The Blancpain GT Series is set to join the fast-growing world of sim racing with the release of its first official game, Assetto Corsa Competizione, which will give players an opportunity to experience the unique thrill of high-speed GT3 competition.
Produced by Kunos Simulazioni and 505 Games, Assetto Corsa Competizione will set the standard in driving realism with the highest quality graphics and photo-realistic weather conditions.
From sprint races to endurance contests, players will be able to get behind the wheel of GT cars from all manufacturers represented in the 2018 Blancpain GT Series season, with each reproduced to an outstanding level of detail.
There will also be the opportunity to compete in different moments of the iconic Total 24 Hours of Spa, with a dynamic weather system recreating the famously unpredictable climate at the Ardennes track.
Laser scan technology will ensure that every circuit and car is recreated with the highest level of precision, with the smallest details perfectly matching the real world, while multi-channel audio sampling of actual GT cars will place players at trackside.
What’s more, motion capture technology will re-create the movements of mechanics and drivers in an even more realistic fashion and guarantee a high level of player engagement during races, pit stops and driver changes.
For online play, a highly intelligent ranking system will evaluate individual performance and driving behaviour to reward the most skilled competitors and promote fairness. Efficient matchmaking functions will ensure players compete with opponents of similar skill level and can easily find and join races online.
Leaderboards will allow players to compare single-lap performance with virtual drivers from around the world using the same car, circuit and weather conditions. Career, Championship and Free Play modes will also be available, offering a customised racing experience for all ability levels.
Assetto Corsa Competizione is set to arrive on Steam Early Access during summer 2018, when players will have a chance to test upcoming features and content that will be disclosed in due course.
Stephane Ratel, Founder and CEO of SRO Motorsports Group: “We are thrilled to announce the release of the first official game for the Blancpain GT Series. Sim racing has become an important market in recent years and one that we are very keen to be involved with. Assetto Corsa Competizione will allow Blancpain GT Series fans the chance to compete as their heroes at their favourite track with extremely high standards of simulation. What’s more, it will bring the series into contact with a brand-new set of followers from the world of gaming, which has already demonstrated close synergy with motorsport. This is a very exciting project and I can’t wait to test drive the finished product.”
Marco Massarutto, Co-founder and Brand & Product Manager of Kunos Simulazioni: “This announcement represents a dream come true for us. The Blancpain GT Series license is just the tip of the iceberg. By combining the potential of Unreal Engine 4 and the feedback received from our community, we are producing a completely new simulation aimed to redefine the racing game genre, improving the features that made Assetto Corsa so popular, and introducing those demanded by players for a high-level racing simulation game – with no compromise, and remaining loyal to our philosophy.”
We aren’t a sim racing site, but no doubt there will be some crossover and this one is worth discussing. What we have here is the usual game announcement – some beautiful screenshots, a trailer that’s taken from in-game footage, and some promises of what the game will do. But is this game too good to be true?
For the first time in years, we have a sim racing game that actually simulates a real series in full. Project CARS and the like are all fine and well, but they had massive content gaps and some odd pairings. Whilst the majority of the world doesn’t care that the LMP2 is fictional, and on track with a Bentley Continental GT3, sim racers are a nerdy bunch and know that a Bentley doesn’t share a track with a Le Mans Prototype. The claim of being able to simulate the full Blancpain GT series, with all tracks and manufacturers is a big one – it’s realism.
Rain is another one of those things that everybody wants, but we rarely get. Project CARS did a good job of simulating rain, but it’s been missing from most sims for years. The same story goes for night racing – Project CARS was pretty close, but most games haven’t bothered with it. ACC says it will tick both boxes.
Then comes the “nice to have” list – motion captured pit crews, driver changes, online leaderboards, matchmaking, offline careers and championships. All of these features exist in various games (both sim and arcade racers), but no game really captures them all effectively.
If Kunos manage to pull this off it will be an instant classic with the sim racing community, just based on the details of this first press release. There’s also a nice little quote we should consider from Marco Massarutto, co-founder of Kunos –
“The Blancpain GT Series license is just the tip of the iceberg”
This game isn’t called the Blancpain GT Series game. It’s called Assetto Corsa Competizione. This suggests there is more to come, and the quote is more evidence towards this. Are we going to see the Ubisoft development route of supporting games for extended periods of time (3-4 years in the case of Rainbow 6 Siege) and expanding the game with reasonably priced downloadable content? It isn’t too hard to imagine IGTC and GT4 Euro Series packs for ACC given the SRO connection.