Another day brings us another hostile exchange between developer and customer. Stealing the spotlight mere hours into 2016, Stefano Casillo from Kunos Simulazioni is at it again, this time with a group of users he’s dubbed the VR Mafia. While I’m personally not a fan of Virtual Reality headsets based on my own experience with the rather lackluster DK2 build of the Oculus Rift, an entirely separate group of people have nothing but praise for the hardware, and it’s easy to understand why. The most practical use for a virtual reality headset is within any sort of simulator where you’re operating a vehicle, whether it be in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator X, or Kunos Simulazioni’s Assetto Corsa. Provided both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift can clear up some of the resolution woes, there is a tangible advantage to strapping these awkward looking goggles to your face, and it’s understandable that people are curious as to when support for each individual headset will come to their favorite game.
When asked about whether the first consumer version of the Oculus Rift will be supported in Assetto Corsa, Stefano responds by saying they simply haven’t had the time to take a detailed look at it. This news comes in sharp contrast to the recent announcement that Project CARS will fully support the Oculus Rift CV1 model at launch. Another Twitter user jumps into the fray and jokingly suggests that Kunos are hard at work implementing HTC Vive support, but Stefano immediately rejects the theory by saying the team aren’t even considering it. This starts a bit of a war, and a third Twitter user suggests that he is disappointed when developers like Kunos hint at Virtual Reality support and implement partial functionality in their games for certain pre-release builds of the technology, but do not fully follow through in the end and view everything as merely a fad. Despite not caring for the expensive gadget myself, I can see this guy’s point. A whole shitload of people are playing Assetto Corsa with the Oculus Rift DK2, and they were led to believe that modern racing sims including Assetto Corsa would work towards fully embracing this revolution. It turns out that some aren’t.
Stefano childishly condemns this user as part of a Virtual Reality Headset Mafia, and brags about blocking him on Twitter. This dude wasn’t even being an ass, he just pointed out that Kunos sucked people in with partial Virtual Reality support under the guise that it would be more complete at some point in the future, and the developer responds by telling him off. Fantastic.
Is this interaction the result of stress building at Kunos Headquarters? I’d like to think so. Assetto Corsa was scheduled to come out at some point in April, and was instead delayed until the summer months to rectify several nagging polish issues. Now it’s important to note that these problems have little to do with menu hiccups or save game deletion glitches; users on Reddit are still blasting the game’s pitiful artificial intelligence – an aspect that will serve to frustrate console users expecting a hardcore alternative to Gran Turismo or Forza if it’s not rectified in time.
Currently, the offline artificial intelligence in Assetto Corsa simply cannot be considered ready for public consumption. A Finnish user of the controversial message board 4Chan has posted a series of short clips documenting what happens when he tries to hold a quick race consisting of nothing but AI cars, and the results are truly astounding. While Kunos staff members claim the AI operate under the same physics as the human player (and others have began to regurgitate this), the videos Grounded Fin have posted demonstrate the exact opposite – lines of cars awkwardly sway back and forth on the track, reluctant to pass each other and randomly jamming on the brakes for a fraction of a second. Console gamers used to the talented bots found in Forza 6’s unbeatable difficulty will outright not accept something as unfinished as the following video.
As we near the inevitable console release of Assetto Corsa, it seems as if these guys over at Kunos keep finding new ways to slip up and run afoul of the community.