We look at the return of the Microsoft Flight Simulator brand. Asobo Studio has done an outstanding job – quite a statement of intent.
The quintessential flight simulator is back. Microsoft Flight Simulator reappears after too long a parenthesis. Since 2006 we have not received a new delivery from the oldest brand of the Redmond company. His appearance in 2020 responds to the motivation of the team: it is the right time to do it.
The technology settled in the middle of 2020 has been necessary to receive a simulator with all the letters. A title that is heading towards the top of the genre. Because Asobo Studio’s ambition is beyond the skies. As a player you will have at your disposal nothing more and nothing less than the entire planet Earth at your fingertips.
Beginners, don’t be afraid to fly
When we talk about Microsoft Flight Simulator we always emphasize the reasons why this release is special. Far from the virtual tour, the graphic finish or the catalog of winged frames itself, the studio shines for the way in which they have transmitted the passion and the sensations that we have when we fly in real life.
From the perspective of a newcomer to the world, the tutorial serves to strengthen the main notions that we must have at the controls of a plane. Although the instruments have little to do with the complexity of a Boing 747, going through the eight lessons lay the foundations of flight in your head. That mental scheme really serves to transfer it to other devices, and is that the cabin, with its more or less noticeable differences, have similarities that connect what you met during those classes.
Hovering the mouse cursor over the panels lets you know exactly what the function of each small device is. Even the smallest detail has its own interaction. In this way the first steps do not feel like a succession of button chains without rhyme or reason.
During startup we are advised of what kind of experience we want to have in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Between the total assistance and the fidelity to reality there is a gray scale that you can customize in detail. Do you want to take off by yourself and have the landing done by the AI? Can. Any combination of actions can be measured so that you can find your sweet spot.
That emphasis on deciding how you want to face the game is transferred in the same way to the peripherals. Whether you have a pair of rudder and pedals, an Xbox One controller or just the keyboard and mouse, you can freely select what each action will perform. The ideal in this case is to have the first; it would be the total way to squeeze the simulator. But there is also room for those with the tightest pocket.
What is it like to play Microsoft Flight Simulator with a controller?
Yes, Asobo Studio has allowed the Xbox One controller (in this case) to have full support, including menu navigation. As you can see in the image below this paragraph, certain combinations are established by default that allow us to delve into the possibilities of a limited controller with respect to a keyboard.
The solution to break the limitation is to make a button have two actions. On the one hand, you can perform a command by pressing it only once, while if we accompany it with another button it can lead to a new action. Think of the parking brake, which doubles as a handbrake when you’re on the ground. We can activate or deactivate it by combining Y + B, while the Y alone activates the brakes in mid-flight. So with everything.
In easy difficulty, controlling an airplane is practically like driving a car in Forza Motorsport, only we have to bear in mind that turning does not work in the same way. If we want to change direction, we tilt the plane to the left or right and maintain that state until we find the desired heading. The triggers are relegated to driving the tail gear, essential for navigating during landing and takeoff.
To the answer to the question: it is comfortable to play with a controller … with nuances. No matter how much you configure it, you will never have full control of the plane. In our case, when we have used the controller, we used to accompany it with the mouse in order to find a balance between playing it unpretentious and being able to make decisions at key moments (for example, increasing the pitch of the plane when a headwind enters).
It is appreciated that the movement of the stick reflects a smooth movement, with hardly any dead zones that make it difficult to turn. In this sense, it denotes care for making less enthusiastic users find their place in the simulator. In addition, the remote is really practical when we go into drone mode. If you want to visit cities, you can order the plane to be carried by your co-pilot in order to use this function without having to esity of being concerned about the controller. This mode offers a visit at street level throughout the entire geography of the planet, just like a free camera would. It even comes with a series of tools that boost the photography functionalities.