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Assetto corsa v forza 6 v pcars at mp4-12c brands & nordschleife

Discussion in 'Chit Chat Room' started by MBK72, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. MBK72

    MBK72 Hardcore Simmer

    Hi all,

    I've been having some fun testing the differences between Assetto Corsa, Forza 6 and Project CARS and thought I'd share some video and my thoughts with you. I enjoy playing all 3 games and with the release of Dream Pack 3 I got to wondering just how similar or different the Brands Hatch circuit and car modelling might be. As each game now has the Brands Hatch GP circuit and the McLaren MP4-12C with identical statistics that seemed an interesting enough car to go with. This was supposed to be just about a Brands Hatch test but I enjoyed myself so much I did the same test again at the Nordschleife to see if I could match the 'official' Sport Auto 7:28 lap set by Horst Von Saurma in each game.

    All laps were set with the Thrustmaster TX458 wheel and T3PA pedals with 900DOR and 0-100 deadzones (this would have been with my Fanatec wheel but shockingly only lasted 3 days before having to be returned to be fixed when the axle hub failed!)

    I know I'm probably preaching to the converted (and I don't doubt some of you are far quicker than me too!) but here goes anyway:

    Brands Hatch Comparison:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWb8fc1Y-9E (link posted as I reached the media limit)
    I'll start with Forza Motorsport 6 and leaving the obvious graphical limitations aside look at the differences in how the track and car feel. The Brands Hatch track has no track surface feedback at all, despite what you see on screen the surface feels flat. Similarly there is no feel at all around the straight ahead on the wheel which only weights up at about 20% movement of the wheel. As a result it's difficult to feel the way round the track and it soon becomes a numbers game of watching the speeds to know when to turn in. As for sounds the tyre squeal helps know when the limit of grip has been reached but that is about it otherwise the sounds are average compared to the other two. Ultimately the Forza 6 Brands Hatch and 12C feel most like a game, no bad thing as it is still an excellent game but in this company the flaws are all too clear.

    Forza Motorsport 6 Laptime: 1:36.2

    There is no denying that Project CARS sounds the best in terms of engine noise, compared to the other two it is like an uncaged wild animal. Arguably the Project CARS Brands Hatch and 12C interior look the best and seem to have a slightly higher level of detail and texture. However while pCARS steering feel is much better than Forza - there is weight around the straight ahead - the track surface sensations are clearly faked. There is a consistent rumble all around the track but it never changes, it isn't in response to what is happening underneath the wheels that is for sure. The Project CARS 12C also accelerates faster than the same car in Assetto Corsa and Forza 6 meaning much faster lap times (see the Nordschleife comments for more on that below). There is also far more grip at Brands Hatch (see the contrast with the 'ring below) and I found myself busiest at the wheel in pCARS where is all feels quite heroic being able to push the car hard through the corners. pCARS was by far the easiest to set a fast lap on.

    Project CARS Laptime 1:32.4

    Suddenly Brands Hatch and the 12C are alive in my hands. Assetto Corsa provides an incredibly immersive experience the track surface feels real, each bumps and surface change shifting the balance of the car. The feel in the wheel and the cornering sensations are as closes to a real car on track as I've ever experienced. With Assetto Corsa I can feel the grip level on the track and build confidence as my lap times get faster - just like at the real track. There is no need for braking assist lines as the feedback is all there. What the tyres are doing is translated perfectly in the wheel and matches the braking and tyre squeal sounds so that the whole experience is cohesive. The car engine sounds are maybe a little muted and visually Brands looks a little more grey than on PCARS but that is probably more a personal preference than any real difference. The tyre rubber marks in the braking zones on Assetto Corsa are a big help as visual references. I found the whole experience far more adrenaline pumping and immersive than either of the other two.

    Assetto Corsa Laptime 1:36.8 - and it took me far longer to get used to the track bumps to achieve too.

    Nordschleife Comparison

    Could I match Horst Von Saurma's Auto Sport 7:28 lap of the Nordschleife in each game?

    Forza Motorsport 6 - Laptime 7:28

    Yet a laptime can miss so much information. Yes I matched the lap time but again the Forza 6 Nordschleife track lacks any surface feel as a result it's difficult to know just how much grip is available. The really noticable difference is the lack of lift and compression in the car. Over Flugplatz the nose of the 12C barely lifts at all and can take most of the big compressions flat out (for example the big compression before Adenauer Forst). On the main straight at Dottinger Hohe the wheel can be released at full speed with no deflection at all - highly unlikely at 160mph plus! There is no denying the Nordschleife looks right in Forza 6 but it feels so lifeless by comparison.

    Project CARS - Laptime 7.28 (and faster would be possible)

    Oddly as the pCARS 12C had far more grip at Brands Hatch that the other two, here at the 'ring it has no grip at all. The biggest problem I had was adjusting to how little grip feedback there was in the wheel, worse even than Forza. Adding force feedback strength just added more steering weight without any extra steering feel. It took a while to get a good rhythm. As a result I was slower through the corners on pCARS than on Forza but matched the laptime. This had me scratching my head until I realised the pCARS 12C has more than a 10mph top speed advantage on pCARS and makes up the laptime here. Again the 'ring looks good and the car sounded great but this was an oddly cold and functional feeling lap without any real connection to the action.

    Assetto Corsa - Laptime 7:32 and it felt like a monumental battle to achieve that

    The Assetto Corsa lap was on another level altogether, both the track and the car felt like the fearsome challenge to drive flat out that they really are. Suddenly there is accurate weight transfer, the feeling of right/left weight transfer in Fuchsrohre is just jaw dropping. The superb physics shine through at Flugplatz where the nose of the 12C starts to life and the suspension compressing fully in the several big dips on the track made me drive the car with far more thought. On the main straight at 180mph the 12C is attempting to move around as I'd expect it too - let go of the wheel and this would be a big accident. I truly felt like I'd just driven some tough laps and I can't ask any more from a simulator than that.

    The verdict:

    Well no surprise that Forza 6 really does feel like a game in this company, it remains a great driving game with stable online play and both pCARS and Assetto Corsa could learn from it's presentation, ease of access and multiple ways to play - if only it had the physics and force feedback to match.

    pCARS is an excellent race simulator, the fuel usage and tyre wear feel right but the lack of any real track surface feel and the oddly inconsistent grip levels and force feedback still let it down. I don't know which car models are correct - Forza and Assetto Corsa or pCARS because the pCARS 12C is modelled to be significantly faster.

    Assetto Corsa is by far the best simulator, the ability to feel the level of grip in a track, to judge braking points based on visuals, audio cues and wheel feel sets it far apart from the other games. The physics and weight transfer bring the balance of the car to life and make me think about my approach to each corner. I'm no longer just chasing a predefined speed to turn in at I have to think about how a bump or dip might change the balance of the car. Stunning.

    Now if we could have one game that captured the range of gameplay and ease of online play from Forza, the race simulation of pCARS with the physics and force feedback of Assetto Corsa that really would be something.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
    arthur666, Traind, JayMonkey and 22 others like this.

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  3. poet

    poet Hardcore Simmer

    Such a shame that so many comparisons come down to little more than how the joystick (wheel) has been programmed.
    demerzel likes this.
  4. Horus

    Horus Alien

    Isn't it a little more than that though Poet. The FFB is only giving what it gets, if there is nothing there then you are just using visual and audio cues. Over and above all, that was a really good post covering many points of interest. Well done MBK, it was a really good read too. :)
  5. Kristaps

    Kristaps Alien

    Thx for reminder, haven't driven the mp4-12c since 1.2.x
    Feels great in 1.4:)
    Traind and MBK72 like this.
  6. ChrisR

    ChrisR Alien

    if you get them to the same place and play them.. (i paused one of them and waited until the bottom one caught up then unpaused it) the pcars video finishes the lap way before the ac one yet the ac one you say has a faster lap time... wierd.
    marlo0081 likes this.
  7. Tberg

    Tberg Alien

    To be fair, that feel is pretty essential to a driving sim.
    I agree with mbk72 in the pCars-AC difference, cool features and alright racing in pC, but AC just flies by regarding physics and driving on a real track.
    LeDude83 and MBK72 like this.
  8. No, the post clearly states that AC has the slowest lap times in each track.
    MBK72 and Ace Pumpkin like this.
  9. Berry

    Berry Alien

    I don't know why, but after playing Forza 6 on XOne I really like it.It feels very nice with a controller, it's nowhere near as realistic as AC, but the overall feeling of grip and immersion is not that bad, however there is some annoying snap oversteer, but I'm sure they could dial that out.As far as arcade-ish racers go, I'd say Forza has got it pretty well.
    That being said, none of the other games compare with AC, the physics are simply on another level, and I think most of the people on this forum will agree.The way you can feel the suspension working, the feeling of lateral grip, road surface simulation, engine and chassis characteristics, it is just so far ahead.I might be called a fanboy, but it's the only game that has captivated my attention for such a long time, even the little things as hearing the suspension joints and damper/spring working combined with chassis noise is absolutely fantastic, a little thing, but it makes a world of difference...
    AurusCE, Traind, LeDude83 and 2 others like this.
  10. RReed43

    RReed43 Hardcore Simmer

    I haven't driven Forza 6 but I agree with how you describe the track coming "alive" with AC. I have driven Brands Hatch before (GT6, and PCars) but with the new release on AC the track is a whole new experience. I find myself engaged with the car and the track as never before trying to find the speed which comes from using the undulations and banking to propel the car forward. It just makes the experience so much more rewarding.
    AurusCE, MBK72 and Ace Pumpkin like this.
  11. poet

    poet Hardcore Simmer

    Not remotely imo.

    Fair enough, we can all quickly tell the difference between audio and visuals, and lots of that comes down to taste.
    A full break down of content/presentation would tell us more.

    Yes, I get it, you've spent £££'s or ££££'s on it and are determined to get the most out of your joystick, sim forums are full of the same topic over and over again, it obviously becomes an obsession for many.
    How can you judge physics based on a joystick, when there's even so much reported difference between wheel makes?

    Would much rather see a direct MoTEC comparison between titles (and a real world car if possible) to actually determine the actual physics (not perceived physics) and see where each respective title does well and where they have problems.
    Far better that than someone's purely subjective opinion based on how their particular joystick wiggles.
  12. MBK72

    MBK72 Hardcore Simmer

    Thanks and yes this is the case. Partly my fault as the times appeared above the video for the next game so I've edited the original post to make it clearer which time belongs to each video.
    Ace Pumpkin likes this.
  13. Horus

    Horus Alien

    @poet, I know you use a gamepad, but the wheel FFB is a major part of a racing game. I have not spent that much on my system but I would rather race cars with a wheel and in AC above all other racing games. You could tell us how you see AC with a controller. Please make a thread telling us what you see and how you find games in this genre, if you have the time, as I am sure it will be a very well written and thought out post (not sarcastic, you really do have a way with words).
  14. MBK72

    MBK72 Hardcore Simmer

    Thanks for the replies all I appreciate the comments.

    For me Assetto Corsa is the closest I've experienced to real track driving and is at it's best when using a wheel.

    As for wheel differences I can't say I noticed much difference between them. My Thrustmaster TX458 Italia (FFB) and V2 Fanatec feel remarkably similar. Though the Fanatec is undoubtedly smoother my lap times are the same for each game - of course meaning I'm the limiting factor, which is no surprise I'm an enthusiast not a race driver. I justify the wheels by the fact they cost less than just one day on track and I get far more hours of enjoyment from them. Oh and the Fanatec with it's supercar mimicking glass screen to the internals is an object of desire no question.

    Forza 6 is an excellent racing game, I truly enjoy online racing in Forza it is both stable and with a group of talented racers can produce some truly close and exciting racing. I see the three like this Forza 6 - Racing Game, pCARS - Race Simulator, Assetto Corsa - Simulator.

    As for the question of is the controller important it's a good one (can't help with the visual/physics comparison I'm not techy enough). Forza 6 is, for me, the best game with a controller but look how much effort MS and Turn 10 put into making the controller provide the feedback. The new Xbox One Elite controller has superb levels of feedback. The haptic triggers make controlling wheel spin and wheel lock up on braking much easier - there are some very clever rumbles and sensations in the pad. Then the palm grips indicate levels of tyre grip. Add to that the fact you can now change the left and right stick mapping (the smooth map is almost wheel like) and then physically change the length of the control sticks themselves and you can see how much effort has gone in to providing good feedback in the controller.

    Call me old fashioned but I still prefer joysticks for flying things, wheels for driving and pads with triggers for 'shootin and fightin'.
    Traind and Horus like this.
  15. Tberg

    Tberg Alien

    You're assumptions are far off reality. I've never driven a sim that I've "forced" to work for me cause of what I invested in the sim or equipment to drive it. It's totally the other way around: if the sim does something right in my subjective opinion, I tend to spend more to enhance the experience. So, the game did something right, making me FEEL like being present in it. That includes a game/sim I started out with a gamepad, no triples or simvibe or whatever.
    That was what I ment with 'feel' is essential, not if my stick or wheel could make my wife smile even if she's upstairs in another room.
    Would you really play Forza if it "won" a Motec-comparison and still felt like it does?

    Edit: I get it, you actually play with a pad. Well, I might sell my rig and buy an Xbox then.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
    Robin_NL, Glaurung and Ace Pumpkin like this.
  16. ChrisR

    ChrisR Alien

    my bad..
  17. poet

    poet Hardcore Simmer

    Never played Forza, so no reason to say no if it was the most realistic physics simulation, that's all I care about really (well, that and a fun game tbh).

    How do I know if the poster has set up their FFB "right", or if they're comparing games that have canned effects on by default with titles that turn them off... some wheels work better with different titles, some work great out of the box in some titles, and others need heavily tweaking.

    I'm not bashing wheels and FFB, just their use in determining which is the best/most realistic game. :)
  18. demerzel

    demerzel Racer

    +1 the whole op is bs. I did the same time with the mclaren at brands and I did nothing exceptional. I believe it's nowhere near what you can achieve.

    Also the ffb part is bs in pcars you can feel whatever you want you have more than 40 settings for this.

    And I refuse to accept that pcars ffb is worse. There are lot of technical explanation how the ffb working you just need to understand.

    While in AC currently I'm struggling with the lotus 25 because my g27 makes weird noises with that car. While other cars works fine.
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2015
  19. MBK72

    MBK72 Hardcore Simmer

    Seasons greeting to you too demerzel :)...interesting bs comments, how rude. Anyway you are entitled to your view and I'm glad you can do so much better.

    As I stated I enjoy all 3 games, they are all fun in their own way, none is perfect. I gave them all a fair run same car, same sim-driver and posted the videos to match. Hardly bs I think, my opinion clearly differs from yours perhaps that is what you meant?

    I will add that I hope the Assetto Corsa team manage to get the FFB sorted out on Xbox One for the launch because the pCARS FFB on Xbox one remains broken and good luck to anyone who thinks it can be fixed by fiddling with a few settings.
  20. Johnnypenso

    Johnnypenso Simracer

    Well done OP. I feel pretty much the same as you, although I don't own Forza, I have driven in PCars on pc and the GT series and the words I always use to describe AC is that both the cars and the tracks feel alive. Between the FFB, sound and visuals, I feel more connected in AC than in any other sim. Other games may look as good or better, may sound as good or better, and might even have better overall physics, but there's no substitute for the connection I feel when driving in AC at the limit.

    Part of the problem with PCars is the 40 settings for FFB. It's too complicated and cumbersome for many gamers to be bothered to figure out, especially when you can pick up a game like AC, input a couple of parameters and be on your way to a good feeling game. No need to fiddle with multiple settings, car after car, continuously exiting the track to make adjustments. The fact that people in numerous forums are still lamenting the overly complicated FFB options in PCars tells me it needs to be simplified for most of us down to a few basic, easy to understand sliders and a good set of basic setups for each popular wheel.
  21. Radiantm3

    Radiantm3 Hardcore Simmer

    Pcars can have a million FFB settings, but if it doesn't feel even "okay" out of the box, then there's something inherently wrong with the way they are doing it in the first place. Blaming it on user configuration is just ridiculous. The developers had plenty of time to get it feeling good on at least the most popular wheels out there.
    AurusCE, ears1991, Robin_NL and 4 others like this.

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