July 27, 2021
Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X is a modern marvel. While not entirely a game, I have spent hours exploring the world. At a time when holidays and global adventures are limited, Asobo Studios has provided a lifeline. There’s a hell of a lot to learn, but once you’re up in the air, every tutorial is worth it. I’ve flown over Yosemite National Park, Stade de France, Westminster Abbey, and Mount Everest. I’ve also crashed into the Asda about ten minutes away from my house. Whatever the goal, I have never been this in awe. The way it looks on Xbox Series X is stunning. From the way the sun bursts through the clouds as you fly over Lake Ontario, to the level of detail in the cockpit of a Boeing 747, you’ll most definitely appreciate Microsoft’s first truly next-gen title.
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Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X: A lot to learn
It takes a good few hours to master the basics of air travel in Flight Simulator. Depending on whether you want to get to grips with every aspect of your cockpit and controls, there’re tons of menus and nuances to familiarise yourself with. Asobo Studios has packed in a lot of detail into their virtual flight manual, but the hefty tutorials are more than enough to get you up to speed. It all depends on what you want to get out of it. The interface is packed full of menus and things to learn. If you’re a bit of an aviation nerd, you’ll no doubt be at home. However, if you want to be a casual pilot that just wants to see some of the most amazing natural sights the world has to offer, there’s a place for you, too.
It all hinges on how patient you are, or whether you’re happy being a spectator. There are certain challenges to complete, helping Flight Simulator to identify as somewhat of a ‘game.’ For the most part, though, this is something else entirely. The amount of work needed to put into any flight can be made easier or harder depending on what you want to get out of it. Personally, I have been more than happy visiting the most beautiful corners of the world. Africa, Norway, Australia, and Japan. I can go anywhere in the world and see a whole manner of landmarks and scenery. Flight Simulator is the perfect product to show off the power of the Xbox Series X.
Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X is absolutely stunning. The world has been created using satellite imagery via Bing Maps and real-world data to recreate the entire world. If it’s raining in real-life, it’s raining in-game. The technology used in itself is phenomenal, but to see how stunning the scenery looks is genuinely break-taking. Flying over the pyramids as the sun shines over the Egyptian plains is something I never thought I’d see. Yes, you’re not really up in the air, but it sure feels like it. Niche locations like your best mate’s parent’s house or the local takeaway might not be as spectacular, but they’re still there. I can’t quite believe how it all works.
The technology used feels ground-breaking, and the power of the console helps to provide one hell of an experience. Every inch of the world is recreated in the game, and I still can’t quite work out how they’ve done it. Flight Simulator feeds two petabytes (two million gigabytes!) of data to players in real-time, so a stable internet connection is vital. There is the odd drop in framerate, but it’s entirely forgivable when you look out the window and see the world below. For many, we don’t have the money to go exploring the skies over countries thousands of miles away. Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X is a gift. It allows us to take in the sights of a thousand places all from the comfort of our own home.
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Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X: Discovering the sights
The new Discovery Flights are a great addition to the console version. These bitesize flight paths let you explore the city of London and the wonder that is Tokyo at dusk; San Francisco and Mount Everest; Bora Bora and the majestic Mount Everest. There’re some other places to visit, but the gist is to give you a chance to visit some of the world’s most remarkable locations without the stress of taking off. The nuances in controls can catch you off guard and cause you to plummet if you’re not careful. Despite the complexities in the menus and the vast array of controls you need to remember, flying is actually pretty straightforward.
There’re some sensitivity issues that affect turning and altering altitude, though. These can be played with, but at first attempt, even the slightest touch can send you to your doom (or a quick fade to black restart). There’s a steep learning curve for those who want no hand-holding, but the majority who play will be grateful for all the assist features. They take the pressure off and strip the simulation elements right back so casual players can enjoy everything as well.
Ambitious in every way
Whatever way you play Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X, it’s impossible not to be struck by the ambition of it. What’s more, Asobo Studios has actually pulled it off. A fully recreated planet Earth, with almost every mile of it explorable in game. With a controller in hand, it is often easy to control your plane. Saying that, a joystick would make flying even much better. Sitting at 4K and 30fps, it’s a technical masterpiece. With an ambient soundtrack, magnificent visuals, and a globe to explore, Flight Simulator is a technological breakthrough for gaming.
Fully explorable world
A lot to learn
Controlling can be sensitive
Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X is a stunning piece of technology that gives you freedom unlike anything has before. With beautiful visuals and a fully realised world to explore, it's hard not to be blown away.