National Pride

“Assetto Corsa is the new benchmark for console racing games, truly a masterpiece, the real driving simulation. 95/100” – IGN Italia

I’ve done my best to keep coverage regarding the console version of Assetto Corsa to a minimum. Personally I didn’t believe there was much more to say about this game after the 4,000+ word saga went up earlier in the week here on PRC.net, detailing the several mistakes Kunos Simulazioni made when attempting to succeed in the console market. We knew when it was first announced that the end result would be embarrassing, and not only were we eventually proven correct, our predictions were actually surpassed. It wasn’t just this unfinished, buggy mess of code with a competent driving model underneath; virtually no effort was made to accommodate the basic desires of veteran console racers, and the post-release DLC plan was shady to say the least. There’s a reason the official forums have been set ablaze with complaints, and it’s not because Career Mode doesn’t last for 300 hours; Assetto Corsa on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One simply isn’t a very good racing game. Part of the blame lies with Kunos Simulazioni for refusing to listen to any sort of criticism throughout the development of the PC version, and part of the blame falls on 505 Games, who traditionally haven’t been a very good publisher.

But what disgusts me about all of this, is how there’s been a systematic campaign to outright lie to sim racers who may be on the fence about this title. And both Kunos and 505 Games would have actually gotten away with it had they not been so blatant.

Financially, there are a lot of us in the world of sim racing that don’t need to rely on mainstream reviews to evaluate a title for us. Most of us make enough money at our day jobs that dropping anywhere from $30 to $60 on a new video game we’re interested in isn’t much of a decision at all, and that really boils down to the fact that racing simulators are a bit of an old man’s hobby. You don’t see a whole lot of younger kids playing these games, so the ritual of little Johnny meticulously combing through IGN or GameSpot to determine what video game he should receive as a reward for a stellar report card doesn’t occur nearly as much here as it does in the first person shooter or sports category. Don’t laugh, we’ve all been there.

But not everyone is granted that luxury. Some are university students with a restricted amount of disposable income, others may have to budget their entertainment costs to afford the numerous extra-curricular activities of a romantic relationship, and there are a few people among us who simply don’t have the time to go out and thoroughly dig through each new video game landing on the shelves of Wal-Mart. For these four groups of people, video game reviews are essential to determining where and how their money is spent.

Unfortunately, reviewers in the past have broken the trust of gamers on more than a few occasions. No Man’s Sky, a game which has been blasted across gaming communities far and wide for failing to live up to the hype, was given a 99/100 by IGN Sweden, even after the author described game-crippling technical issues and blatant false advertising on the part of the developers. Gone Home, a first person lesbian walking simulator that could be completed in under a minute, was given numerous Game of the Year awards by left-wing nutters. On the contrary, former Gamespot editor Jeff Gerstmann was actually fired for giving a less than satisfactory review of a UbiSoft Xbox 360 game, after the developer had paid a substantial amount to run a prolonged advertising campaign on the popular video game news outlet. So this isn’t some tin-foil hat conspiracy theory; the publications reviewing these games are indeed in bed with the developers themselves.

It just sucks when it’s this blatant. I get that we’re simple creatures who love to watch expensive cars go around in circles for hours on end, but this is an insult to our intelligence.

criticsDespite one anonymous editor – presumably from Destructoid judging by what was mentioned in the review – taking to Reddit and begging for help with Assetto Corsa because the game was beyond broken, Assetto Corsa fared quite well when put through Metacritic’s basic algorithm after the game’s European launch last week. In fact, it was actually on pace to become the best racing simulator available for the PlayStation 4 from a critical standpoint, thanks to a slew of near-perfect scores from pretty much everyone. Save for one or two negative pieces, Assetto Corsa was also the most critically acclaimed title ever released by 505 Games.

Yet if you sat down for about thirty seconds and actually did some investigating as to who, exactly, were the publications handing out such phenomenal scores, it became pretty easy to discover what was occurring: Half of the positive reviews of Assetto Corsa on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were written by Italian gaming publications. This wouldn’t be a big deal if the headquarters for publisher 505 Games weren’t listed on Wikipedia as being located in Milan, Italy, while the Kunos offices didn’t overlook the Vallelunga Circuit just outside of Rome, but they are, and it obviously makes this all look a bit shady – Italian gaming magazines giving hyperbolic reviews to an all-Italian video game effort which one reviewer actually needed help with because it was so incomprehensibly broken. This is all compounded by the fact that all of these “quotes” from the reviews are written in English, yet when upon visiting the page of any respective outlet featured in the image below, the entire publication is instead written in Italian, making it difficult to even locate the quote featured in the first place.

ItalianSo a lot of people at this point will stop and say “well, there were probably a whole bunch of other positive reviews from non-Italian websites, so you’re splitting hairs here for something to complain about.”

And to that I say you’re absolutely correct. The other half of the positive reviews for Assetto Corsa were written by Spanish publications. Again, the quotations are written in English, but upon venturing to each website’s individual review of Assetto Corsa, you’re greeted with a wall of Espanol.

ESAnd would you look at that! 505 Games happen to have an office located in Madrid, Spain.

madridNow it’s important to note that none of this would matter if there wasn’t a huge disparity in review scores when other websites got their hands on the title. Many of you probably want to make a sarcastic comment regarding American games receiving favorable scores from American gaming outlets, and while I’m sure you guys can be extremely creative when tackling this topic, the disparity is what counts. The North American launch of Assetto Corsa came on the Tuesday following the European release, and the reviews published in the days afterwards really drilled home how dishonest the scores from both Italian and Spanish magazines had been. While no less than ten European outlets sang the praises of Assetto Corsa and made it out to be one of the best console driving games ever made, western publications were underwhelmed by a boring racing simulator suffering from major technical issues.

I can understand a ten or even twenty point difference – racing simulators definitely aren’t for everyone – but we’re looking at a suspicious number of Italian and Spanish publications firmly believing Assetto Corsa is Jesus on wheels, whereas big guns such as IGN and Destructoid appeared to have been playing an entirely different game.

Untitled-4And this disparity could have remained a conspiracy theory relegated to the depths of PRC.net, buried by the incessant shitposting of Assetto Corsa fanboys determined to silence anyone critical of their favorite game. However, today Kunos Simulazioni actually made a fairly lengthy announcement detailing their post-release patch plans for Assetto Corsa, essentially admitting that they really fucked up the console launch and have a whole bunch of basic shit to fix.

Untitled-5Why would they need to make an announcement such as this one in the first place, if the game was as good as publications such as IGN Italy and Multiplayer.it said it was? I’m a bit lost here… Hobby Consoles says Assetto Corsa is the racing simulator everyone has been asking for and gave the game a stout score of 90, but here Kunos is apologizing for framerate problems, screen tearing, unoptimized artificial intelligence, and… a lack of private lobbies?!??! That doesn’t sound like a racing simulator everyone has been asking for…

For the final portion of this article, I’d like to re-calculate the current Metacritic rating of Assetto Corsa for the PlayStation 4 without including any Italian or Spanish gaming outlet. After twenty four reviews, the game is holding down a score of 73 as of this writing, but upon dropping eleven publications from the overall score (don’t worry guys, I still kept the 90 from USGamer and 82 from Gameblog.fr), Assetto Corsa falls to an unflattering 64. This actually brings it directly in line with the user score of 6.4, and more accurately reflects the critical reception most titles from 505 Games manage to receive.

64It’s almost as if Kunos Simluazioni had been throwing elaborate parties for members of both the Italian and Spanish gaming press at the Vallelunga auto racing circuit, allowing them to spend a day driving exotic cars in exchange for favorable coverage of what’s quickly been exposed as a very underwhelming and bug-filled racing simulator.

Oh, that’s right, they did.

108 thoughts on “National Pride

  1. “Gone Home, a first person lesbian walking simulator that could be completed in under a minute, was given numerous Game of the Year awards by left-wing nutters.”

    Good lord.

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      1. I’m having security problems again.

        Come find me at my address : 2583 DZ Den Haag. That’s where I’m anally fucking my buddies at when not with my Philippine slut itching our anal cavities with Marco and Luca.

        Like

        1. Life Is Strange is an adventure game, and Mirror’s Edge is basically a racing game (I’m kinda surprised you haven’t played it, the first one in particular is Speedrunning: The Game).

          A walking simulator, at least as far as how I’d define it, is something like Dear Esther or A Machine For Pigs where you just walk forward until it spews more pretentious narration at you. I’d be hard pressed naming others, tbh, because I hate those games and don’t have any desire to play more of them. The Beginner’s Guide or Stanley Parable would qualify, I guess, although I’m hesitant to include those because they don’t suck. Stanley Parable probably doesn’t really fit, either, since it has too much reactivity.

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  2. I went and got a copy of the ps4 console version yesterday as I needed to see the game for myself!

    I have played the game for maximum 1 hr , first test run in a Ferrari was nice the FFB felt ok and the physics and track feedback was very nice I thought “actually they are great”.

    Did one Abath race and that was ok the graphics are actually pretty nice , I didn’t see a lot of screen tearing on the track or tracks I was racing on , with regards to the tracks and or surroundings I must admit it is lifeless as per usual in most racing games .

    Lifeless maybe the wrong word ” dead as a maggot” 😦

    I did one run at Nurburgring Nordschleife and really enjoyed the laser scanned feeling of the road surfaces , sense of speed was very nice in cockpit view without the wheel .

    The game is very strange when you complete a race against Ai , when you are finished it just magically pops you back to the pits “very strange format indeed ” . As for most of the single player content everything feels a little off when it comes to the way its all setup.

    As I Said 1 hr of game time is all I had on it , see how it goes from there I guess , It certainly didn’t give me the excitement/ fun factor f1 2016 does.

    I think it will be my goto hot lap simulator 😦 which at the end of the day is a little sad for AU $ 89.95

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just did some laps drifting the 488 GTB at Tor Poznan and this was more fun than this hole F1 2016 game with it´s shitty physics, bullshit career and totally annoying cutscense and point bullshit system. Fine, when people like this nonsense and feel like they are real F1-drivers, but i like nearly all cars in AC more than this F1-crap cars. And this site should rebrand itself into pretendarcaderacer.

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    1. True, PRC nowadays is more into your typical “arcades”. Sims have bored James… What have you done Iracing. This non sense comes after your ban.
      But the real thing is he doesn’t play those arcades he keeps shilling on.

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    2. Today, I learned a game giving you things to do other than mindlessly drive on an empty track is “nonsense.”

      Assetto Corsa 2 could be a blank word document, and you’d be here praising Kunos for their minimalist approach that allows users to craft their own experience and embark on a personal journey to understand just what – if anything – constitutes as a racing simulator.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are just the cancer of Sim Racing hitting on everything what’s great like DD-wheels and AC. Go and kill yourself you narcissistic idiot.

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              1. Every sim developer are decent guys and made interesting sim racing games. And before you bring Ian Bell and whatever saying he wasn’t nice… step out of your prc dream because including people like james aren’t nice, much more many of the people commenting here on prc aren’t nice and really nasty actually, compared to anything ian bell has done.
                So every sim dev has done a lot more than most, much much more than this or any other blog. But they somehow deserve to get shit but no… this guy writes an interesting blog and is a decent guy, poor him, the victim. smh..

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        1. Hang on you scum bag, as much as James is a shit stirrer and deserves a bit of a wind up your above post is taking it too far you indian imbecile, if you don’t like it don’t read it you fucking window licker.

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          1. This week i tried my old TX again and the difference is like day & night to a AF, even the TX assumed to be to much better than you crap wheel. So you writing bad about stuff, you never checked for yourself, only because some idiot was hurting himself with his gear is like writing about sex as a virgin. And sex must be really bad, because many people even died while practicing, moron.

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          2. PS: And writing about simulation value without even having a SimVibe setup is like the same. The best would be motion, but you get an idea how good the motion is with SimVibe and F1 2016 is just one canned monophonic grumble effect and even way worse than F1 2015. And this title was not anywhere near AC, iRacing, rF2, AMS or Dirt Rally. They all have at least half a dozen effects output in quadrophony. So what´s this side about than bullshitting and giving Nazis a comment-section?

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  4. 64 is still good..better than 46! Just imagine rf1 or 2 on consoles..surely it will be 16 comes with review like ohh the ai is decent unfortunately the guesswork official contents is limited to work with.

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  5. those who identify themselves as “very liberal” in early adulthood have a mean childhood IQ of 106.4, whereas those who identify themselves as “very conservative” in early adulthood have a mean childhood IQ of 94.8. If you can’t read this, you’re probably a conservative.

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      1. I dunno that I would have rated it GotY, but I’ve probably played as many “real” videogames as anyone, going back to the 70’s, and I thought it was pretty good. People calling it a “walking simulator” are as lazy as those who gave it high scores purely for dealing with non-traditional subject matter. Walking simulators are barely interactive bullshit like Dear Esther; Gone Home is closer to a traditional immersive sim, albeit without the violence.

        Er, what I mean is, someone gave a game I didn’t play and/or heard wasn’t very good a positive review, therefore there’s some kind of conspiracy in gaming journalism. Really, it’s not about my insecurity as a conservative white guy being unable to accept that most people aren’t enormous pieces of shit like I am.

        It’s kind of hilarious that Gamergate tried to spin indie stuff like Gone Home into some sort of narrative about ethics in gaming journalism, years after completely failing to give a shit when an actual payola scandal happened with Kane & Lynch.

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        1. You actually had a decent argument until Kane & Lynch. Gonna tell you why.

          I was a GameSpot member at the time it went down. Yeah, your boy was on there. Promise you’ll find some embarrassing shit if you can track down my old account. The Kane & Lynch ads were intrusive and people were already pissed about them because this was during a time when not everybody’s PC could tolerate the dynamic ads Gamespot were using for the game. Nobody was hyped nor cared for this game, and people generally were indifferent to Gerstmann’s review as well as the game’s existence.

          Gerstmann was fired about three hours after it went live, so around 1PM EST, as GS was located in California. At the time we were told it was because he was a lazy piece of shit behind the scenes and the sound quality of the video was the final straw, which was true – he wasn’t mic’d, and there was a ton of echo. It was a really rushed review by all accounts.

          The Gamespot forums exploded because up until that point people really liked Gerstmann. The activity level was staggering. There was a thread on it across every section of the site, including unions – which were custom boards/communities people had made themselves. And this was during a time when smartphones weren’t common and browsing video game sites wasn’t something everybody and their dog did. This was a month or two before gaming went bigtime with the Halo 3/Cod 4 phase that fall, so that activity level was really impressive. Basically everyone came online to add their two cents. The general discussion forums were ablaze for a while until moderators stepped in and introduced containment zones.

          There were threads on IGN, GameFAQs, and pretty much every other gaming site; a lot of people jumped ship from GameSpot because of it. However, it didn’t blow up to the extent Gamergate did simply because social media wasn’t big enough yet. There was no central hub to congregate as there is now with Facebook, Reddit, YouTube (which was in its infancy), and even 4Chan. You gotta think, 4Chan was still that obscure pedo site a lot of people were afraid of in 07, not this massive internet machine that could sit there on their day off with 50 bored guys in a Skype chat and connect the dots.

          As for GamerGate… Eron actually came out on top legally and a lot of his claims were proven to be factual. Publications just can’t cover it because the more you dig into what happened regarding that portion of GamerGate, the less it becomes about video games altogether and goes into full MRA territory.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m you’re not a socialist when you’re 20 you don’t have a heart. If you are a socialist when you’re 40 you don’t have a brain

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  6. Italia Italia

    Who builded the actually best sim out there?

    Italia Italia

    Simulation Consoleros at least have now a place to play!

    Thank you Italia Italia

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  7. Assetto Corsa is the new *POOR* benchmark for console racing games

    Faulty physics, PS3 graphics on PS4 platform and as a “CPU usage > 95%” simulator, no wonder it never fail to perform poorly in every platform, LOL.

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  8. It’s sad how much Kunos tries to market their sim by paying Italian reviewers to give them positive reviews. AC is a broken mess, and is easily one of the worst console racing games of this generation.

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    1. There are already sony and microsoft consoles much more powerful than ps4 and xbox one original version. You haven’t been on par with the news.

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  9. PC players are used to play Assetto Corsa differently. A big portion comes from early access where you did what you wanted with the cars and tracks. Drove, raced, whatever.
    That’s why we don’t understand some reviewers who come now and expect a fantasy game and rate the game half. They don’t get AC or any other sim racing game. Our gaming happiness comes from grabbing a car, a track, and just drive and drive and race. Comes from making ourselves better at doing that every time we try.

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      1. Hey, if they released an HD version of rF1 with PBR, I’d buy it. Probably. Never bought it before though. At this point, any decent looking sim game gets my vote. Otherwise I got Race07 on Steam sale if I want a play a game that has a reason to look it’s age.

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      2. And then people say James is the savior… He dismisses anything pc sim racers want and like over to what console racers want.
        You’re doing a job against pc sim racing, all the time praising console titles, including gt6 over any pc sim.
        Is a fool who thinks this blog is helping pc sim racing, I’ve seen none of that, only attempts to bring down sims, the devs, the communities, sim hardware.

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  10. Good physics alone does not make a good game. AC is a lifeless husk outside the admittedly good handling model and detailed cars and tracks. The driving is great but there’s no structure holding the game together, and even after playing it for nearly 3 years now I’m still not sure what exactly AC is supposed to be.

    I know a lot of you nerds out there like to insist these are “sims” and not “games,” and that nothing but the physics matter, and you’re wrong on both counts. Call it a simulator all you want if it makes you feel superior to the console guys or feeds the “I’m 40 but I still think I can be a race car driver when I grow up because I play 80 hours of iRacing a week” complex, but it’s still a game – it’s supposed to be entertaining and fun. Unfortunately, Kunos, for all their technical skill, failed that most basic test.

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  11. Gee I wonder why a game with only European tracks, where the only racing series represented are European or global, would score lower in America.

    Actually no I don’t. It’s like that Brasilian sim game. Yes it’s technically amazing, but 80 people play it, because 60 of them are Brasilian and 20 are extreme sim nerds.

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    1. Honestly though the weirdest part is that these Spanish and Italian reviewers can understand how to play the game, but the English guy can’t. Maybe AC’s english localization blows?

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  12. Completely agree with the above comments … The lifeless husk seems like what we are getting from a majority of the devs ….

    It isn’t good , its the same shit over and over as James pretty much stated ……

    Same cars same tracks , same boring as fuck atmosphere . Again I will say that the only game/developer that seems to have made a effort to change this is F1 2016 . I don’t care that it has a arcade element to it , there is nothing arcadey about the way the flag rules and penalties work .

    I can only assume gt sport has been delayed for the same reason , its the same shit .

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  13. Its also a fact that people coming from the american continents are dumb and cant drive or have shitty food so no wondering about this discrepance

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  14. I’m having security problems again.

    James come find me at my address : 2583 DZ Den Haag. That’s where I’m anally fucking my buddies at when not with my Philippine slut itching our anal cavities with Marco and Luca.

    Like

  15. This is the same thing as you pushing articles about Nascar and/or Indycar related games/mods that nobody other than you and some other redneck care about.

    You expect quality and unbiased coverage from media across the world, but you don’t hesitate to throw those articles at us such as “hurr durr, look at this glorious new Nascar game or Indycar mod which will probably suck anyway but hey! It’s Nascar/Indycar so everybody should be excited regardless”

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      1. Ah, so it’s a conspiracy. Now they can get her for using a private email adress AND murder. Go straight to FOX news and the CIA man, they must know!! It’s not fair only you know this stuff.

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        1. A bit beyond conspiracy considering Hillary was already found to have rigged the primaries, and Julian Assange is going on a media tour hyping the next WikiLeaks release.

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  16. Hr 2 of asseto corsa , I took a ac cobra for a quick race and a hot lap at brands hatch ” what a weapon ” .

    Quickly the realisation of this being just another hot lap simulator has arisen , the game has great physics I can’t argue with that , but it really is a boring affair offline , as I have read there doesn’t seem to be any online times to compete against ?

    I haven’t had a crack at online races yet but I can only see this being the usual bumper car nutter racing that you see in most games online without any structure.

    The screen tearing has popped up a little more than I first thought and the frame rate drop when the damage icon pops up is pretty bad , also I feel like the replays are running in slow motion on some replay camera angles.

    Look I can’t argue about the physics and the force feedback coming through my t500 Rs but the rest of the game just seems completely stale and to be completely honest ” boring as fark” .

    I’m starting to feel like I now have 2 copies of project cars 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  17. On PC there’s at least the RSR Live Timing app as a substitute for official leaderboards, but console players are fucked. People gave up hope on that feature ever being implemented in the game a long time ago. I guess you could still go to the website, but visiting a third party site shouldn’t be something you need to do after buying a full priced game. And with the console version you probably can’t download the setups and replays that people upload there either.

    Like

  18. hey associat0r, there’s two people in Racedepartment/rf2 wanting to sell their game. Track them down.

    “Can I sell rFactor 2 if I did not buy from Steam… ”

    “I change RF2 – (game + lifetime for steam) for F1 2016”

    Like

  19. Hey guys if you’re interested in free blowjobs, please come to my place
    and fill my mouth with your huge sausages!
    Here’s my address :

    2, Studfield Road
    Sheffield
    Yorkshire
    S6 4SS
    United Kingdom

    Paul Jeffrey, your secret lover :o)

    Don’t bring any condoms!

    Like

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