Yesterday I got home from a two day trip landing a Bombardier CRJ-700 on runway 27L at Chicago ORD with a 40 knot crosswind. Yes, in real life.
The above is my job. It started as only a dream by a kid who loved aviation. My interest in flying surely was developed by the fact that my dad was an airline pilot. But growing up, we had computers and we definitely had all of the Microsoft Flight Simulator titles since the beginning of their release.
I remember being 12 years old and my brother showed me how to shoot an ILS approach for the first time. That was truly the most awesome experience ever. Quickly thereafter I began to love shooting instrument approached down to minimums into my favorite airport, ORD. This even sparked me to start making FS videos and tutorials etc.
I have loved the flight sim franchise very much over the years. I have anticipated all of the releases of new versions knowing that the next would truly be "As Real As It Gets"! When I heard that Microsoft pulled the plug on Aces a few years back, I was saddened but hoped they would figure something else out in the future. Then I heard about Microsoft Flight and immediately was filled with excitement for a new simulator but also doubt. My initial doubt was first off from the lack of the word "simulator" in the title. When I read the original synopsis in the press release, I doubted from what I read, a true simmer like myself would be satisfied. But hey, I thought I'd be wait patiently and give it a shot.
Well the day is here, and The release of Microsoft Flight has come. Yesterday after I landed my CRJ-700 at ORD, I drove home and proceeded to download the game. I was excited that the download seemed to move pretty fast. Once installed I was greeted with a quick load time. I then setup my Saitek joystick so I didn't have to use my mouse. No real flight simmer uses a mouse to fly, FYI. After all, you need your mouse to setup the autopilot or flip other switches in the cockpit.
The game loaded into the Icon aircraft having me fly by balloons. This to be honest was not my cup of tea but whatever, I flew the tutorial just to do it. After completing the tutorials, I swapped to free flight and maxed out the scenery settings. My computer handled the maxed out graphics well with very little stuttering. After about a couple of hours of flying the icon and included Boeing biplane, I became bored. There was nothing more for me to want to do. It wasn't like when FSX came out. Where the possibilities were endless. In Flight, you have a Hawaiian island to fly around and have a few more of the Hawaiian islands as DLC. The cost of the new maps and aircraft are surprisingly expensive when you look at how much you got out of previous flight sim titles for about $60-70. Now I feel as though everyone is jumping on the app bandwagon and trying to get those in app a la carte purchases. To be honest, my initial reaction to Microsoft Flight was, why isn't this game on Xbox 360? It seems like the perfect game to have on a console and perfect for any novice to pick up a controller and pretend to fly for a while. After all, look how much you keep getting reminded that flying with a mouse is perfectly acceptable. Heck why not use your body to steal with the Kinect? This game ha no business on the PC. It is a console game for everyday people to pick up and toy around with. The game might as well be on iOS or Android and we can all use our phone's tilt to fly. How ridiculous.
Microsoft Flight is an initial disappointment. I feel bad for the other simmers in the forum that have the passion for Microsoft's flight sim titles like I have had over the years. I know I surely do not stand alone. It's too bad to see the end of an era. Long live the memories of booting up flight sim and having Meigs Field be the initial starting place for free flight. Long live the thousands of approaches shot in various weather conditions which fueled many people's passion for aviation. Whether you went on to fly real airplanes or if you stayed behind the controls of your desktop aircraft, it doesn't matter. Microsoft provided us with great times and great memories.
I can't imagine any avid simmer being involved with flight sim titles for at least FS2004 and FSX to have much of a desire for the new Flight. it is an arcade style game with little substance. Although to me Flight is a disappointing flop, I remember that we still have our past Microsoft Flight sim titles to continue to use for years to come. FSX being such a graphical hog will last for a long while. Many computers still can't run it maxed out. So I guess what we can take away from the release of Flight is that it truly broke away from the "Simulator" franchise. It is not a sequel to the beloved games we grew up on. It is a new game of its own and we shouldn't be disappointed by it. We should just be happy we have a game like FSX to continue enjoying for now.
I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the new game. Have fun and continue flying.