Flight Simulator X review

Sweet planes, bumpy ride

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Formerly stick-straight rivers and coastlines now curve realistically; dynamic vehicle and boat traffic navigate major roads and waterways; migratory animals roam open spaces; and the sim's automatically generated vegetation - acacia trees in Africa, evergreen forests in Canada - correctly match the local geography. Some gorgeous reflective water effects and animated airport ground activity (fuel trucks, baggage carts, AI-controlled jetways) add further luster to this already impressive environment.

The ramped up multiplayer options are also noteworthy. FSX 's "Shared Skies" lets you assume the role of pilot, co-pilot, or tower controller with built-in voice-over IP support through a LAN or GameSpy-powered Internet connection and - better yet - you can hot-swap aircraft controls with an online buddy for the ultimate in hands-on flight instruction.

As stated earlier, all of this aeronautic ambrosia comes at a cost - one that goes well beyond the Deluxe edition's $70 sticker price. Load times are sluggish and blurred aircraft and scenery textures can emerge when the high-calorie visuals overload your GPU memory. With all graphic sliders turned way down, most mid-range PCs will struggle to produce double digit frame-rates and, even at the top end, there's likely not an affordable computer built today that can deliver "flyable" frame rates with all of the sim's eye candy cranked up.

More info

DescriptionIt'll transport you to a stunning new world of photorealistic scenery and gorgeously detailed aircraft...if you have liquid-cooled supercomputer tucked in your tower.
US censor rating"Everyone"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)