Microsoft’s Flight Simulator is a one-of-a-kind PC gaming experience. With its realism and near-limitless ways to play, it’s a game unlike anything else on the market. Both the flying and the world itself are hyper-realistic, with strong attention to details for the flying mechanics and entirely true-to-form earth to explore, from real cities to military airbases and beyond.
The Microsoft Flight Simulator’s plane interiors were rebuilt virtually based on scans of real-life airplanes, blueprints, and CAD designs, leading to virtual planes that are astonishingly realistic. The planes aren’t the only extraordinary aspect of the game – the game’s map is integrated with Microsoft’s Bing services, taking the game to a whole different level of realism. The terrain isn’t a perfect mimicry of the world – some remote areas are subpar, and masses of buildings outside of cities are created with an algorithm rather than by human hands. Despite those faults, the game still boasts a stunning level of realism and a sense of completion all throughout. Even if a player wishes to fly over their very own home, it’s there in the game – it may not look the exact same, but it’s there.
The base game comes with 20 different planes and 30 airports. That may not seem like a substantial amount, but 37,000+ airports are featured in the game, though the bulk of them are generated by computer algorithms. Despite this, even the non-hand sculpted airports are remarkably realistic, along with the buildings surrounding them. There may be discrepancies here and there, but overall, each airport in the game maintains some level of realism.
As for the hand-crafted airports, they are a stunning facet of the Microsoft Flight Simulator. Built from real-life blueprints and scans, the technical precision of each airport is unlike anything ever seen before in a flight simulator. Major international airports are hyper-detailed, but even little, lesser-known airports in the game have some level of detail. For example, deep in South America is an airport that is little more than a strip of dirt surrounded by untamed jungle, but even in the game, it exists.
The details of the planes in the game are just astounding as the details of the airports. Screenshots of the inside of an in-game cockpit circulated online could easily fool people into thinking it’s the real plane. Not only did the developer, Asobo Studios, flawlessly recreate the interiors of each plane, but they made the instruments within them fully operational as well. In-game planes are operated by the same instructions given in the manuals of their real-world counterparts, yet another astonishing technological advancement for Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Despite its hyperrealism as a flight simulator, it’s a game that anyone with any level of flying experience can thoroughly enjoy. A wide variety of assistance options are available and entirely customizable for each individual player. Whether a player is looking for a simple, more arcade-style set of controls or wishes to approach flight in the game as they would a real plane, the options are there and readily available.
Additionally, it’s been announced that Microsoft Flight Simulator will be coming to the Xbox Series X at an unspecified future date, and the game’s controls adapt well to an Xbox One controller. Adjustments for the analog stick controls are also available for those playing on the Xbox. Though the most functionality is achieved via a keyboard, the game is just as enjoyable and playable for those using an Xbox One controller.