- Total Score - 9.3/109.3/10
Microsoft Flight Simulator’s simple elegance allows for a true serene gaming experience. The power of the Xbox Series shines as Flight Simulator soars on either next generation platform.
Developer – Asobo Studio
Publisher – Xbox Game Studios
Platforms – Windows 10 PC, Xbox Series S|X
*Editors Note, this section is about the new Xbox port, the rest of the review stands as is.*
It took a year, but it has finally arrived. Last year’s critically acclaimed Flight Simulator has arrived on consoles thanks to the power of the Xbox Series S/X. Visually, very few sacrifices were made, with a mostly locked at 30 frame-rate for a game that buckled top tier PC’s last year. the PC version also has seen some significant improvements, with a rewritten engine designed to take advantage of multi core cpu’s that has massively improved performance. The game has multiple free world packs that feature iconic locations such as Ireland, France, and Tokyo. Flight Simulator has been ported with excellence. It’s an absolute don’t miss, and the game features extensive peripheral support and tutorials for pilots of all skill levels.
*End of added section*
I’ve never played a Flight Simulator in the past. Similar to Grand Strategy titles, flight sims were a world away from the Star Fox’s and Colony Wars I played as a console only player for years.
I’ve witnessed them first hand, at friends using gigantic flight sticks and needing every part of a keyboard just to start a plane, let alone fly it anywhere. More than any other genre, flight sims from the outside can appear as an impenetrable wall for newcomers, and many of them are.
Before I get into why Flight Simulator breaks down those walls, I do want to get the technical issues out of the way.
The game is pretty bare bones if you are the type of player who needs a touch of motivation outside of simply flying. The install process is atrocious, and even though I had no problems, it doesn’t excuse why it was setup the way it was. When flying a plane is easier to understand than how to install the game to begin with, it’s an issue.
Outside of the installation, the rest of the game is an absolute pleasure. Right away, it’s clean, simple presentation has lots of options and things to configure and do a deep dive on.
Controller support works, and I was able to bypass the tutorial and hop right into a Cessna and do my first flight. Flight Simulator wisely added a ton of advice and pop-ups that will help ease a new player into the sim experience.
Using a controller, after only an hour of getting some flight time, I was flying over my hometown with my friend and we were able to follow every single road to our old stomping grounds.
Then we took flight and visited a mosque in Dubai, flew around the Alps and experienced Brooklyn from a birds eye view. Flight Simulator has a fantastic streaming option which pulls in satellite data to help bring detail to the entire world.
Yes, the entire world. Just about every single airport around the globe is in Flight Simulator, and the absolutely fantastic visuals are an easy way to take a world tour of any dream locations you could imagine.
I don’t truly have much more to say about Flight Simulator. I’m not some expert in the genre, nor do I have much experience with the franchise.
What I DO know, is that this game is easily the most accessible simulator I’ve ever played, and within minutes I understood the appeal. Hopping in a plane, doing pre-flight checks and taking a short 30 minute flight across town is one of the most relaxing gaming experiences I’ve ever had.
In a year with so much tension and stress, where travel is limited, Flight Simulator couldn’t of arrived at a mire necessary time.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is a sublime experience, and easily one of my favorite games of the year. Just hop in, pick a destination, and enjoy the serenity.