11 months because it first wowed the world with its depiction of nothing lower than the Earth in its entirety, Microsoft Flight Simulator makes its debut on Xbox Sequence S and X. Does the magic that Asobo and Microsoft Recreation Studios conjured out of photogrammetry, cloud streaming and plain previous elbow grease survive intact on console? Completely. Does it work as a console expertise? Nicely, that is a trickier one to unpack.
First, that magic. Microsoft Flight Simulator arrives on console as very a lot the full-fledged PC expertise, with the identical options, the identical planes, the identical entire planet and the very same sense of marvel as you spin the map and work out the place to discover subsequent. It seems to be completely splendid, too – simply browse the screenshots right here for those who’ve any lingering doubts, all of them captured on a Sequence X the place the framerate sticks to 30fps for probably the most half (don’t be concerned, Digital Foundry will probably be together with a correct evaluation sooner or later), and the place the constancy is simply extraordinary. Enjoying in 4K and HDR, having come from my very own modest PC with its 1080p display, I am being wowed yet again.
After a couple of days stable flying – and after dozens of hours with the PC model over the previous 12 months – I am nonetheless catching my breath at common intervals, staring wistfully out on the solar setting over the mouth of the Thames estuary, or that wonderful second once you break by way of thick, stormy cloud cowl into the heavens above in a clean, managed airliner ascent. Microsoft Flight Simulator on console is each bit as spectacular as its PC counterpart, so take into account that a part of Asobo’s mission in porting this a hit. As one of many few true next-gen video games out there on Microsoft’s new machines, this greater than does the trick.
If you wish to examine all that for your self there is no higher first port of name than the brand new Discovery Flights that arrive in tandem with the console model of Microsoft Flight Simulator. They’re quick, easy-going and completely breathtaking curated experiences that get you straight to a number of the perfect of the sim’s wonders – a tour of Everest, or Tokyo at nightfall, or perhaps a double rainbow spanning New Haven to Stamford as you glide over Manhattan, all accompanied by the soothing ambient music that is turn into Microsoft Flight Simulator’s calling card. It is a likelihood to play these jaw-dropping trailers, primarily, and get to see all that splendour first-hand. It is a good new introduction to the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator.
Elsewhere the Flight Faculty that acts as a broad tutorial for every little thing from controlling primary flight surfaces to getting intimate with the intricacies of an airliner cockpit has obtained some welcome nips and tucks, offering a agency basis for lots of of hours of digital aviation. There is not any escaping the actual fact, although, that placing a sim on console – even a sim as informal and open-armed as Microsoft Flight Simulator – will all the time be a barely awkward endeavour, and whereas efforts have been made to pressure the match, the magnificence you discover within the heavens can typically be missing in the case of the extra earthly issues of a half-decent interface.
Microsoft Flight Simulator stays a PC recreation initially, one thing you are always reminded of by the cursor that pops up as you fumble your approach by way of the front-end. There may be mouse and keyboard assist, and assist for peripherals, although sadly not many peripherals that at present assist this console model (at the least none I’ve at hand within the small pile of plastic I’ve acquired this previous 12 months). I’ve achieved all my flying these previous few days on a controller – for science, but additionally for comfort and necessity – and there are common frustrations when trying to poke deeper than the very fundamentals of flight management, and even simply trying primary menu navigation. It is a very PC expertise in different methods, too, asking for some arcane menu diving when working with the content material supervisor, for instance, the place you may go to manually obtain a number of the newer world updates so to see Microsoft Flight Simulator at its perfect. It is awkward and, for newcomers to the sim I am positive, off-putting.
The fundamental construction that console gamers crave can also be largely absent on this port, with not a lot by the use of a standard recreation past the Flight Faculty or Touchdown Challenges with their world leaderboards. As is the case on PC, in fact, though there’s all the time the choice of plugging into third-party add-ons – one thing that will probably be potential with the total and last launch however sadly wasn’t an possibility within the pre-release model we have been enjoying by way of these previous few days. I am sadly pretty sure it’s going to be a fiddly affair when the assist does arrive.
And Microsoft Flight Simulator on console will probably all the time stay a fiddly factor. It is a correct, full-fledged sim on a console, and also you’re usually reminded why that is an endeavour that is not often been tried prior to now – sims by their essence demand a nerdish quantity of poking and endurance, and the fiddliness of Asobo’s personal is sometimes solely exacerbated by this console model (trying a totally guide Dreamliner take-off with nothing greater than a controller might be probably the most hardcore challenges you would set your self in Microsoft Flight Simulator, PC or in any other case). This is not the model for the hardcore, both, with an excessive amount of fussiness and never fairly the identical quantity of freedom you may discover on PC.
And but in its new context of the lounge, one thing else involves life in Microsoft Flight Simulator. For informal sightseers like myself who deal with this as the final word screensaver, choosing some extent on the map earlier than loading in and switching on a set of the beneficiant assists on supply – and even handing over full management to the greater than ready AI co-pilot – this would possibly simply be the best model. I’ve misplaced entire evenings this previous weekend beginning softly out of the window of a 747, watching the clouds float by and chasing the solar previous the horizon, getting caught up within the magic and marvel of Asobo and Microsoft Recreation Studio’s staggering creation yet again.
There’s work to be achieved – and due to this model receiving future updates alongside the PC model, work that is already effectively underway – and also you would possibly wish to mood expectations earlier than heading in. Maybe most significantly, although, that is Microsoft Flight Simulator on console in all its glory and occasional clunkiness, and with that sense of splendour and marvel unsullied by the small imperfections alongside the way in which. It stays probably the most breathtaking videogame achievements lately, and on console probably the most unimaginable next-gen experiences so far.
https://www.eurogamer.web/articles/2021-07-26-microsoft-flight-simulator-console-review-occasionally-clunky-port-cant-dull-the-magic | Microsoft Flight Simulator Xbox version evaluation