Microsoft Flight

Flying simulator game similar to those used in military training

6.3

547 Votes

  • Category Flight Simulators
  • License Trial version
  • Size 642.71 kB
  • Works under Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
  • Language English
  • Program by Microsoft

Take off with this successor to the Flight Simulator series

Released in early 2012, Microsoft Flight is a follow up to the discontinued Microsoft Flight Simulator series. With new game modes and an overhaul of the controls, Microsoft Studios were hoping the game would be more accessible to new players, while still maintaining the realism that had appealed to hardcore flying enthusiasts.

Unlike Flight Simulator, Microsoft Flight is offered to players on a free-to-play basis. However, unfortunately, many of the additional features have already been discontinued, including the online multi-player mode. Does the game still hold up as an impressive single player experience, or have Microsoft grounded Flight for good?

Assume the Controls

It becomes immediately obvious that Microsoft Flight marks a departure from the ultra-realistic simulation found in the previous series. The four short tutorial missions teach players the basics of how to fly on the game and that should be more than sufficient for most users to get to grips with the control system.

As with most flight sims, the game is best played using a joystick, but more casual gamers will be able to fly their plane easily enough using a mouse. In addition, the controls can be adjusted to match your skill level, making it easy for complete beginners to pick up and play, while allowing frequent flyers to increase the difficulty.

In general, the shift towards a more casual style should appeal to most players, although the hardcore fans of the Flight Simulator series, who want a more authentic experience, may disapprove.

Take Flight

The free version of the game offers players the opportunity to fly two different planes: the Icon A5, which is an amphibious light-sport aircraft, and the Boeing-Stearman Model 75, which is a military trainer biplane. Originally, additional aircraft were available as paid downloadable content, but that aspect has since been removed.

Pilots are able to fly around the Big Island of Hawaii, which may seem like a pretty small area, but it provides ample room to fly, explore and complete missions and challenges. The missions in the game will see players perform cargo runs, take visitors on a scenic tour of the area and more.

While the more structured elements form the basis of Microsoft Flight's gameplay, there is also a free flight mode, giving players complete freedom to fly around wherever they please, with fuel being the only restriction. This provides a great way to get to grips with the controls, perfect tricks, or just admire the scenery.

Flight Grounded?

From a visual perspective, the game is incredibly impressive, with great graphics and stunning weather effects. In this sense, it represents a significant step forward from Flight Simulator X. However, Microsoft's decision to take down the online servers have completely grounded the game from a multi-player point of view.

Furthermore, the decision to close the Marketplace has left the game feeling incredibly light. Previously, new areas like the remainder of the Hawaiian Islands and parts of Alaska were available to purchase, along with more than 10 planes. Without this ability, the game can feel too much like a demo.

Despite these flaws, it is difficult to argue with a free-to-play game, which offers excellent graphics, a nice control system and various missions to keep players entertained. While it may not be the ultra-realistic sim Flight Simulator fans may have hoped for, it is successful in appealing to more casual gamers.

Pros

  • Extremely easy to pick up and play
  • Flight controls can be adjusted to match your skill level
  • Graphics are superb
  • Available as a free download

Cons

  • Microsoft have shut down the multi-player servers
  • Additional content can no longer be acquired through the Marketplace
  • May not appeal to hardcore flight sim fans
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