• Review: Realworld Scenery - St. Louis International Airport MSFS

    St. Louis Int'l Airport

    Publisher: Realworld Scenery

    Review Author:
    Joshua Moore

    Suggested Price:
    $18.25

    Buy Here

    Introduction

    The other day I was browsing the FlightSim.Com Store looking for an airport to review as I am somewhat limited in what I can do at the moment. My main flight sim setup is currently a long way away from me and I'll most likely not be able to fly it again till December at the earliest. I instead have a little joystick and my laptop which is MSFS capable, so airport reviews it is. During my search I happened across a company called Realworld Scenery, who I had never heard of. I took a quick look at what they had to offer and decided to take on their rendition of KSTL, an airport which I have flown out of multiple times in my FS2004 days.

    Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020     Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020

    Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020     Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020

    First Impressions

    Installation of the airport is very simple, akin to installing a scenery into X-Plane 11. There is no installer at all, meaning you download the full 3.3 GB file at the start, and unzip it directly into your community folder.

    Loading into MSFS, I was greeted by an airport which seemed to be quite well done, however I soon noticed an issue straight away. On my laptop with an RTX2070 Max Q and an i7 at 3.0 GHz, I can usually push around 35-40 fps in MSFS on high settings. With this airport though, I get the same frame rates, but then it becomes a stutter fest for a few seconds while everything loads, before returning back to normal. This might sound like a loading issue but look away for a few seconds and then back again, and the issue returns, almost every time, without fail. I cannot vouch for desktops, including my own, which is considerably more powerful than my laptop, but this issue is slightly concerning. Perhaps it comes down to some bad optimization (or an issue at my end), but I can't say for sure. Moving along, I can see the developer put quite a bit of time into creating custom textures for the runways, taxiways, and taxiway lines, and these all look quite nice. I'll go into more detail in the next section.

    Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020     Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020

    Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020     Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020

    Exploring The Airport

    Starting off with the main terminal, I was intrigued to see how Realworld created the terminal and major buildings of STL. The building itself appears to be a somewhat high-quality model, but it is quite easy to see the polygons, and the model itself is let down by its textures. The main terminal has no interior modeled, and the windows are a simple black texture and nothing else. While it looks acceptable during the day, the same cannot be said for the night. However, the concourses are modeled well enough to pass as St. Louis and the overall feel is quite nice. To their credit, the developers have included little details, such as baggage carts, vehicles and other small items to add to the immersion.

    The gates are standard MSFS gates, which is sadly becoming an all-too-common practice among most developers which I dislike. The reason being, each airport has its own style, and using the same gates everywhere makes it feel generic.

    The buildings and ramp of the former 131st Fighter Wing are represented quite well, and I have no complaints. Moving to the cargo ramp (a place I will frequently visit when the TFDI MD-11 makes it to the sim), is done quite well, and I actually really like the ramp. Realworld did a pretty good job with the building and the ramp itself and is one of the better parts of the scenery. There are plenty of containers and other items placed on the left side of the apron, though I would like to have seen more of them spread between each of the parking spaces like in real life. Also, adding some airstairs would be helpful so as to assist aircrews upon arriving at their parking spot. The private jet ramp, located right in front of the cargo ramp, is also done quite well, with Signature flight support being the main tenant.

    One thing I did notice, was that the airport lacked a boundary fence. There was no fence anywhere to be seen and is a detail which should really be present, especially in a payware scenery.

    Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020     Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020

    Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020     Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020

    Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020     Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020

    Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020     Realworld Scenery--St. Louis Airport for MSFS 2020


    1 Comment
    1. onedadslife's Avatar
      onedadslife -
      This is my hometown, in addition I work for Boeing, located essentially on this airport. I was happy with the airport itself, as it did capture the buildings and all pretty nicely. However, if you use photogrammetry, there is a rectangle around the airport that is obliterated and the buildings are just flat on the ground. This is frustrating as there are a couple of iconic hotels and Boeing buildings around the airport which are wiped out. The developer's response was to "not use photogrammetry" which also makes the entire area not look correct. So you have to pick between the terminal being right and the surrounding scenery. I keep hoping for an update that fixes this (I haven't seen this on any other airport add-on), but I don't think one is coming.
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