Flight Simulator X

By on November 1, 2006

Start your engines! The next-gen Flight Simulator is out and we have the review


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First Impressions
My reaction is

The release of Flight Simulator X has been marred with controversy. Fans of the series have blamed Microsoft for releasing the game prior to the official release of Windows Vista or even DirectX 10. However, software powerhouse Microsoft has been full of confidence. Now that the game has been finally released — looking at the game’s capacity for hogging down my computer’s resources, I am forced to agree with the fans.

The game comes in two editions; the standard and the deluxe. Thanks to local distributors RED, we have the deluxe version to review. The standard edition is priced at $49 (approx. Dhs180) and the deluxe edition will leave you breaking the bank at $65 (approx. Dhs250).

The main differences between the two editions are the additional number of planes and missions the deluxe version has got. The game is huge and it comes on two DVDs and a whooping 15GB hard disk space requirement. You’ve guessed it, it takes a lot of time to get installed – you can go watch your favourite soap and still have time to make a hot cuppa coffee whilst this installation drags on.

On the bright side, FSX is not only for experienced Flight Simulator gamers but even beginners can ease into the game very easily. The tutorials are very easy to digest and understand for new players.

You can play the game with either the Flight Simulator joysticks made by various companies or your Xbox 360 controller if you have one or you could just rely on your old

Up above the sky so high..

trusted friend, the mouse and the keyboard. As said earlier, the deluxe and the standard editions have differences in their content. While the deluxe edition has about 50 missions and 25 planes and additional cities, the standard edition owners will have to settle for just 30 missions and 18 planes.

The controls are same as the previous Flight Simulators by Microsoft with few more tweaks here and there. The concept is the same and goes in the same manner; ignition, full throttle and up you are in the sky. Overall, the gameplay has not changed but tweaked in many ways. Now there are many more camera angle views to enjoy the beautiful graphics.You also have the free flight mode. You can select any aircraft from the list and roam around any of the 24,000 realistic airports from all around the world.

Microsoft has enhanced and expanded the multiplayer aspect of the game by the shared skies concept. In shared skies, you can choose to play either a pilot or a traffic controller. The players then communicate using a mic. If you select to be a pilot, you will be a member of a virtual airline and have to handle the aircraft in a virtual real time flight. As a traffic controller, you actually manage the air traffic like in real life sitting in your ivory tower with a visual on the airport and a radar for your assistance.

A great new feature that has been added in the multiplayer component of the game is that you can virtually share you aircraft with another person via LAN or Internet. This can certainly come in handy for beginners were an experienced player can literally take him through the course.

The graphics for the game is simply amazing. The terrain looks gorgeous and has been improved a lot over the previous installment of the game, Flight Simulator 2004. The developers should be lauded for making the environment look absolutely realistic. You will see many of the land marks, buildings, flock of birds, ships, cars moving around, traffic and even herds of animals! The weather effects are splendidly done too.

The environments come across as highly detailed. The planes are no less and are spectacularly detailed and are absolute eye candy. The cockpit has been given a major

Eye-candy landscape

overhaul too from the previous Flight Simulator games. But as they say, you don’t get free lunches. Though the graphics are cutting edge and truly next-gen, it comes at the cost of stable frame rates. My pc was crying for mercy when I booted the game in high detail. You are left with no choice but to decrease the level of detail to achieve a decent frame rate and even then you get slowdowns. I wouldn’t bother with high detail settings unless I have got a monster pc which can give a tough fight to this beast.

The audio could be described as decent. Nothing bad but nothing extraordinary either. The sound of engines roaring makes your adrenaline pump. The Radio chatter seems fairly good and realistic.

There is no doubt that this game is the best Flight Sim available but the frame instability and high end requirements will put off gamers out of frustration. If you do indeed have a powerful PC then stop reading this review and get the game. For others, it’s recommended to rent it out and try the game and see for yourselves if you could bare the low frame rates.




The Scorecard
Great and almost life like gameplay, which supports both beginners and veteran Sim
Eye-popping graphics with extremely detailed environments and plane models/cock-pit. But it bogs down with bad frame rates.
Quite realistic sounds with 5.1 surround sound support.
Free Roam mode and the shared skies can be really addictive.
Surely the best Flight Sim to hit the market with incredible graphics and realistic gameplay. But make sure your PC is brave enough.


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