I feel as if we’ve reached a point where I have to simply wait around for the team at Kunos Simulazioni to do something stupid, and my patience will be rewarded by yet another public display of absurdity, one which contradicts what many believe the beliefs and values this simulator stands for. Once considered to be one of the best racing games on the market regardless of sub-genre due to it’s authentic handling model and sublime force feedback effects, the past year of Assetto Corsa’s lifespan has been nothing but disarray. A botched console version launch and the sudden closure of the game’s official modding community were merely highlights in a long list of developer meltdowns, delays, and an emphasis on pushing out several downloadable content packs over integrating essential features that are traditionally seen as standard options in other racing games. Everything sim racers hated about the rest of the video game industry – heaps of post release downloadable content, missing features, unstable performance, and angry developers – were present in Assetto Corsa.
Basically, this is a game where you can pay extra for modern Le Mans entries such as the Porsche 919 Hybrid, but can’t score the race by time – as you would in an endurance race featuring the Porsche 919 – or compete in anything other than dry, daylight conditions. And if you happen to fancy the Sauber C9, there are no online rooms in which you can race the car against your friends – not can you create your own.
Now past the generic introduction, it’s time to examine the actual topic of this article. A large portion of the reason why Assetto Corsa was allowed to fall to the wayside and become an entirely forgettable racing simulator is the overall community’s inability to hold Kunos accountable for their actions; and by actions, I’m talking about the outright lies sim racers were told about the game. For every person like myself who were daring to ask legitimate questions about both the direction and the quality of the product, there were twenty additional cocksuckers convinced Kunos could do no wrong, and that anyone else was just a hater – or my personal favorite, mentally ill.
I could introduce y’all to the concept of Anakastic Personality Disorder, and imply that the public persona of at least one individual on the Kunos Simulazioni development team fit all requirements as listed by the ICD-10 database, but I feel that path would bore most readers and stray too far into a territory that doesn’t have a lot to do with racing simulators. So I won’t.
Regardless, in some cases, Kunos Simulazioni were outright lying to the consumers who had purchased their game, and these mindless drones were so cucked by the $40 they had spent on Assetto Corsa, they were unwilling to consider the fact that maybe Kunos Simulazioni weren’t the saviors of sim racing, but merely another Milestone-like developer who simply went about establishing a relationship with their customers in a different manner. What blows me away is how absolutely nobody in the sim racing community caught onto these lies or has even bothered to discuss them in the first place, instead enabling Kunos to continue giving a giant middle finger to the exact audience which aided their rise in the first place.
Let me show you what I mean.
In January of 2015, Steam user NefariousFox wrote a short piece in the Steam forums on what he believed to be dishonest artificial intelligence behavior, as if the AI cars were running under a different set of physics compared to the player, and were basically cheating their way around the race track. His claims are immediately contested by notorious fanboys such as SeriousSpy, who parrot what Stefano Casillo had said earlier on the official forums, claiming the AI cars use the exact same physics as the player and do not “cheat” in any manner whatsoever. Yet only a few short weeks ago, another user by the name of HellsWind discovered a key combination which enables this very set of alternative physics that Kunos developer Stefano Casillo claimed in a Red Bull Gaming interview didn’t exist.
If the AI cars really do use the same physics as the player, why is there a simple key combination in the game (which has since been patched) that toggles an alternate set of physics you’re not supposed to know about? I mean, this is a straight-up lie. Why, as a developer. would you go out in public and make such a bold statement knowing full well it could be dis-proven instantly by one of your customers hitting CTRL+C twice during normal gameplay? This is just fucking lunacy, and this is before we start posting videos of the AI cars glitching the fuck out under an obviously different set of physics. Better yet, why would any customer willingly defend these action,s and still label Kunos as the “good guys” in sim racing? What retarded developer goes on record and states an obvious lie?
We all know that most modern racing simulators manipulate the behavior of AI cars to ensure a clean race – this is standard practice within the genre, so it’s nothing to get your panties in a twist about. Even when we play old shit like NASCAR Racing 2003 Season or Grand Prix Legends, you can bust into the track.ini file and manually alter AI slip angle behavior and other oddities to get the kind of offline racing experience you want. But what isn’t standard practice, is telling your customers you’ve moved on from that “old way” of doing things, when it takes less than a second to be proven you’re talking absolute bullshit.
More recently, prior to the launch of Assetto Corsa on consoles, Kunos staff member Marco Massarutto randomly launched into a tirade against sim racers who were claiming the set of physics in both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Assetto Corsa would somehow differ from the PC version. The tone of Massarutto’s post indicated he was extremely frustrated with these assumptions from uninformed sim racers, and he went through great lengths to explain how it would be a gigantic waste of time to work on two unique versions of the game simultaneously; stating that it wouldn’t be logical from a development standpoint, and my favorite line: “there is no reason why we should do this.”
And yet, examining the patch notes released today for the PlayStation 4 copy of Assetto Corsa, that’s exactly what they did.
- Upgraded physics engine and network protocol to bring them in line with the PC version of Assetto Corsa as of release 1.9.
Are Kunos Simulazioni even capable of telling the truth? This stuff now draws into question almost everything they’ve said about Assetto Corsa in a public forum, because so many of their claims can be easily proven to be false, sometimes by their own goddamn patch notes!.
What’s next on the horizon? And at what point in time does the sim community put their collective foot down and no longer tolerate this kind of garbage treatment from a developer? All Kunos have really done over the past two years is wave their Porsche license around and write blog posts about how great their community is, but in the long run, how does that actually improve their game or bring it into a half-playable state? It’s admittedly nice to see videos like Joe Nathan’s pop up calling this game for what it really is…:
…as well as posts akin to simshim’s rhetoric on Reddit…:
…but for how much shit the sim community have given developers like Slightly Mad Studios or Codemasters over the years, why does the sim crowd suddenly hold back when it comes to Kunos? These guys simply cannot tell the truth when they speak about their game on a public platform, and while that kind of behavior is a recipe for a quick thrashing elsewhere, Kunos for whatever reason are instead immune to it, protected by a growing guild of rabid apologists.