Microsoft Flight Simulator
Learn to fly a variety of sophisticated airplanes
- Category Flight Simulators
- Program license Trial version
- Size 636.2 MB
- Works under: Windows XP
- Program available in English
- Program by Microsoft
Microsoft Flight Simulator X is the follow up to the popular Flight Simulator 2004, and gives players the chance to take to the skies and get a view over 28 cities using as many as 18 different planes.
Released in late 2006, it is the tenth edition of a franchise that started back in 1982 and lets gamers take to the cockpit of everything from a small single engine Cessnas to Boeing 747s.
Whilst it may be quite old now, the sim is still revered by both gamers and developers due to its realistic landscapes and playability. Flight Simulator 2004 set the benchmark for sims of this type, but Microsoft's ACES Games Studio worked tirelessly to ensure its successor was even better with improved graphics and the inclusion of airports featuring better ground services and animated runways.
Another new addition is 'Missions'. Previous editions mainly focused on flying over cityscapes and arid terrains, but with Simulator X gamers can add tasks to their itinerary and gain rewards.
There are approximately 50 missions in total and come through to your cockpit in the form of an update from the nearest air traffic control tower. They are as diverse as having to make an emergency landing in bad weather to rescuing workers following an explosion on an oil rig.
To begin enjoying the freedom of flight you simply need to download and install the game. It is quite a large file at over 600MB, but that should not be an issue (like it was for some in 2006) now that most gamers have larger hard drives and faster broadband.
There are three options to get you going. The first of which involves dropping flour on to specific targets, while the other two focus on getting you used to the basics of managing your cockpit and landing.
The type of plane you use is up to you. Some players find it easier to start with the smaller planes before moving onto the big passenger 747s. You can even use a helicopter if you wish. From there you can get stuck into the missions and really take enjoyment to the max.
One downside is that the game is quite heavy on a computer's processor so you may need to close other programmes in order to prevent lag.
New and Incredible Detail
As mentioned, the graphics have been boosted from the 2004 version, but much more detail has also been added to the landscapes. In total there are 24,000 airports to service and each has its own walkways, luggage trucks and employees.
If you are unfortunate to crash in the wilderness, you will get to see an array of wildlife moving around close to the wreckage. Microsoft have really left no stone unturned with this sim and have even got the position of stars accurate.
Players are also able to set the difficulty of each flight and even pre-programme disasters such as engine malfunctions to give them new tasks to deal with once they're up and away.
- Exceptional graphics
- Incredibly detailed landscapes
- Does not feel dated despite its age
- 3D cockpits
- File size
- Processor usage
- Finding optimum mode can take time