It’s not often that Microsoft gets it exactly right but this is one product that has received almost unanimous praise through developers and game players. Sim X is Microsoft’s much enhanced follow-up to Flight Simulator 2004. Compared to X-Plane, it’s certainly got far more graphical detail, presentation plus playability and gets very near to the real thing.
Firstly, be warned that this is a big download – 636. 2MB to be exact. Once the five minute set up is complete, you’re presented with three choices – dropping flour on targets, introductory test flight or even Caribbean landing. The first involves an easy bit of target practice whilst others involve getting to grips with the basic controls and mastering landings.
Whichever you choose, you can take control of anything from ultra-lights to Cessnas, commercial airliners and even helicopters. However , to make it more interesting, Simulator X also features 50 different quests to stop you falling asleep at the controls. The missions come as an immediate update from Air Traffic Manage and can be fun or severe. Due to a runway closure, you may be inquired to land the plane on top of the moving bus or, due to a good explosion, you might get asked to save workers on an oil ring just before they burn alive. Other quests include search and rescue, “Area 51” missions and even one where you have to pick-up film-stars.
In the full version, there are twenty-four, 000 airports from around the world to choose from and chances are you’ll be able to take a flight from your local airport. The realistic look is impressive, including fuel trucks, luggage belts and walkways getting extended from the craft to the airport. If you should get too close to the ground (i. e. crash land), you’re treated to the sight of wildlife running around the fields and between the wreckage, proving that Microsoft genuinely have gone to extremes in trying to recreate a virtual world. They actually claim to have mapped the precise positions of the stars according to area and time of year. You can also fly according to the current weather conditions in certain zones by connecting to an online server. Or else, you can set the weather according to your wishes to see how the plane handles in a storm or blizzard.
For those that want the real deal, choices include a full pre-flight briefing to discuss the flight conditions, weather conditions predictions and other factors that might affect your flight. If you want a bit of play, you can also pre-program the plane to breakdown during the flight. See how your co-pilot reacts when he realises the fact that undercarriage is either jammed or even dropped off somewhere over Denver.
Another unique function in the full version is the possibility to add another person to the cockpit. In case you have a friend connected to the net, they can login and come along for the ride or guide you down as Air Traffic Control.
In comparison to many other simulators such as X-Plane, this sim is a joy because of many fun additions and the option to choose the difficulty of the flight mode. The only major problem is that its very heavy upon resources and I had trouble working this alongside various other apps. This is often solved by reducing the frame-rate in the options menu but the sport doesn’t run quite as seamlessly as a result.
Download Microsoft Flight Simulator X in Softonic