Microsoft just launched Flight Simulator on the PC after months and months of teasing, with the game quickly impressing reviewers and gamers and becoming the highest rated PC game of 2020.
The feat took less than 24 hours, with Flight Simulator taking off with a Metacritic score of 93 -- where the only game close to that reception is Valve's VR exclusive Half-Life: Alyx. The new Flight Simulator has also quickly become the highest rated game in the series, too.
Flight Simulator didn't have the best launch on PC in the last 24 hours, with a turbulent start -- but things stabilized, and the drinks started flowing and snacks to gorge on. The game is breathtakingly beautiful, having just taken a quick flight across the Hudson River in New York -- from my hometown here in Gawler, South Australia.
There will be 3 different versions of Flight Simulator released, these will include:
- Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition: $60 (20 planes, 30 airports)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator Deluxe Edition: $90 (25 planes, 35 airports)
- Microsoft Flight Simulator Premium Edition: $120 (30 planes, 40 airports)
Here's what to expect from Microsoft Flight Simulator:
- Vivid and Detailed Landscapes - Immerse yourself in the vast and beautiful world that is our planet with more than 1.5 billion buildings, 2 trillion trees, mountains, roads, rivers and more.
- A Living World - Earth is vibrant and ever-changing and so is the world of Microsoft Flight Simulator which includes live traffic, real-time weather and animals.
- Highly Detailed Aircraft - Hone your pilot skills in a variety of aircraft from light planes to commercial jets with comprehensive flight models. Every aircraft includes highly detailed and accurate cockpits with realistic instrumentation.
- New Checklist System - From pro to beginner, scale your level from full manual to full assist with interactive and highlighted instrument guidance and checklist.
- Dynamic Weather - The new weather engine enables users to switch on the live weather mode to experience real-time weather including accurate wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, rain and more.
- New Day & Night Engine - Experience flight at any time of day or year allowing for night VFR, visual flight rules, navigation.
- Aerodynamic Modeling - A state-of-the-art physics engine with over 1,000 control surfaces per plane allows for a truly realistic experience.
More reading on Microsoft Flight Simulator
- What you need to run it: You will need at least 150GB of storage space to install Flight Simulator, with a 5Mbps internet connection as a bare minimum to take off. The "ideal spec" advised by Microsoft requires a 50Mbps internet connection and a much higher-end CPU and GPU to run it. Check the PC requirements for Flight Simulator here.
- Adaptive Streaming: This is some of the cloud-based magic Microsoft is using on Flight Simulator, which the company is doing special with the game. You can read more about that here.
- Flight Simulator uses Bing Maps: Microsoft is tapping its in-house Bing Maps to provide Flight Simulator with real-world locations that don't just look out-of-this-world, but they are our world. More on that here.
- Real-time weather, including lightning cracking inside of clouds: Yeah, I'm not kidding around -- Microsoft is injecting a gigantic 600km draw distance into Flight Simulator, so under the right weather conditions -- and granted you have the PC hardware to handle it, you're going to see storms hundreds of miles away. Not just that, but there will be lightning cracking inside of the clouds... yeah, I know.
More, more reading on Flight Simulator
- Flight Simulator: machine learning-fueled simulator, grows over time
- Flight Simulator coming to Steam on August 18 with TrackIR, VR support
- Flight Simulator requires 150GB, physical version comes with 10 discs
- Microsoft announces Flight Simulator will take flight on August 18
- Microsoft Flight Simulator's first closed beta takes flight on July 30
- Thrustmaster teams with Airbus on new hardware for Flight Simulator
- Here's the new batch of screenshots of Microsoft Flight Simulator
- Microsoft Flight Simulator latest screenshots: upgrade your PC, now!
- Microsoft Flight Simulator looks breathtaking in these new screenshots
- Microsoft Flight Simulator specs: 150GB HDD, 'ideal spec' = RTX 2080
- Microsoft Flight Simulator is phenomenal & these screenshots prove it
- Microsoft's Flight Simulator is shockingly gorgeous in these HD images
- New Microsoft Flight Simulator video confirms multiple dynamic seasons
- Microsoft's Flight Simulator uses Bing Maps for satellite data
- New Flight Simulator footage: best-looking game EVER?!/
- Microsoft Flight Simulator technical alpha takes flight soon
- Only in Japan: Tokyo hotel builds FLIGHT SIMULATOR into room
Feature Discovery Series on Microsoft Flight Simulator
Microsoft has an awesome 'Feature Discovery Series' that goes into detail about Flight Simulator, from aerodynamics and the soundscape of the game, right through to the cockpits and the multiplayer. Check them out below: