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access_time August 18, 2020 at 6:00 AM in Reviews by Cole Nixon

Review | Microsoft Flight Simulator

After spending many hours with Asobo Studio’s newest entry in the Flight Simulator series, I can say with 100 percent certainty that flying a plane is harder than I could’ve imagined. If you’ve ever wondered how crazy a 747 cockpit looked from the inside, Microsoft Flight Simulator is the game for you.

Unlike previous iterations, this time you have the whole world in your sights. Featuring a constantly updating game map, the weather and air traffic will never be too far behind reality. If you’re a first timer like me, the flight school set in Sedona, AZ offers a unique first impression. Along with the AI-generated world portions, Microsoft Flight Simulator offers several handcrafted cities and airports for those wanting razor sharp detail.

The level of unprecedented detail is not limited to the world either, as over 30 airplanes are available to fly. Asobo has also been working with the simulation community to offer several mods at launch for increased realism. In all 30 cockpits, each button, lever and gauge is fully realized and available to interact with. Microsoft Flight Simulator also features full VR support for those wishing to immerse themselves further.

Graphically, the hand modeled assets the game are incredibly impressive. I kept crashing looking at all of the moving parts contained in my plane. The AI assets are more of a google earth quality, but never to the point of being distracting. Unfortunately, due to the level of scale, the optimization is poor on less powerful systems. Ideally, I wish as many people as possible could experience this sim, as it’s one of the best for its price range. An even bigger value with Game Pass Ultimate.

For those who want to bring friends, Microsoft Flight Simulator launches with multiplayer too. Players can go on tandem flights or just enable anyone to come fly in the same world as them. AI generated traffic is also available for those going solo.

Overall, Microsoft Flight Simulator is a very deep simulation. While the plane variety lacks many foreign, military and alternative forms of flight (helicopters, hot air, etc), the content available at launch is enough to keep you busy. As a beginner, I struggled a lot with the controls, but that is no fault of the simulation. The optimization on middling/low power rigs isn’t phenomenal. As for performance, I was able to get a stable 50-60 FPS, and retain graphical fidelity. The options menu also lacks any performance identification (GPU/CPU usage, etc) so rating performance will take a 3rd party program like Windows Game Bar. Still, Microsoft Flight Simulator cements itself as a required entry for any flight sim fan, as long as you can meet the steep requirements.

Final Score: 8.5 out of 10

A digital copy of Microsoft Flight Simulator was provided to GotGame by Microsoft for this review.

GotGame is on OpenCritic, check out our reviews here.

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