The Microsoft Flight beta was released on January 4th, 2012, and kicks butt compared to the previous versions of Flight Simulator in speed, graphics, and multiplayer mode. Lets talk about what this new game brings to the table.
In 2007, I was so excited to get the brand new version of Flight Simulator X! The idea of flying anywhere around the world just made me so ecstatic I could never believe it. It was an amazement and a total step higher than the previous versions of Flight Simulator, with its graphics and multiplayer capabilities like never before. It was like no other game we have ever seen.
On January 4th, 2012, Microsoft Flight’s private beta was released. All I can say is, it kicks Flight Simulator X’s butt. The graphics move a lot better and a lot faster in Microsoft Flight than they ever have in Flight Simulator X. I upgraded my graphics card just to make FSX work really well on an optomized system. Apparently a 1 GB graphics card wasn’t enough. The performance of Microsoft Flight stunned me. I was afraid it wouldn’t work as well as it did. It was smooth, frames wouldn’t drop, and more importantly, I didn’t have to change my system settings too much.
Microsoft Flight Simulator X used the GameSpy multiplayer engine to play online with other gamers. It is the first innovative Flight Simulator to include multiplayer capabilities. Honestly, GameSpy was horrible. You’d get logged out due to poor connection problems and it would take you ten times just to log-in again. Microsoft Flight now uses the Windows Live Game engine and the multiplayer action is so much better, connection wise, and it’s so much easier.
Microsoft Flight’s private beta includes the big island of Hawaii, and two small aircraft; one from World War II called the Boeing Sterman, and one futuristic (or modern) called the Icon A5. The controls are a lot more easier to use, and most of the functions on the keyboard that applied to FSX, still apply to Microsoft Flight. The mouse can still be used (which is what I prefer) The missions are very fun and seem a lot more realistic. For example, you have to fly over a cruise ship, and around some hot air balloons. You also get to practice landing and taking off in many instances which really helps you get used to the game.
Microsoft Flight will be a free-to-download game, but you have to buy your own aircraft and scenery. I feel that this has some positive and negative aspects to it. Although free is good, and there are some places you may never fly to in a flight simulator, just having the world at your computer desk just gives you that feeling and the realism of flying a real airplane. I wouldn’t mind buying aircraft, but scenery? Microsoft will intermittently release aircraft and scenery for testers to use (unknown if it will be free or not) during the beta period.
Microsoft Flight, at the moment, has one bug (that I can actually see). The textures of the person in the aircraft seem to go transparent as if the person has holes through them. Not sure if he’s supposed to or if he’s just Holy (get it?).
I feel that Microsoft has done an amazing job on Microsoft Flight. It is a game incomparable to Flight Simulator X and it just impresses me that they have done such a better job with performance and utilizing graphics capabilities. Now I can fly to Hawaii for free without having to deal with the TSA! In all seriousness, I feel that this is Microsoft’s next big game, and it will achieve a higher usage than Flight Simulator X because it allows the gamers to play the game for free and buy add-ons as they choose.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t reveal too much nor could I provide a video walkthrough or screenshots of the game due to the non-disclosure agreement with Microsoft. Stay tuned as more is revealed about Microsoft Flight.Further reading: beta, Gaming, Microsoft