Today marks the release of Assetto Corsa’s second paid downloadable content pack, featuring Spain’s Circuit de Catalunya, as well as ten exotic cars intended to increase the lifespan of the game. Whether you’ve bought the brand new DLC or not, the game was also updated to Version 1.3, supposedly bringing a host of improvements and new functionality to the extremely popular yet flawed racing sim, which will see a next-generation console release in 2016.
The problem is, the update basically broke the game. Venturing onto the official Assetto Corsa forums, multiple sections of the website are filled with seemingly endless reports of shit being all fucked up.
Yikes! Widespread reports of crashing, FPS issues, and other unwanted quirks have spilled over to both the Steam Forums and Reddit, indicating major problems for a title once near the top of the sim racing totem pole. As the update and DLC were released mere hours ago, we obviously don’t have word as to when all this stuff will be fixed.
Veteran Assetto Corsa player MsportDan, a forum personality who is traditionally known as a fanboy-like figure among the Assetto Corsa community, has actually been able to get in-game, and notes a regression in AI competence and the overall quality of the game. Again, his words are important, as this is someone who has been quite satisfied with the game since launch.
This is obviously not a good sign for Kunos Simulazioni, as already there is a bit of unrest within the community the direction of the title, and it’s important for the team from Italy to disprove those who doubt their abilities.
Unfortunately, as it stands, they are fighting a losing battle. Originally launching on Steam in December of 2013 via the Early Access program, Assetto Corsa gained a rabid following of fanboys who attempted to downplay unfinished aspects of the game, well after the title had graduated into a released state. Despite a beta version of the game where you couldn’t even pick the color of your car online scoring higher than the Xbox One’s Forza Motorsport 6, hardcore sim racers publicly blasted the title for a lack of online functionality, and the community is divided over what place Assetto Corsa holds within the modern crop of racing sims.
Today’s events don’t help. On top of legitimately game-breaking bugs that cause FPS drops or crash the game altogether, Assetto Corsa is missing an incredible amount of online features seen in games from almost a decade ago. This is extremely crucial to the title’s long term success, as sim racing’s participation is equivalent to men’s league soccer, with some private leagues drawing more individuals than you’d ever see in a public lobby on the weekend.
- You still can’t select your car livery when joining an online session, unless you personally know the guy running the server and he manually assigns you your desired paint job.
- There is no option to run a pace lap, which screws over anyone who wishes to start the race via rolling start, sometimes ideal for big grids or cars that are notorious for spinning the tires in lower gears. You basically need a pace lap for GT3 races, yet there’s no option for one.
- There is no pace car, ruling out any full-course yellow flags for incidents. Safety Cars are seen in virtually every level of auto racing, but not here.
- Pit Stops are planned to be quick time events like Mario Party instead of preset selections that can be planned well in advance. This essentially turns the pits into chaos and removes the tactical aspect of making a quick, safe pit stop by turning it into a shitshow.
- People can join a public session while the race is in progress, and wander out onto the track. With no anti-trolling measures, this can get out of hand in a hurry and ruin legitimate races.
- The chatbox/notifications menu isn’t hardcoded into the HUD, but an optional application you can toggle on or off. This causes people to straight up miss important information typed by administration or other drivers relevant to the current session.
- Warping/Lag issues occur far too often compared to other racing sims. I’ll let the video show a bit of what I mean
- There is no button to send your car setup to your friends. There is in other games.
- You can’t race at night, nor can you race in the rain. You can in other games.
- The GUI for the race weekend is too basic, clunky, and the car setup menu is spread out over nine separate pages, when other games have been able to condense everything into just two.
So, on top of those issues, the game now suffers from FPS hits and outright crashing thanks to the latest update. It will be interesting to see both how Kunos recovers, and how the community reacts over the next few days.