Microsoft Flight Simulator development videos highlight the photorealistic vistas we'll fly over

(Image credit: Microsoft)

The official YouTube channel for Microsoft Flight Simulator has posted a series of development videos showing off a small slice of the different real-world landscapes and aircrafts in the upcoming flight sim. The impressive graphics bring our world to life in stunning detail - honestly, most of the time it feels like you're looking at real footage taken from an aircraft's window. 

Take for example this gorgeously realistic in-game shot of Baltimore Bay in May. With clouds drifting through the sky, and the detailed landscape below, I find it hard to actually process that I'm looking at a game's rendering of the area. The realistic appearance and feel of the simulator promises to deliver the most immersive experience as an aircraft pilot. 

We also get to look down on the beautiful glistening waters of a shoreline, and a jaw-dropping view of Lake Tekapo in New Zealand. If you compare the latter to real images captured above the lake, it looks exactly like the real deal, and my brain struggles to comprehend the idea that it isn't. Other videos also show off some of the aircrafts you can pilot in-flight, including an early test approach of a DA62 plane, an X-Plane 11 flying over Aspen with a beautiful pink horizon, a DR 400 in a hangar, and an A320 plane flying over Strasbourg

These videos come just after the release of the Microsoft Flight Simulator alpha. All of the clips are pretty short in length, and you can't help but wish they'd go on for just a little bit longer to truly soak up the beautiful views of the landscapes you can fly over. 

Microsoft's Flight Simulator is a long-running franchise, and the upcoming release on Xbox One and PC sometime in 2020 truly looks set to be the most realistic instalment yet. Letting you pilot a vast selection of different aircrafts, you can set flight plans to any destination in the world and experience flying in the daytime or during the night with different weather conditions. 

Here are all of the best upcoming games 2020 (and beyond), or check out our highlight reel below. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.