Sometimes, simracing can get frustrating. Same cars, tracks and T1 incidents don’t help to keep the enjoyment. That’s where oddball experiences like the Shutoko Revival Project come in.
Image Credit: Kunos Simulazioni
Despite being a fun hobby, simracing can take its toll on many. Intense practicing for league races can get tedious. Finding oneself caught up in accident upon accident is a frustrating thing. Simply pushing the limits lap after lap is exhausting. That’s why even the best simracers need to take a break in order to stay in love with this amazing passion.
While taking a break altogether does work, jumping into a more relaxed environment behind the wheel is the ideal way to fall back in love with virtual cars. Some take to smashing into barriers with a sofa on Wreckfest, others choose to drive trucks across Europe in Euro Truck Simulator.
But there’s a new kid on the block. The Shutoko Revival Project mod on Assetto Corsa is possibly one of the best ways to chill out after a challenging time behind the wheel.
What is the Shutoko Revival Project?
In Japan, the Shutoko is the network of highways linking various parts of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. What the Shutoko Revival Project is doing is recreating this real-world location to a 1:1 scale. Not only this, the team incorporates its map with countless legends of the JDM scene, all created to great detail.
Players can join one of the team’s servers and explore the map with other online racers. This is all done as AI traffic goes about its business on the open roads. The result is an astonishing blend of Need for Speed meets simracing.
According to the team’s Patreon page, they aim “to be the definitive version of Shutoko, otherwise known as Tokyo Metropolitan Expressway, or the Shutoko. Exclusively for Assetto Corsa.“
While the team does accept donations through its Patreon, the entire experience is available for free. The map and car collection are in constant evolution and donations seemingly help to further push the boundaries of what Kunos originally intended for AC.
Expansive Car List and Map
As you may have guessed by now, the Shutoko Revival Project is nothing if not Nihon-centric. The map itself focuses on a famous network of Japanese express ways. The car packs are predominantly full of JDM weapons and the majority of the world will have to get used to driving on the left.
Countless miles of road are available to explore. The map mixes long, wide-open sections of expressway, narrower twisty portions, colourful bridges and theatrically tuneful tunnels. In more recent updates, parts of the Tokyo inner city have also joined the track, including the infamous Shibuya crossing. Though fortunately, it isn’t covered with people in-game.
Two car packs blend into one with SRP. On the one hand are the hyper-powerful, tuned cars. JDM classics like FD Mazda RX-7s and Skyline GT-Rs of all generations join European exotics like the Murcielago and F40. On the other hand are more pedestrian models. Stock MR2s and Silvia S14s join comical kei cars like the Honda Acty.
Every single one of these cars are recreated to a brilliant level of detail. Interiors feature everything one would expect, exteriors are beautifully crafted and the engine sounds are to die for. Especially when flying through one of the Shutoko’s many tunnels.
Away from the Tokyo road network, driving these cars on normal tracks gives a true Gran Turismo feeling. Whether it’s the ridiculous kei cars racing at Knockhill or a pack of Japanese monsters taking on Laguna Seca, this mod will propel you back to GT4.
A Unique Driving Experience
One traditionally thinks of simracing as a racing event on a closed track. Well this mod throws that vision on its head. Taking Assetto Corsa as its base, the project turns this racing simulator into a new and improved Midnight Club or Need for Speed equivalent.
Driving these open roads at break-neck speeds aboard amazing machinery is one thing. Doing it with traffic pootling along and other players flying past you without a care in the world is something else. This sort of experience has to be seen to be believed.
To make things interesting, the online servers feature many time trial and race functionalities. Certain sectors are automatically timed by the servers giving an online leader board, while flashing your lights at a car ahead will challenge them to a race. These are game mechanics typical for an open world arcade racer, not AC.
Furthermore, the map is gorgeous. By day, shadows from nearby buildings give a great sense of speed while the surrounding landmarks take your eyes away from the road. By night, a brilliant collection of lights put on a show as you fly past billboards, buildings and even over the famed Rainbow Bridge.
In VR, this escapism is only enhanced as you get to look around at the world your immersed in. Furthermore, with Custom Shaders Patch’s smart mirror functionality, peering through your massive rear wing in the mirror makes checking for faster cars an extremely immersive experience.
Getting Started in SRP
Getting the Shutoko Revival Project mod set up is a fairly easy process. The best way to do so is access the SRP Discord channel and find the mod download links in their ‘Download and Install’ section.
Download both the track and giant car pack, install them and you’re more or less ready to go. In total, the downloads will amount to a little over 3GB. This includes the track, both the fast and slow car packs and the traffic vehicles. Although a hefty price to pay on your hard drive, it’s certainly worth the full space.
Once the cars and tracks are installed, find the server information tab in the Discord channel. Several servers are available all through the day located around the world, each using a different car set. Find the server that suits your needs best and hop on via Content Manager. In minutes, you can be bombing down the highways of Tokyo with a group of tuned JDM legends.
Will you be trying out the Shutoko Revival Project any time soon? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!