Review copies of Assetto Corsa for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have landed in the hands of gaming journalists around the world – but not everyone is satisfied with the product they’ve been given to critique – in fact, some actually require assistance. After numerous delays on the part of Kunos Simulazioni to ensure the game was ready for the notoriously demanding console audience, Reddit user KSDemon – who claims to be an anonymous journalist with an advanced copy of Assetto Corsa for the PlayStation 4 – states the game is nowhere near what the sim community makes it out to be, and is so confused at his experience with the game’s overall quality compared to the common consensus, he believes it’s his fault.
Yet Demon himself is clearly not the cause of Assetto Corsa’s numerous glaring issues – he goes on to describes a “cheaply made” product riddled with monstrous technical problems which constantly interrupt core gameplay. Criticisms of the highly respected PC racing simulator are not aimed at the lack of content or absence of a compelling campaign mode; Demon instead paints a picture of a title that features a phenomenal driving physics engine bundled inside a shovelware-like package – quite common for software published by 505 Games.
It’s not hard to understand his frustration and confusion. Thanks to a devilish combination of pushover editors, obsessive fanboys, private press events at Vallelunga, and hostile developers, criticism of Assetto Corsa simply hasn’t been allowed to circulate outside of the containment zone known as PRC.net. Editors spent years downplaying obvious flaws to remain on amicable terms with Kunos Simulazioni, journalists were flown out to the Vallelunga circuit for private parties and given track time in expensive supercars in exchange for positive coverage, and both developers and fanboys alike conspired to label all valid critical comments as fictional hate campaigns led by deranged sim racers.
And this was the result: Kunos Simulazioni spent so much time fighting people they deemed to be “trolls”, the final product suffered.
Users show up en masse to both downvote and debate the findings of KSDemon, but even facing a barrage of viral marketers he continues to describe his experience with the simulator in great detail. In an especially pathetic display, some users encourage him to sign up on the official forums and report bugs to Kunos, completely omitting the fact that this guy is not a dweeby basement dweller willing to spend months on the forums sucking off developers and becoming enthralled in the cult of personality surrounding Kunos Simulazioni. Vehicles launch into the air at random, the framerate drops during simple tasks like revving the engine, and the visuals are said to be extremely dated.
And this was after a pre-release patch.
All reviewers look for different elements that matter to them when analyzing a video game for their audience, and I’m no different. When our review of NASCAR Heat 2016 drops later this year, I’ll probably rip the game to shreds for getting Danica Patrick’s livery wrong, while other editors may not see this as an issue to begin with. That’s okay, it’s the beauty of having multiple review outlets to begin with.
However, with what KSDemon has written about the PlayStation 4 version of Assetto Corsa, I encourage all of you to take any positive review of this game with a grain of salt – there is a chance they are being dishonest about the quality of the game due to external influences. Save yourself some money and wait for the bugs to be ironed out before you bust out the credit card.