• Review: Orbx CityScene Barcelona

    Barcelona

    Barcelona is famous for its architecture, and I must say the scenery did not disappoint in this respect; far from it, as it looked simply fantastic! For the base layer of the scenery, Orbx employ a photographic scenery across the entire region. This is satellite imagery at 1 meter per pixel, spread across the entire map and is ideal for VFR flying. When departing from El Prat, or even just cruising over the city at high altitude, this gives you an astonishing level of detail; something not seen with any other add-ons. As mentioned above, if you're mainly a VFR flyer, you will find this level of detail totally amazing!

    Orbx CityScene Barcelona     Orbx CityScene Barcelona

    By using VFR Scenery, it also means that all of the road layouts, plus the building positions, are as accurate as what is currently possible in a simulator. Nothing looks out of place, and for those that live in the city, or have visited it and know it well, everything looks as you would expect it to.

    Being the perfectionists they are, Orbx have also worked on the ground mesh. This includes accurate topography for the city and surrounding mountains, as well as a reworked coastline. The El Besos River, which flows alongside the B-10 and C-33 motorways, has also been defined through this mesh, with the ground lowered, forming the riverbank on either side. This continues right down to the sea where the mesh then opens up and fits around the coastline.

    I must point out however that some of the buildings and streets can be repetitive - but this is no bad thing, in fact quite the opposite. In FSX and P3D, the simulator only needs to load a mesh once, to which it can be used as many times as it needs worldwide without it affecting performance. This is why the default simulator only uses around 20 building models to fill autogen worldwide. In contrast, Orbx have maybe 100 building models defined, which it then uses over 100,000 times across the entire Barcelona region. When combined with 812 hand placed objects, the result is a fantastic looking and plausible scenery!

    Orbx CityScene Barcelona     Orbx CityScene Barcelona

    For those of you who enjoy stats, how about these: trees account for just under 1 million objects across the entire add-on, with the map containing over 1.2 million objects (around 10% of that being hand-placed and the majority being based on OpenStreetMap data). As you can see, with Orbx, as always, level of detail is key, and is one of the reasons why they have such an incredible reputation for quality sceneries.

    Landmarks And Defining Features

    There are plenty of landmarks dotted around Barcelona to explore and enjoy; too many to talk about in detail, so I will concentrate on three I personally enjoyed.

    The first is Camp Nou, which has been modelled to match that of the real stadium. Being the biggest football stadium in the world, you can even see the detailing of the pitch and stands when flying up close. The area surrounding the stadium has also been modelled, with the car park containing a few vehicles, and the surrounding park populated with trees. If you happen to be a flight simmer with a passion for football, this landmark is a definite go to area!

    Orbx CityScene Barcelona     Orbx CityScene Barcelona

    Number two is the Port of Barcelona, which has been modelled to match those of its real-world counterpart, and includes; docking cranes, harbor roads, warehouses and container ships. The port itself spans across the southern coast of the city and helps bring runways 25L and 25R approaches to life. The harbor also includes the sheltered wall, just off the coast, enclosing the area and shielding it from the waves.

    Finally, we have the Basilica de Barcelona Cathedral, and this is absolutely stunning! This high-quality model details each spire, window and step of the cathedral, making it a wonderful landmark to spot when in the air.

    Note: due to the high detailing of the model and the memory requirements needed to view it, 32-bit simulators such as FSX and P3D v3 are recommended to disable the cathedral from appearing.

    Orbx CityScene Barcelona     Orbx CityScene Barcelona


    1 Comment
    1. DominicS's Avatar
      DominicS -
      Very nice article Michael, well done!

      Orbx never cease to amaze me with the quality of their sceneries, and this review is a testament to that.
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