Unfair AI sitll won't research the Expirmental Weapons or the Max level of Capital ship cres (they stop I think at 10). At least Unfair Aggressor won't.
As for ICO, if you want to simulate the experience without wasting an hour looking for a match, start a game vs. easy AI, then Surrender, Repeat about a dozen times. (This simulates Smurfs whoopin your ass) then start a match against an Unfair Aggressor, and about the 3rd or 4th planet, Hard Power down your PC (this simulates a sync error or minidump).
Being optimistic, if you can actually find a good match, Either the good fortune to run into evenly skilled players, or find a super good player who is going easy on you for sake of challenge. It's a good time.