The most authentic flying simulation video game to date has landed on Xbox Series X|S from Xbox Game Studios. Featuring genuine real-time air traffic, dynamic weather and more, Microsoft Flight Simulator pushes the boundaries of the Xbox Series X|S and realism further than ever before.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Details
Platforms: Xbox Series X|S
Reviewed on: Xbox Series X
Developer: Asobo Studio
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Optimized to harness the power of Xbox Series X|S
It’s simply no hyperbole to say that the scope of Microsoft Flight Simulator is absolutely staggering. The entire planet on which we reside is ready and waiting, brought to fruition using real-time data to generate true-to-life topography. 37,000 airports, 2 million cities, billions of buildings—the whole world just beyond the window of your TV screen.
Sure, it isn’t always a virtual photorealistic representation, but the level of accuracy is jaw-dropping nonetheless. Airports, cities, landscapes, and more range from impressive to near-perfect spatial representations of their real-world composition. The overall scope of simulation is unlike anything I’ve seen in gaming.
Powered by the cloud
A huge factor in Microsoft Flight Simulator’s ability to generate accuracy comes from the fact that it leverages over two petabytes of on-demand cloud data. This means that the game is regularly forming the world around you using real-time streaming imagery.
This isn’t just about landscapes and terrain however. The game also receives data to shape, accurate, real-time depictions of weather and air traffic as well. It’s surreal to say the least to be flying around in local airspace while hearing air traffic updates going out to Air Canada and WestJet aircraft that are likely actually in the air as I play!
It’s truly impressive as well to know that current weather reports are funneling in and shaping the weather in the game. If it’s raining somewhere in the real world, it’s raining there in Microsoft Flight Simulator too. And of course, all these factors affect your aircraft’s performance.
Improved flight training that ensures a smoother learning curve
The act of flying itself in Microsoft Flight Simulator is pure joy, and there are plenty of options for beginners and pros alike. Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X|S includes new features such as a Screen Narrator, Discovery Flights, all new scored training flights, enhanced landing gear and more. Another extremely useful new tool is the Flight Assistant. It allows you to select airports and points of interest to set them as your destination. And, you can use Flight Assistance to auto land your plane!
Those with sufficient experience can make their way with little AI intervention. There are a wide variety of aircraft to choose from. Each craft is recreated in painstaking detail by means of everything from genuine cockpit scans to referencing actual manufacturer CAD drawings and specifications. You’ll find options ranging from a single-engine Cessna to a commercial Boeing airliner in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
While the most dedicated enthusiasts will likely want to use authentic flight controls on Xbox Series X|S, I had a great time using my Xbox Series X controller. Controller support is very intuitive and the various commands have been mapped to the Xbox controller in an accessible and straightforward way.
Buzzing around the skies of Toronto and beyond
Living in Toronto, naturally, my first flight was taking to the skies of Ontario’s capital and Canada’s most populated city. Taxiing down the runway at Pearson International Airport, I quickly made my ascent and headed south, crossing over the 401 and then slowly moved eastward. Eventually I made my way to the Gardiner Expressway and then down following the coastline on Lakeshore.
Looking below I instantly saw recognizable locations including BMO Field, Ontario Place and the majestic Toronto Islands. Of course, the main attractions on my viewing itinerary were the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre. Both look splendid indeed!
At this point, I’d overcome with a sense of satisfaction and wonder. Toronto appears to be in perfect order, inspiring confidence that this is indeed a rich and complex representation of the world we live in. All that’s left is to do now is explore—and what is there to explore but no less than the entire globe! Now, which direction first?
Microsoft Flight Simulator delivers stunning visuals and authentic flight experiences
Microsoft Flight Simulator on the Xbox Series X|S is a true testament to the power of the consoles. It is one of those experiences that really puts into perspective just how powerful video games can be. Sure, it doesn’t have boss battles or loot drops. It doesn’t give you a login bonus or tell a powerful narrative. It is a simulator through and through. Yet, in spite of all of this, it packs in a scope of adventure unseen in anything that I’ve played in recent memory.
What it does do is give players the chance to explore Earth in many ways that we could only dream of, all without leaving the comfort of our home. It’s the opportunity to consume something more visceral—almost tangible—in the most accessible way to date, and it makes me excited for the potential it demonstrates for the future of video games.
+ Fly anywhere across the entire globe
+ New gameplay additions make it the most accessible version of the game
+ Leverages real-time cloud data for incredible realism and authenticity
+ Genuine aircraft with assistance for beginners and freedom for pros
– Frame rate can drop below 30fps when at 4K resolution flying low in dense areas
– Occasionally when flying low some assets take longer to load than others causing pop in
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF MICROSOFT FLIGHT SIMULATOR
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 5/5