29 Palms Skiathos
The small island of Skiathos in Greecemay not be one of the largest islands in the Mediterranean, but whatit lacks in size it certainly makes up for in popularity, as in 2017alone, over 200,000 people visited the island. It is served by thenotorious airport "Alexandros Papadiamantis" otherwise known as the'Greek St. Martin', due to the similarities of how the aircraft landon approach. In this product, 29 Palms have not just included theairport, but the entire island with features such as dynamic lighting,sound features, and animated objects.
The airport terminal has been modelled very well using superb 3Deffects and textures, and just like the real location, 29 Palms havealso added a realistic orange tint to the arrival buildings. I alsoneed to point out the great attention to detail on the buildings, suchas air conditioning and service modules on the roofs. Despite findingthe arrivals building up to date, the departures area sadly wasnot. In 2002 the airport had a refit and now sports a very modernlinear design with lots of windows. However, the 29 Palms versionlooks to be modelled on the older version that was originally built in2002.
Apron And Clutter
Upon exploring the scenery further, I was greeted with plenty ofground clutter which included aircraft steps, baggage trolleys,airport vehicles, and animated people. These small details really helpgive the sensation of just how small and cramped the airport is. Ialso liked the accurate placement of the blast fences and flood lightswhich yet again added to the amazing level of authenticity found inthe scenery. Options to increase/decrease the detail are available incase of performance issues, however in testing I found there to be noimpact on performance at all when placed at the higher setting.
In regard to the apron area, I found the textures to be accurateand nicely modelled. However, in 2014 an extension was added to thereal-life airport to feature 5 additional stands for airliners and dueto this, the original apron area is now used for smalleraircraft. Sadly though, this extension is not included in the 29 Palmsversion, meaning you are limited to just two stands.
The runway model itself has an accurate length of just over 5000feet and contains turning circles found at the end of bothrunways. The correct textures have also been used in a greyish colorto depict concrete and lots of black textures in the center to showlarge amounts of rubber deposits. Both sets of PAPI lights wereaccurately placed and were very bright during the night.
Speaking of the night-time environment, I particularly enjoyed thedynamic lighting found around the terminal and on the apron area as itwas very bright and made the place stand out as expected. As you moveaway from the airport, the light diminishes rapidly as you wouldexpect on a small island such as Skiathos. The only other part of theisland that stood out visually at night other than the airport was thetown of Skiathos itself.
Surrounding Areas, Features And Performance
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, it is not just theairport you get with this package, but scenery which covers the entireisland. During my time flying around Skiathos, I have to say I wasimpressed with the large amount of detail on offer, especially withthe accurately placed custom 3D buildings and objects. These all hadtheir own custom textures to depict Greek architecture, something theydid extremely well. If that wasn't enough, 29 Palms have also includedan improved mesh to enhance the area even further, something I feelthe developers got spot on!
You also get the option to enable/disable animated vehicles andboats, and even though there are not really that many of them, they dohelp to enhance the scenery without destroying your FPS. Another nicefeature was the several sound effects I heard whilst exploring theisland, one of these being the sound of birds which were not justmodelled from an audio perspective, but also visually as you would seethem flying about (I just hoped none of them would go near myengines).
Performance at all times was exceptional, even more so when youfactor in the detail on offer!
Well...what can I say, except that this scenery was more like awork of art than an actual piece of simulated scenery. The entireisland is simply stunning, and it really made me feel as though I wason the island of Skiathos...complete with all the Greek vibes which gowith it./images/reviews/skiatho/title3.jpg
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