• Review: Orbx TrueEarth Great Britain North

    Starting from Shetland and Scatsta airport on a nice sunny day, I once again realised just how beautiful a country the UK is, and it is only from the air that you really can appreciate it. Having flown in real life many times from the Shetland islands to various North Sea oil platforms, I was just blown away by the realism of the scenery. I absolutely loved the coast line details, the way the water merges with the land and the fabulous beaches. Believe it or not, in Scotland we have some fabulous sandy beaches, just the sea temperature doesn't get much above a few degrees even in summer... From the air looking down, this really feels like the real deal when you are looking out the window at the rugged and beautiful islands. The landscape details are just fabulous. Even the Sulom Vow Oil terminal is marked with a few large oil storage tanks and a flare just to make me feel at home.

    Orbx - TrueEarth Great Britain North

    From what I observed, most of the landmass is well represented, although there were a couple of occasions where there were steep drops and the ground textures looked a bit odd and stretched, however this was only a couple of occasions and didn't really detract from the overall experience. Flying south over the Orkney islands I headed to Wick on the mainland, the journey was fabulous. I just don't have enough superlatives to describe just how much I enjoyed seeing my homeland in glorious technocolor and detail down below. The placement of the houses, along with the cars and vehicles driving on the left side of the road, was just brilliant. As I mentioned earlier, I personally prefer the default road textures, however these can be removed to display the transparent ortho version, just a personal choice.

    I saw a few lighthouses and radio masts along the way and an ever-growing number of windfarms all accurately placed on their real spots. There is something quite majestic about these machines when observed from the air. You can often see the shadows that the real units cast on the ground, again adding to the realism.

    Orbx - TrueEarth Great Britain North

    So, after arriving at Wick I headed off across country towards the Highlands and the scenery is just breathtaking. Deep remote forests and dark and cold lochs scattered all around the country, and they really blend in well with the scenery. With the new particle effects making the most out of the engine exhaust haze and the majestic Scottish scenery below, it just doesn't get any better than this.

    The ominous silhouette of the mountains in the distance as I approached was like something out of Lord of the Rings, and when I arrived, the detail in the ground texturing once again did not disappoint, even to the point where there was some snow evident on a few of the mountain tops. I could almost smell the fresh air, particularly with all those wind farms twirling away down below. I think it is fair to say that Orbx have done a fabulous job in replicating the rural parts of the north, and although I could have toured around all day taking it all in, I decide to head south to check out the more populated urban parts of Scotland.

    Orbx - TrueEarth Great Britain North

    Part three of my journey started at Prestwick on the west coast. After stopping off for 18 holes at Royal Troon's championship golf course, I flew north up to Glasgow, then east over to Edinburgh, north past Dundee and eventually landing in my home town of Aberdeen. Now the scenery changes quite dramatically from mountains and lochs, to cities and motorways and I loved every minute of it. Just being able to spot numerous football and sports stadiums, many of them I have been to, gave me such a buzz, and this is the sort of detail that differentiates the Orbx scenery from more DIY ortho scenery. Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with ortho scenery, and in fact I use this in many other places I fly, however the Orbx TE series just takes everything up a notch in its realism. No clouds covering the pictures, cars on the left side of the road, and so many wind farms....didn't realise we had so many!

    1 Comment
    1. Coneman's Avatar
      Coneman -
      True Earth is really excellent. However as a P3D user, I'm very disappointed how this rolled out. The Netherlands was released for P3D, then the entire 3-part scenery for England was cranked out for X-Plane, only then did we finally get UK South for P3D. Then it was on to TE PNW for X-Plane after it being stated that it would be coming first for P3D. I would be very surprised if we even see the rest of England this year. Think I'm going to put a hold on Orbx stuff for now.
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