A Better Version of the 2015 Ford Mustang for Assetto Corsa Can Be Found HERE

acs 2015-07-11 14-50-41-10Most Assetto Corsa players are aware of the controversial conversion side of the AC modding scene. While explicitly not allowed on the Assetto Corsa official forums, as well as RaceDepartment, a growing number of independent modders of Eastern European descent have provided a steady stream of sub-par content for the Italian racing simulation, otherwise known as Russian Conversions. A large majority of these mods are downright terrible, though some of the payware stuff can be quite good.

One of the first illegal conversions for Assetto Corsa was the 2015 Ford Mustang GT that you see above. Originally a payware release with shoddy physics, the car was traded rapidly amongst people willing to take a chance and give their credit card info to a sketchy site, and was improved by other AC players to work with future versions of Assetto Corsa, currently on build number 1.1.6. The default car is a bit crap; a drift-heavy machine that would be dangerous in the hands of an everyday driver taking it to work.

acs 2015-07-11 14-49-03-50We have some of these at work that we rent out to VIP customers, essentially a reward for long-term or returning customers as some sort of incentive to keep worshiping Enterprise as their almighty lord and savior. I got a chance to drive one longer than I’m normally allowed to the other day (don’t worry, it was cool) and found all the fancy buttons that change steering, suspension, and traction control modes. As a Chevy guy, this car is superior to the 2015 Camaro in nearly every way, from visibility, to steering wheel feel, to heads up display.

Anyways, I took what I learned messing around with the car IRL and made some quick adjustments to the newest version of the car I could find for Assetto Corsa. The Russian guys who worked on the car made it too light and tail happy, so I fudged some numbers to get it to align with my own experiences. Also, yes, with everything set to Race/Sport/Off, the rear tires break traction that easily, just not as easily as the Russian dudes made it seem. The car drives pretty nice now, although you can tell it’s a Russian rip from somewhere, and it’s obviously nowhere near close to the stuff Kunos puts out.

acs 2015-07-11 14-48-25-39You’re looking for a 1:28.4 on Magione. Change the Front Camber to -1.5 and the Rear Camber to -1.1 and it should be good. Drop the tire pressure to 33 PSI because that’s what the sticker on the inside of the door says to do.

Click HERE to Download PRC’s Revised 2015 Ford Mustang for Assetto Corsa.

Reader Submission #19 – F1 2015 let me down, what else has been this bad?

Our first reader submission of the weekend comes from Nathan way over in the United Kingdom. After recently getting into driving sims and being let down by F1 2015, Nathan wants to know what other games dropped the ball this hard.

Hey guys, I’m not sure if the Submit feature is meant for these kids of posts, but I will try it anyways. I haven’t played driving sims for very long. I got into F1 2014 six months ago when it was discounted on Steam, and also bought Assetto Corsa and Project CARS to give me a little bit variety. Since I follow Formula One in real life, I bought F1 2015 yesterday.

It’s really bad but I guess you already made an entry on that. More glitches than the new Batman game that got pulled from Steam. I’m not the fastest but I like to think I’m a very clean driver, especially with AI cars (I treat them like they’re real people). Project CARS also has similar glitches, but I think F1 2015 is worse. The reviews on Steam have 70% of customers dissatisfied with the game. Go look if you don’t believe me.

F1Since I am new to this whole sim racing “scene”, I would like to know what other launch disasters there have been. I am not happy wasting money on a game like this.

Driving games, and racing sims in general, don’t receive the hype that your average Call of Duty or Halo title do, so there aren’t many crushing letdowns when it comes to pretend race cars. Most people just accept that a new title is shit, and go back to whatever game they were playing previously. When a new NASCAR game comes out and it’s predicitably shit, people go back to NASCAR Racing 2003 season. When a new F1 game comes out and it’s full of bugs, people go back to rFactor or Game Stock Car Extreme. When modern rally titles would ship with absurd amounts of Monster Energy ads and very little actual rallying, people booted up Richard Burns Rally.

But there are indeed a few games out there that really sucked ass.

testdrivett_005-largeTest Drive 6 was a special kind of brutal. I’m not sure if people remember this game (or if they do, the nostalgia goggles add a much-needed filter), but the Infogrames title was a huge step back compared to earlier games in the series. Back in the late 1990’s, both the Test Drive and Need for Speed series were on relatively equal footing. I think the sales were in EA’s favor, but objectively, both games had roughly the same positives and negatives. Infogrames also put out a killer spin-off game called with the same engine as the Test Drive series that received unanimous praise in an era where mainstream gaming sites weren’t paid off. There was also the series, but I personally remember those games more for the more than anything.

Anyways, Test Drive 6 was released and instantly relegated to the bargain bin. The only positive aspect I can remember is that the game’s intro included a Remix of the Gary Numan hit “Cars” by Fear Factory.

It’s not something I’ll add to my personal list of letdowns, but a lot of people hated DiRT 2 when it came out. While the simcade driving model was superb and it was one of the best racing games you could play on Xbox Live, the DiRT series, formerly known as Colin McRae Rally, had a reputation that carried over to the Xbox 360 with the first game in the DiRT series for being a hardcore rally sim, eventually expanding to multiple types of off-road racing. A lot of people hoped DiRT 2 was going to be this killer off-road title that put racing games on the map, and instead it was tangibly dumbed down for the Call of Duty audience. Track design was incredibly simple regardless of the racing discipline you selected, and the game was essentially a big Monster Energy advertisement. I was seventeen when the game came out so I predictably ate it up, but many people found the revitalized presentation beyond obnoxious and most agreed it was the death of the Colin McRae Rally series.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 is the first modern game that really shocked me as to how bad a game could land in the hands of a consumer. The original game, released in 2006 (I think) was this huge open world racing game that took place on a 1:1 scale island of Oahu – in fact the local Hawaiian news even did a segment on how accurately the island was portrayed. The game was a huge hit, had tons of online functionality, a really good roster of DLC, and even had a Hardcore Mode for wheel users wanting to take advantage of the newer racing wheels landing on the market at that time.

TDU2 was supposed to be bigger and better, as is expected with all sequels. Not only would the game include a revitalized Oahu, but an entirely new second island, Ibiza, off the coast of Spain. I bought the game for myself and two of my buddies as the hype train promised a killer open world arcade racer with tons of PVP aspects, and it ended up being a buggy mess. The car roster was considerably smaller than the first game, a problem magnified by the obvious lack of certain marquee licenses and strange omissions from notable manufacturers already present. The story mode, centering around an illegal street racing ring, was cringeworthy, especially as these characters nagged you to race them while casually free-roaming around the map. Cruising with your friends was a challenge due to the game’s problematic servers failing to keep you connected for more than a few minutes at a time, and online matchmaking rarely found you anyone to race with as there were simply too many tracks and car classes that split up the userbase. Most people didn’t own enough different vehicles or had progressed far enough into the game to be matched up with each other.

And the PVP aspects, known as Car Clubs, were broken at launch and not implemented until three months after the game had released and most players had already returned the game to the store. For myself and my two buddies who lived down the street, we tried embrace the PVP feature, only to find it was a hasty last minute addition where you couldn’t even restrict car classes to ensure a fair race. We’d often enter into a match with a rival clan, only to find that they were all little kids using one of the DLC Bugatti Veyron’s that was added to your garage for free after spending a meager 160 Microsoft points, or $2.00. When the kiddies got bored of club races, the preferred PVP car that everyone unanimously agreed upon was a fully upgraded Subaru Impreza, and that’s when we began to climb the club leaderboards according to my Facebook profile from four years ago.

176724_1485905608110_3773568_oThere were other issues, too. The DLC added nothing of value to the game, in some cases the additional cars were mere palette swaps of cars already in the game, such as the Synergy Camaro. The game suffered from a cycle of never-ending patches that added new bugs while fixing old ones, and the Community Race Center, where you could create your own layouts within the game world and allow people to fight for leaderboard times, had an issue where you could charge an entrance fee several times higher than the payout of the event, effectively allowing veterans of the game to screw people over who didn’t read the event information carefully. The whole game was just really bad, and according to someone who used to be in the closed beta, Atari just flat-out didn’t care.

287664Anything from Slightly Mad Studios should get a mention, although I admittedly haven’t spend nearly enough time with both Shift games or Ferrari Racing Legends to elaborate about the precise ways in which they were broken. I know Shift on consoles had really terrible controls, and the PC version suffered from input lag, poor optimization, and needed several patches to unfuck, but the massive hype from being a Need for Speed title allowed the hype train to gloss over all these issues with several bought reviews that in no way reflect how the game actually plays once it’s in your console. Evidence of this is in the many video reviews of the title, where reviewers praise the handling model and AI while footage shows them helplessly crashing into every trackside object and getting run over by other opponents.

I think the biggest letdown goes to NASCAR The Game 2011 by Eutechnyx. I’ve had to type out the following few paragraphs numerous times over the years, so my most sincere apologies if you’ve read this before:

Once EA Sports secured the exclusive license to make NASCAR games after a string of phenomenal NASCAR console releases, EA promptly sent the best and brightest of the Tiburon Studios NASCAR team across the hall to work on the Madden NFL series. The quality of the oval racing games slowly declined, and EA Sports lost the exclusive license after the release of NASCAR 09. NASCAR fans went two years without a game while the license changed hands, and the new rights owner was a small company in Europe by the name of Eutechnyx. The initial trailer impressed even the harshest critics of the EA games, and most believed we were ushering in a golden age for oval racing fans, as iRacing was still relatively new and incredibly pricey compared to what else was on the market.

Instead, we got this:

The game couldn’t live up to the ridiculous hype that Activision and Eutechnyx had generated in the months leading up to release, and when someone got their hands on the game a few days early, the first livestream by a very pissed off customer merely hinted at the years of despair that would follow. The game was barely above the quality of a shovelware title, and users quickly took to the official forums to voice their displeasure with some of the most ridiculous glitches ever to grace a driving game. As you can see in the video above, the game is virtually unplayable. People who drew attention to the sorry state the game released in were promptly labelled as trolls and banned. None of these issues have been fixed, the game received three sequels all with roughly the same amount of bugs, and most people who consider themselves NASCAR fans have bitten the bullet and signed up for iRacing.

I think that’s everything off the top of my head. Might be missing Gran Turismo 5, so maybe a PS3 owner can fill me in on what went wrong there.

Gran Turismo 6

Launch Day for F1 2015 Didn’t Go So Well

Don’t really have anything intelligent to say to start this post, other than F1 2015 dropped for Europeans today, and people don’t seem to be too happy about it. A quick adventure to YouTube and some guys are already pointing out problems with the game, but I’ll let the videos do the talking.

Any PRC readers play it yet? Let us know how it is in the comments section below!

rFactor 2 Might Live Up To The Hype

I last touched rFactor 2 in late 2013, when Chris of PRC.net would throw up a GT3 room for us and our extended family. We’d always inflate the online player count by 300% (I can count the number of outsiders who joined the room one one hand), and after a few hours of making laps at Sebring, we’d call it quits for the night. Yeah, the RealRoad technology where the track dynamically rubbered in worked as it should, and the weather effects kicked all kinds of ass, but the game constantly ran like shit, installing mods (most of which were shoddy rF1 conversions) were unnecessarily complicated compared to the original game, and the smeared pastel graphics palette really drove the point home that rFactor 2 wasn’t going to be touched any time soon. Assetto Corsa came out a few months later to put the nail in the coffin.

Yet despite other games completely blowing the doors off of rFactor 2 in terms of popularity, a very vocal, autistic minority will spend every waking moment claiming that rFactor 2 is the best sim available on the market, and has several features that other titles don’t have. Assetto Corsa has, in my opinion, the best feeling driving model and force feedback available, but lack several features required for league racing and offline racing. Game Stock Car Extreme pushes the original rFactor to it’s limits, but the Brazilian-centric content makes it hard for all but the most dedicated of sim racers to jump in and familiarize themselves with tracks and cars they’ve never heard of before. Race Room Racing Experience’s content and track list is second to none, but the pricing model is beyond confusing, and as Sector 3 spends time re-doing all of the gMotor engine’s features to their liking, some stuff is inevitably missing. And for those on consoles, Project CARS is bugged to shit and you’ll be banned from the official forums if you dare to bring up any issues with the game.

So does rFactor 2 live up to the rabid fanboys preposterous claims?

It might.

rFactor2 2015-07-09 18-22-52-52Installing this game is a fucking pain. I stuck with the Lite installer and just downloaded the relevant IndyCar friendly content from the game’s official site, and found a nice 2014 Skin Pack on RaceDepartment. Unlike the original game, where mods are extracted into the main directory and that’s literally the only step, rFactor 2 forces you to use a mod manager of sorts. You get these huge RFCMP files, you drop them into the appropriate folder inside My Documents, boot up the mod manager, and click install on everything you want injected into your game.

iicsNow because I didn’t want the track selection cluttered with the short layouts of Silverstone or Sepang, nor did I want the ugly fictional liveries the default Dallara DW12 download comes with to shit up the car selection screen, I had to use the MAS2 tool to basically create my own custom mod. This is all totally optional, but as most people’s rFactor and rF2 installs inevitably balloon with entire carsets and trackpacks for specific series, it’s more shit you need to learn how to do, and it isn’t very user friendly. Not to mention, your own personal mod filter creates mismatches online, and The inclusion of a mod manager was never needed to begin with, as rFactor’s file structure was idiot proof. I don’t know why ISI took this route.

whyAnyways, you boot the game up, and the main menu looks like this:

rFactor2 2015-07-09 18-25-49-30Now call me retarded but I didn’t know you had to click the little cloud icon beside session settings to open up a hugely detailed menu, and my first 20 minutes or so with the game was spent finding out where ISI have hidden familiar options. Yet once you learn where everything is, this interface is about a thousand times easier on the eyes than the god awful orange crush of rF1, and reminds me a lot of DiRT Rally. The hybrid between traditional and metro is really nice, and the car selection screen is significantly less clunky than rF1. It too, has received a really nice upgrade.

rFactor2 2015-07-09 19-03-00-51The best thing about the revised menus is that they allow you to watch practice at all times, no matter what screen you’re on. Even as you’re tweaking your setup or adjusting your force feedback, a portion of the screen is always dedicated to what’s happening on track. The setup menu has been split into multiple pages and is a simple list of options instead of laid out alongside a picture of a car, but I for one welcome this change. I sorta get Grand Prix Legends vibes from the whole thing now.

rFactor2 2015-07-09 19-09-25-94Obviously I gotta move on to talking about the physics and how it drives, because that’s the whole purpose of a racing sim.

rFactor2 2015-07-09 19-20-53-56At first, I took the IndyCars to the Historic version of Monaco, something that you’re really not supposed to do as time travel hasn’t been invented yet. This unrealistic, highly implausible combination was actually a lot of fun and only slightly more dangerous than the Baltimore Grand Prix. The car was really lively over all the bumps and the Force Feedback gave me a clear indication as to how the car was handling the circuit. We’re at a point where it’s not going to get much better for the next three or four years until a major leap in consumer steering wheels is made, or direct drive wheels become affordable.

rFactor2 2015-07-09 19-20-18-24The Force Feedback effects have been improved in all the right places. While I feel Assetto Corsa does a much better job of Force Feedback overall, the FFB in rF2 is still really good; a notch under what the Kunos guys have done with their sim, and a notch above the most recent modern sims such as Game Stock Car Extreme and R3E. Assetto Corsa really nails each specific type of murmur a steering wheel exhibits and gives you an indication what’s happening at all times, even in a straight line, while rF2 is more in line with the sims of a previous generation. It will feel exactly like Game Stock Car Extreme or R3E for the 80% pace moments, but there’s a lot more depth to the severe jolts and bumps that occur when you’re pushing the car to knock tenths off your PB. Overall, AC still does it better, but switching between both games won’t be the huge culture shock it was during the previous generation of driving games.

rFactor2 2015-07-09 19-14-43-18

Tire behavior, on the other hand, is pretty damn awesome. rFactor’s big new feature was the RealRoad dynamic track surface, and coupled with what ISI have done with the tire model, oh man it’s good. On cold tires, the car understeers, but you can clearly tell it’s because the tires aren’t sticky enough yet, and not because you fucked up the setup. Once the tires get heated up, the understeer from cold tires gradually wears off, and when the track rubbers in, it becomes increasingly easier to push harder and get as much as you can out of the car. It’s fun, fresh, innovative, and a feature that works every bit as well as it should.

But that’s on the road side. rFactor traditionally hasn’t done oval racing all that well. There was no better way to check out the improvements by taking the 2014 IndyCar to totally not Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s kind of like Texas, right?

rFactor2 2015-07-09 18-24-42-13I was really happy that the game gave me a great default setup out of the box, requiring only two wing adjustments, a small change to sixth gear, and stiffening up the right rear spring. But Goddamn the AI was shit to begin with, and a lot of tinkering was required to get them up to speed.  At first they seemed timid around me, routinely backed off when they shouldn’t have, and didn’t utilize the draft effectively. Similar to Project CARS, which also uses gMotor under the hood, unless I treated the AI like special needs children who needed a personal space bubble several times what you’d give even your best mate in an online brawl, they were woefully incompetent at basic oval racing manners. I think I had them up to 110 strength and turned a new AI buffer setting completely off to get them on pace with me.

rFactor2 2015-07-09 18-15-23-80When we got up to speed though, this shit was awesome. Far too many racing sims make IndyCars on an oval out to be NASCAR for idiots with a death wish, with an abundance of grip that prevents even the most brain dead n00b from looping the car. rFactor 2 instead cloesly resembles what I’d seen from onboard footage since the DW12 was introduced – it’s kind of sketchy over bumps, and there are a lot of bumps. With a combination of really good force feedback, a good baseline setup, and a sim car designed by a group who had access to proper data and knew what they were doing, it was incredibly fun to click off laps either alone or in traffic.

The biggest test was to put the car along the high line and see if I could get proper runs on the AI, who had been programmed to run the low line and only the low line. It was hella sketchy at first, the car understeering and sliding oh so close to the retaining wall, but as the tires heated up and the groove I’d been running rubbered in, all I could think was “damn, it sucks my online subscription has expired and there’s like nobody who plays this online.”

rFactor2 2015-07-09 18-20-02-22On cold tires, without any rubber up by the wall, you had to roll the throttle on entry and really wheel the car to keep it from knocking the wall down. When the tires gained heat, you still had to roll onto the throttle to maintain a trajectory that wouldn’t scrape off the right side of the car, but the understeer evaporated in favor of a neutral handling car that was a bit twitchy on exit. After I laid down a patch of rubber, it was all about nailing the line without lifting, and I could get these huge runs on the 28 car that you see above. This was awesome with the shitty rFactor AI that has never been able to handle oval racing properly, so I’d imagine it only gets better alongside actual people.

rFactor2 2015-07-09 18-20-31-07It still costs too much, though. The online subscription, a by-product of the EA Sports titles with online passes, has no place in a genre where you’re lucky if there are a few hundred people playing the game at any given time. The graphics, save for one or two really nice screenshots above, have gone from smeared pastels to washed out PS4 game, and the game’s default HUD options are dreadful, leading me to once again venture over to RaceDepartment and find a really simple third party HUD that would get the job done. Assetto Corsa is objectively better in how it feels to make laps, but rF2 is the most feature-complete game on the market right now, and I could see myself signing up for a league provided they stick with the default content. The version of not Charlotte and other tracks ISI have put out are so far ahead of what modders are currently able to do, running older rF1 conversions to flesh out the track roster would nullify the point of upgrading to the new platform at all.

Little things like this keep rFactor 2 from fully living up to the hype, but for all twenty seven people who still have it installed, it’s a killer sim that improves on the original in all the right areas.

rFactor2 2015-07-09 19-19-25-08

Reader Submission #18 – Turning Shift 2 Unleashed into Gran Turismo for the PC

Another fantastic reader submission has come in from Joel all the way over in Portugal, detailing how to turn Shift 2 Unleashed into a PC version of Gran Turismo with several extensive mods found on NoGripRacing.com.

Thank you for your work and honest, fun to read posts on your site. It’s been my reading source for all sim/racing related games for some time now.

“What’s the closest you can have to a Gran Turismo or Forza on PC?” 

This question bugged my mind since back in the days (1999/2000) when I would go to my friend’s house just to play GT1 and GT2 on an old Sony PlayStation. I had only a PC, and thankfully my parents never gave me a console. The downside was, there was nothing like Gran Turismo for the PC. And when I say “Gran Turismo for the PC”, I’m looking for a game that has all of these features under one roof:

  • Career Mode
  • Buying and Selling Cars
  • Upgrading Cars
  • Tuning Options
  • Large list of cars and tracks
  • Good sound, graphics, physics, and car damage
  • Cockpit View

Now there are a reasonable list of games including some of the listed features above, but never all at once. For example:

  • Sega GT
  • Evolution GT (which was total crap)
  • TOCA Race Driver
  • Grid
  • Need for Speed Underground, High Stakes and Porsche Unleashed
  • Both NFS Shift titles

The closest I got to building a GT for PC was with Shift 2, heavily modded of course. For those who played it, you’ll remember the boats on ice handling mode, with suicidal AI, input lag, bugs, and overall inconsistency. Luckily, the modding community saw potential in the title and ended up fixing most of the problems, overhauling the game completely.

SHIFT2_Unleashed_Mercedes-Benz_SLR_McLaren_Stirling_Moss_01And here was the list of steps I took to turn Shift 2 into Gran Turismo for the PC. It’s a really easy process, although be warned it takes some time and a LOT of hard drive space):

  1. Obtain a copy of Shift 2, preferably through Origin as it contains all DLC packs
  2. Sign up for NoGripRacing.com because this is where you’ll be getting all your mods
  3. Install the Unofficial Community Patch
  4. Install the Career Mod
  5. Instal v1.79 of the the Polish Tyre Mod

shift-2-unleashed-06I think I had my Shift 2 Unleashed install set up like this, without the Career mod though because I just want to explore what the game has to offer without being restricted as to what I can drive, and where I can drive it.  I have mixed opinions on Shift 2. The game itself was horrible, but the list of content was second to none, featured every major manufacturer, and one of the most complete track rosters in any title that called itself a racing sim up to that point. I think they were trying to mix GTR 2 with Gran Turismo, but as Slightly Mad Studios were the ones in charge, it instead resulted in a game with quality assurance issues.

It’s good to see there’s still a community around it and the mods I’m familiar with have been updated since the last time I’ve tried it, might have to give it another shot.