gained a lot of popularity but was still almost unheard of in India mainly due to the popular Gran Turismo dominating the market.

So, when I got my hands on the PS4 version of Assetto Corsa, I was - needless to say - pretty excited to try it out. Not having played the PC version, I wanted to see what the game had to offer.

When I booted the game up, I found Assetto Corsa to be pretty frugal. The menus are simple and cinematics are absent. You know right off the bat that this is not a big franchise and has been made on a certain budget. Having said that, the game is good looking. But of course, it can't surpass the beauty you see in Forza 6. The cars look great but the background scenery could have been much better.

The game comes with various modes, including the offline singleplayer mode, time attack mode and career mode. The career mode was a bit of a let down. It has a number of tiered events that is an eons-old concept. The AI is fast and accurate: even a small mistake can cost you your position in the race. I had more fun playing in time attack mode and undertaking the drift challenges, than the career one.

Assetto Corsa has a good collection of cars, including Lamborghinis, Paganis, Ferraris and McLarens, among others. And, the game fulfils what it sets out to do. The game's entire focus is on the handling and providing you with a driving simulation that feels real. It does so with a good physics engine. I could feel traction and tyres losing grip while driving a Pagani Huarya and it was exhilarating. The realism also adds to the difficulty level of the game - you need to master accelerating and steering in order to master the game.

This game solely works on the basis of the experience it provides. It doesn't have exquisite tracks or an amazing collection of cars. The career mode is more frustrating than immersive. Yet, it does leave a mark. The driving experience is real and challenging, which keeps you tethered. It's definitely not a game for everyone, Only those who persevere will come out victorious.

Assetto Corsa may have miles to go before getting to the top, but it is here to stay. If you are looking for authenticity in a driving game, look no further.