Microsoft FLIGHT: Taking realism to the next level.

As a keen aviator, I love flying games. Flight Simulator, Combat Flight Simulator, even Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. are all in my good books in terms of game play. H0wever over the past year Microsoft have announced the development of their newest installment of the world famous simulator franchise. Simply called Microsoft FLIGHT, this newest game will show state-of-the art graphics that will even put Crysis to shame. Using ultra textured weather patterns and satellite assisted land formations, FLIGHT will allow the player to freely roam the air as if it were just like real life.

Not much has been said by Microsoft in terms of the available aircraft range, seeing as in the previous game; Flight Simulator X, the range of aircraft was dramatically reduced from the 2004 installment. However after watching continuous ‘episodes’ of what is in stock on the FLIGHT official webpage, there seems to be a promising collection, including the P-51 Mustang.

Just like FSX, FLIGHT will include a variety of fun challenges and missions for you to complete as well as an all-new ‘aerocache’ collectable Easter-egg hunt, which gives you points.

Another advantage of this game is that it is FREE to download and play. However, it is unsaid if there will be any add-on locations which could charge you extra. Nevertheless, Microsoft have announced that the graphics and performance can be adjusted so that older PC’s can play just as easily as the latest models.

However the one downside of this game, unlike the previous installments, is that it is only set around the state of Hawaii, thus limiting your ability to explore different locations across the world. This brings an interesting question to Microsoft to whether they are trying to alter the gameplay of Flight Simulator from being an all-round multipurpose game, suitable for veteran pilots and rookie beginners who like to crash a lot, to something more restricted and less interesting just like H.A.W.X. in free flight mode.

This disadvantage can also be supported by the lack of ‘long-range’ aircraft such as commercial jet liners (e.g. the 747-400) which some players may find better than being constantly stuck in a single propeller-driven light aircraft. From this, Microsoft may have gambled on the wrong idea and could lose potential customers unless they extend the game as quickly as possible.

Another disadvantage is the lack of a Physical copy of the game. Microsoft says that it will be available to download via the internet. However, although that may well be all well and good, a physical copy is still preferable for some, especially for those with slower internet download speeds.

Nevertheless, we cannot officially tell how successful this game will be until it is released early next year.

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