If youíre wondering why there is a review for a game that has been out for
almost ten years, it is because there is a new publisher, formed via
a partnership between Microsoft and Dovetail Games, the developer of the highly
Simulator series. Dovetail Games
have taken over the franchise, made some fixes, and have released the newly
Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition onto
Steam for the very first time.
For the uninitiated, Flight
Simulator X was the last game
from Microsoft Game Studios to be developed back in 2006. An expansion pack was
released in 2007, named Acceleration
Expansion Pack. It added new planes, such as the F/A-18 jet fighter and the
Red Bull stunt plane alongside new challenges and missions to take part in.
The game does a great job at teaching you how to fly within the game. There are
great tutorials that cover different aircraft and different airports. There are
also missions to take on, such as Search and Rescue and Red Bull Air Races.
These give the game attitude and some neat ways to experiment with different
vehicles. But youíll probably have the most fun creating your own flight paths,
weather conditions, time of day, and where to take off and land at. The game is
a true sandbox allowing you to be your own pilot on many types of aircraft.
At the time of release, Flight Simulator X required a near supercomputer to run
Simulator X: Steam Edition is
much better than what was released 8 years ago. Dovetail Games has done some
great work in getting the game to work on modern systems. As an owner of the
original, boxed version, I ran them one after another, and FSX
Steam Edition is far superior,
allowing it to run at 60fps easily. After maxing the settings, I was getting
120fps without a problem.
The terms of the partnership deal do not allow for any graphical updates. So you
should go into this knowing that it isnít an HD remake, but rather just an
update so that modern machines and operating systems can run the game. And with
that, using Steamworks, allows for the gameís multiplayer to be updated and
enhanced to talk to each other over modern connections. It is still the same
great game from 8 years ago. But for anyone who has never played the game
before, might be a little disappointed.
FSX Steam Edition allows you to
play multiplayer not just as a pilot, but on a server with hundreds of players.
You can direct traffic in air-traffic controller position, be a pilot, or a
co-pilot. Thereís a racing mode that utilizes the Acceleration
Expansion Pack, that is included here to do Red Bull Air Races with
friends, and strangers alike. And the courses themselves have multiple
difficulties and varying weather conditions.
There are over 24,000 of the worldís airports to take off and land on. All of it
can take place in real-time, or a time of your choosing. Airports look busier,
as AI now fills the runways with fuel trucks, baggage carts that make things
feel less empty. Itís a small, but meaningful change to the game that makes
things seem more lively.
Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition seems too outdated for you, then a new Flight
Simulator from Deovetail will
probably resemble what youíre looking for, and be worth waiting for. This game
is approaching a decade after itís original release, and the gameís graphical
fidelity is not holding up. For everyone else, this is an easy repurchase for an
impeccable and realistic tool on learning how to fly with some great gameplay,
alongside some challenging fun to be had with the missions.