Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 Review (Win 10)

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 review

Test your piloting skills against the challenges of night flying, real-time atmospheric simulation, and live weather in a dynamic and living world. This our Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 review.

Pros:

  • Amazing graphics.
  • 100gb download size.
  • Controller support.
  • Colorblind support.
  • Graphics-fullscreen, resolution, v-sync, global rendering quality (low end/medium/high end/ultra), frame rate limit (20/30/60, render scaling 3D slider, anti-aliasing, terrain level of detail, terrain vector data (buildings/trees/grass and bushes), objective level of detail, volumetric clouds, texture resolution, anisotropic filtering, texture supersampling, texture synthesis, water waves, shadow maps, terrain shadows, contact shadows, windshield effects, ambient occlusion, reflections, light shafts, bloom, depth of field, lens correction, lens flare, use generic plane models (Ai traffic) and a separate option for multiplayer.
  • Data setting-satellite data streaming or no world streaming.
  • You can limit/cap your data usage and speed in the settings.
  • Set default controls-controller, mouse, keyboard.
  • Assists-all assists/middle ground/true to life. You can customize these under the following areas-piloting, aircraft systems, failure and damage, navigation aids, notification, and user experience.
  • The most detailed controller setup menu ever for each device.
  • Flight Simulator gameplay.
  • Four modes-world maps (free flight), live event (changes regularly), flight training (tutorial), and activities (challenge mode).
  • Profile-stats, earned badges and achievements, hangar, and logbook of all flights.
  • Hangar-change planes and plane liveries, see plane specs, and a brief description of them.
  • Tutorials-8 lessons and they even tell you how long they will take.
  • Clean easy to navigate the menu.
  • Helpful hints on loading screens.
  • Loading times are not that bad once in the game.
  • Play and do what you want.
  • Tailor the game to your exact needs and preferences.
  • Can set up custom camera angles and assign a hotkey to them.
  • View-out of plane and cockpit (can change seating position like far back or up close).
  • Weather-set it or use live weather. Choices are-storm/snow/rain/overcast/high level clouds/broken clouds/scattered clouds/few clouds and clear skies.
  • Multiplayer-live/all players and off which is only group members can be seen.
  • Can tweak the weather further with the settings for-date, density/depth (snow), precipitation, lightning, temperature, is a, and pressure.
  • Traffic-live traffic, Ai or off
  • Handy search button for settings and airports.
  • World map allows you to choose any departure and destination airport and then the weather and multiplayer settings.
  • Full control tower chatter.
  • Focus on the nearest landing strip in free roam and it will create a flight path for you to follow and help you with speed. (optional).
  • AI co-pilot-you can have your Copilot take control at any time.
  • Drone-allows you to fly around with full camera style controls.
  • Sound volumes change if you are wearing a headset.
  • When selecting departure/arrival locations you can (on the bigger airfields) set the gate/location within the airport.
  • Seeing the world play out below you is incredible.
  • Can set up your own routes.
  • Can see other planes and their callsigns on the minimap and in the world.
  • Weather and time of day can be flipped with a menu button and slider whenever you like.
  • Much better to fly the plane with a controller but everything else with the mouse and keyboard.

Cons:

  • No way to turn the music off when it’s downloading as it’s done in-game.
  • Long initial load time.
  • The game will start choppy as it streams in the content.
  • Mission prompts in the tutorial don’t always show and nor do control keys.
  • Fail (crash) on any step of the training and you have to start it all again.
  • The learning curve with the sensitivity and general controls.
  • Decides to stop showing controller prompts at random times.
  • Slow loading times.
  • Can’t skip the initial splash screens.
  • Not all towns, villages, airports, places of interest are detailed.
  • Can’t tell which tutorials you have done.
  • Default controls are not great.

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 review

  • 10/10
    Graphics - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Sound - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Accessibility - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Length - 10/10
  • 10/10
    Fun Factor - 10/10
10/10

Summary

Microsoft has taken a second stab at the flight sim genre and improved on it so much that they have redefined what a flight simulator is. They have made a game that is so accessible, anyone of any ability can jump in and get going, the world is crafted in such a way that you want to see it all, the planes on offer are so uniquely different that they serve as the difficulty marker for the game. You can have as little or as much control over your plane as you see fit from the mandatory checks of the plane before take-off to the helpful guide for landing planes. The feeling you get whilst flying, the elation of a good take-off, the mastering of your nerves as you land on an airfield in an unknown country, Flight Simulator gives you that and so much more. At any time you can flip the weather, flip the time or even change the date, talking of flipping, you can even enable autopilot at any point. Microsoft has not only thought of everything, the nailed everything. You can rebind the controls to however you need, the controller doesn’t feel tacked on and is a must for a plane flight, the graphic options are some of the most I have ever seen in a video game. Microsoft deserves kudos for making a flight sim fun, accessible and most importantly having it feel new all over again. Play how you want with the free ride open world, take on challenges like landing in certain conditions to planning hazardous flight paths, the game has a little bit of everything. Running the game and performance is at your command with so many ways to tweak and modify settings the game can be on a low setting but still look real nice. I would like faster load times but for how little the game loads after the initial one, you can forgive this. Multiplayer is crazy good with planes showing up whenever and where ever, watching the world unfold below you with people walking around, driving cars or even sailing. Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for what has been achieved here, gamers take note as it might be a long time until we see this sort of innovation again. Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is not for the enthusiasts anymore, it’s for everybody!

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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