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My 2 Day Review (As Objective as I can be) Long read!

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Alright! There is alot of emotion around these parts. I am going to try and give an objective review, and remember this is my experience. I get many of you have not had the same (Don't shoot the messenger)


I am a long time simmer (FS98) and real world recreational pilot. I work in Airside Operations planning. I am immersed in aviation! It is my life. I have 150ish hours flying a C172... and many hours in other small aircraft. Love flight sim, haven't been into it for 5 years. Last sim was FSX.


My PC: Ryzen 5 3600 OCed to 4100mhz,GPU RX5700XT, pretty much stock. 32gb Ram. 1TB m.2 SSD. 34 inch curved monitor, with 144hz refresh and freesync enabled. 75MBS Download wireless internet, very stable.


Install: Was not the best! In 2020 this should be easier. It was not straightforward. I installed on Steam. Got the small launcher... didn't tell me anything else. Launched the game, got the blue bar freeze for 30 minutes. Uninstalled the game, rebooted PC, and then tried again. This time it worked. I could tell it was going to be a long haul, I started the DL at 2130.... gave up and left it on overnight. When I woke up it was done. Opened it up, and could not get past the setup screen. It was just blank. Again, not good for 2020 and the money being spent. I fiddled around and somehow it came to life. Got into the sim.


Testing the sim: I knew that there would be tweaking. I knew my PC would not run it on Ultra, and I knew that this is a work in progress. I will go over the good, and the not so good.


UI: Agreed, not great. It is clunky... I miss being able to see things about the airports when you are selecting them. I don't like that the real world weather is not displayed in a way that shows a Metar... weather read out. That is basic stuff. Don't care about the hangar, seems odd that my PC is already running hard at the menu though.Oh and annoying thing when choosing an airport, if you zoom in to choose a parking spot on the map, sometimes the tag is in the way and I cannot get rid of it. Then you can't choose the parking spot behind the tag... silly. Otherwise it is easy enough.


Cameras: Yikes... it is a mess. Why can't it be simple? My hat not only looks left but zooms too. Sometimes the camera RANDOMLY zooms. I don't know. Of course Track IR improves this, but many don't have it... not impressed. External view is complicated, and I have not at all been able to figure out this drone thing. Big area of needing improvement.


Gameplay: I will break this down into 5 areas. Visuals, Flight Model, Default AC, PC Performance, and Other Notes/Thoughts about Gameplay.


Visuals: I think it looks good. My area is not good on the bing maps, so there are blurry textures, but I can find roads, streets and other landmarks with ease. I have never seen my area portrayed so well in a sim. Also, flying in the mountains, you get a mixed bag and it is easy to see the nasty old bing textures, and sometimes nice ones. The autogen in my city is pretty odd. From a distance cities also look like blobs until you get close... it is strange. There are HUGE trees the size of skyscrapers there, and buildings that just look sad (melting?). BUT you can recognize the buildings so it is alright. And at my home airport. The quality is great, but warehouses for hangars, and lots of other mis-placed buildings. We have an iconic tower, it is not only looking wrong, but not in the right spot... Bridges that are iconic VFR landmarks do not look good, just a basic bridge. Roads are "sideways" on mountains. This is all because of the bing map quality I am sure, and who knows maybe they will fix it. There is weird water masking... most marinas I see are totally underwater, looks strange. I have a weird light black line appearing mid screen... very faint. I see black texture artifacts sometimes. Water looks like a grid sometimes.. man it reminds me of what I used to get so frustrated with in FSX LOL. The airplanes all look nice.


Flight Model: Disclaimer! I am a GA guy. I haven't touched the airliners, I don't care. Boooring. So I will comment on the airplanes I have flown. Overall I will say this. They are default AC, and they act like Default aircraft. The GPSs (G1000, 530 etc) are basically useless outside of direct to. Even that has its limitations. The GPS in FSX had more functionality. This is not good, and should be fixed. The sim seems VFR ready, not IFR ready. I also find the ground handling of alot of the airplanes to be real wonky. 50 percent power to get moving on some, no power on others and always on the brakes...and sometimes I cannot move at all. Also they seem to want to turn left or right on there own... kind of odd. I absolutely HATE that anytime you load up there is a ground handler in front of you, no matter how rural the airport. How can you turn that off? Other systems on the airplanes are not modeled either. Run ups on the Diamonds, fuel flow as you prime a fuel injected Cessna... the bottom line is they are by no means study level. In FSX I never spent any time flying default, once third party came out, HOWEVER Asobo and Microsoft certainly made these out to be more than what they are.


Default AC:


C172 (Mostly steam gauge version): Near and dear to my heart, and pretty well modeled in the sim! I think it flies well, and behaves like a C172. I have flown the sim one for around 5 hours, including a long 3.5 hour cross country from the flatland through the Rockies... flew great, parameters were correct. Autopilot worked fine. A nitpicks that you would know if you fly the 172,Fuel gauges should not show levels until the power is on. Other than that I can't think of any other issues other than the GPS being useless as mentioned. Btw, it was pretty cool for me to navigate on a long X country using google maps on a laptop, and it looked great and accurate in the sim.... but where is the real chart in game (more on that later)


The JMB VL3: I really like this aircraft. It makes me feel like I am flying. The sounds are awesome... handles great... feels good overall. I can't really nitpick it, I like it.


Cessna 208: Yikes, the turboprop experience is not good. The prop control does nothing. If you had the Majestic Q400, you know what its like. You can start in feather, come out of feather. None of that is modelled. I think that is a big mix. The condition lever is not modeled very well either. There is no prop RPM other than a little number, not realistic either. Prop RPM is pretty important in a turboprop. I went to take off, put the power on and WOW the nose came up. Felt like it weighed nothing. When I shut it down the prop never stopped spinning...Not good...overall it is a fail. I will have to see what the King Air is like but I fear more of the same.


DA62: Again... not great. Does not feel like a real airplane. To move on the ground you need at least 50 percent power. Taking off, you firewall it... and it barely moves like a slug. Youtube a real one taking off, it is not like this. Then it just feels like it is on rails in the air... nice to look at, but not realistic at all. Simple systems too... Fail!


Bonanza: I thought the Bo is good. It is simplified (see the trend?) but it flys nice and seems to handle pretty accurately (never flown a G36, but have flown older version). This ain't no A2A bonanza but it is fine.


CTSL: Good, Fun! Overall liked this. Simple little VFR airplane to get around.


Savage Cub: Good! (See below for not good). Felt right, flies nice. My go to bush airplane for now.


XCub: Yikes! Not good.... something is off with this. Take off roll takes forever, flies wonky. I didn't spend much time there.


Citation: Meh... Super simplified Jet. I am not a jet guy... FMC is basically not modelled. Reminds me of the FSX default Lear... Jet folks won't be happy.


DA40s(TDI and NG): Seem good, anemic... maybe like the real airplanes, but good enough.


Cap 10: Cool airplane. Feels good, and seems to fly right. Fun to putter around in.


PC Performance:


Alright lets talk performance. I was nervous how my PC would run this. The sim certainly does not seem optimized. My PC is not a slouch, I game 1440 with no issues, but this taxes it. On a clear blue day, in a rural area I am at 40FPS. Settings are mostly Ultra, some stuff dialed down a bit. at 1440. My GPU is working HARD... and hot. My CPU is around 30%. Ram usually 14gbs to 15 gbs on the high end. Add some weather, and a big city it sits at just around 30, sometimes ducking down. I am surprised how hard it is on the system. Honestly RDR2 is a way more detailed environment... and with Flight Sim streaming I just do not get it. It is playable for me for sure, but I feel like my PC should be able to take this on without a sweat. That is not the case. I had it crash to desktop randomly once (right on approach GAHH)


Other notes:


Overall I am happy with it, and I know(HOPE) it will improve. Try and remember we are at the ground floor. Things will improve. It is not perfect, but it provides a base. I think alot of the texture uglys are to do with Bing being bad quality in alot of areas, mine included. Not sure how to fix that. There is clearly a huge market for 3rd party. Man, my local airport does not look right, and airplanes are needed. But the base is there, and overall I am excited to see what comes. I hope they fix the airline stuff, I hope they fix the flight models. The other thing I don't like is no real aviation map/chart. In FSX you had a map that showed decent info... aeronautical info. This is not good. Why do they not have airport charts...The "VFR map" They give is really bad. Half the time it doesn't display airport unless you are zoomed right in. Same as the GPS units. That is a real omission in my opinion. The weather looks awesome. The best I have ever seen. Seeing rain shafts, feeling the wind, turbulence in the correct places when flying through the mountains, rain on the airplane looks great.... awesome... when it works. Today has been fine, yesterday it was hit or miss. And temps are definitely wrong. It is 24C here today, the sim always shows 18C. How to sum this up... Visually it is coming along, technically it needs work. Was it ready for release? No. Do I care? No. I look forward to the updates as they come, and trust ASOBO will make it happen. Anyways, if you made it here congratulations.. seriously, you were commited. I tried to provide an objective look from someone who has a stake in the aviation game, and a long time simmer... now I have to take this list and whatever else and send it to Asobo.. how do you do that? Cheers.

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