… Game versus Simulator
… … Flight versus Flight Simulator
I got Microsoft FLIGHT! Running for a few days now and I am sure you followed the forums that discuss it as much as I did. So how did FLIGHT! Shape up.
Is it a great game or a modest simulator? Can you even compare Microsoft Flight with Microsoft Flight Simulator?
Before you know it, you miss the “Simulator” part.
After struggling for half an hour with Microsoft Flight …
I can’t say the ground textures from one of the Hawaiian Islands are bad, I can’t say there is no autogen, since the mountains where full of trees and other objects, I can’t say the free Boeing PT-17 Stearman looks bad, although I’ve seen better, but let’s stick, for the moment, to default airplanes, such as we have in Microsoft Flight Simulator. I can’t say there is no weather option. Well, Ok. Cloud quality is just as limited, or if you wish, as bad as within default FSX.
But my biggest issue while flying around with Microsoft Flight is that it feels and smells totally different then Microsoft Flight Simulator (X or even 2004).
After the Microsoft FLIGHT! adventure, I went straight to Microsoft Flight Simulator (X) and, as professional aviator, can confirm that FSX as well as FS2004 are not games, they are simulations.
Ok, I do agree that default FSX and/or FS2004 sceneries, airplanes, airports are basically far from real.
Far from real for an aircraft means “flight dynamics are not what they should be, certain systems are not implemented, no system or engine deterioration etc.”.
Far from real for an airport scenery means for example “terminals are totally different, not available at all. Taxi-ways are wrong” and much more of missing or wrong interpretations from the Microsoft Game Studios.
Sometimes, I’ve had the idea that the US developers never visited Europe because all airports look like American airports.
Ok, now back to Game versus Simulator or Microsoft FLIGHT! versus Microsoft Flight Simulator (FSX/FS2004).
After having seen and tested both, I personally come to one conclusion; you can’t compare these or even think Microsoft FLIGHT! replaces Microsoft FSX. Absolutely not!
As it is now, Microsoft Flight covers only Hawaii although the whole world is simulated, but on a low texture level.
Although Microsoft FLIGHT! is free of charge, adding another airplane or adventure pack is not free and sounds initially not expensive, but even with paid Microsoft FLIGHT! add-ons added, but as I write this, it still covers only Hawaii and some water around it.
For the moment, that’s it and from what I’ve read on one of the forums, Microsoft doesn’t allow external developers to access their Flight.
As I said before, Microsoft Flight Simulator is, by default, not superb. On the other hand, it was, no, it still is built with previous knowledge.
I’m not a developer and developers know much better then I, but despite everything, FSX was an improvement compared to FS2004. In other words, a platform with a lot of potential and it still offers developers many challenges to improve their skills.
That said, I’ve no clue of XML, but FSX/FS2004 allows you to make something of it.
To let our virtual gaming world grow!
Oops, sorry … to let our virtual simulator world grow to where we can say “as real as it gets”.
Good examples of “as real as it gets” products are for example the Lago Maddog MD8 Series, Aerosoft’s Bronco X, A2A Simulations with Accu-Sim expansion packs, PMDG “MD11”, “J41” and “737 NGX’, Orbx Sceneries, France VFR latest scenery Haut Normandy. Is this list complete? Of course not! Everyone has their own preferences and feeling with various products.
My point is, FSX and even FS2004, allow you to create a pretty real world based on a simulator and not a game. It is only the product name and the developers that links FLIGHT! to the Microsoft Flight Simulator range of products.
When I see, feel, smell Microsoft FLIGHT!, it seems a funny flight game, but it’s a total different world then we’re flight simmers are used to. Should you keep them next to each other on your disk?
That’s a choice only you can make.
I only dare to say that one has nothing to do with the other. Microsoft FLIGHT! will never replace Microsoft Flight Simulator X/2004. For the simple reason … IT CAN’T!
Remember what I’ve said before; FLIGHT! is a game and Flight Simulator is a simulator. With the right add-ons installed such as the Lago Maddog MD80 airplane, the Flight Simulator X add-on aircraft behaves very closely to a real Level-D FFS (Full Flight Simulator) MD-80.
Based on what I’ve seen, my real aviation experience and the column from Mathijs, I wanted to show you these different Microsoft products. Although their name looks similar, one misses the essential word “Simulator”.
That word makes one hell of a difference!
Angelique van Campen
March 2nd, 2012