• Cork Ultimate From Eiresim

    Review: Eiresim Cork Ultimate

    By Cormac O'Neill (11 July 2010)

    In this game of ours, there are probably two main types of enthusiast: those who like steak and those who like steak with all the trimmings!

    Historically and realistically, I've always tended to be the former and as long as my aircraft have been sufficiently sophisticated, then the view out the window has never been that important to me. Firstly, FS is all about flying and secondly, I'm a committed laptop person and add-on scenery just eats up system resource on these little things. So I flew around and did my thing, airport to airport and FS did its job and painted its picture, but it was no Degas, or Van Gogh; it just wasn't quite, you know, Boss! So it was time for some trimmings and since there is a large repository of excellent freeware scenery available, I added scenery for cities and areas in which I've lived over the years. But Ireland was largely neglected (IFSD put out scenery some time ago and quite nice it was too), a pretty barren place, virtually speaking.

    Default scenery

    Eiresim Cork Ultimate

    In fact, so commited am I to laptops, that until not too long ago, I ran FS2000 and further to that, tried my hand at designing scenery for Cork Airport. I thought it was a good effort for a novice, notwithstanding the fact that it was situated somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean for test purposes; and could I blend it into FS elevations? No! But that's water under the bridge, so to speak, and no sooner had I finished my mid-Atlantic version of Cork than they went and built a brand new terminal in the real world, so I was back to IFSD, default scenery and not a very satisfactory rendition of my home airport in FS2004 - yes, I had moved on!

    Default scenery

    Eiresim Cork Ultimate

    And then Eiresim came along...

    Bill Stack reviewed their Shannon and Dublin scenery some months back (going into the background of the Eiresim folk) and I bought Dublin: very nice, tidy, well put together, detailed scenery. It suffered a bit from bleeding textures, but they've fixed it. And now they've released Cork Ultimate.

    Default scenery

    Eiresim Cork Ultimate

    You can find out all you need to know about Cork on Wikipedia or in the 12 page PDF manual, but there are a number of things it won't tell you...It was a nice, friendly little place and once had the longest bar I've ever seen anywhere, with a great view of the runway. It won't tell you that in early 1990, a Ryanair flight went tech and people came from miles (and I mean miles) around to cash in on the drinks vouchers that said airline seemed to be issuing hand over fist. I just happened to be seeing someone off on that flight to London and trust me, I had a good day out and so did a 747-load of others; never mind that the passenger manifest was for a BAC 1-11! Thank you Ryanair! Neither will Wikipedia or the manual tell you that a Ryanair 1-11 once landed short and claimed the dubious honor of winning the Cork ploughing championship for that year!

    But enough of the fond memories, what about the scenery? Well there's no way of saying it other than: "It's good! It's damned good!"

    Eiresim Cork Ultimate 767 day

    Eiresim Cork Ultimate 767 night

    The download is 182 megabytes and installation is straightforward with the auto-installer. Looking at the forums, some people seem to have encountered issues on installation and the recommendation is to copy the serial/password details into Notepad/Wordpad and paste away from there. I did that from the get-go and had no problem.

    To say that the O'Reilly brothers have dragged the default Cork kicking and screaming into the 21st Century is something of an understatement; never mind that some architects and builders have dragged the real airport into the century. Eiresim seem to have gone all out to reflect this.

    They say that this is the first 20 cm resolution they've done and while that doesn't mean a whole lot to me other than 20 cm is a pretty small texture size, looking at the grass suggests that it is something even the aforementioned Ryanair captain would be proud of!

    Eiresim Cork Ultimate final approach

    Ploughing but not dead center

    So what about frame rates? Well they're there, but aren't they always? And since I'm running this on a laptop, I'm not going to go into too much detail given that most of you will be running a setup with considerably more agility and all-round athleticism than mine. Nonetheless, the installation gives you the option not to install the 3D clutter, if you so desire. You can also remove some of the .bgl's if you have any further issues (this is covered in the manual). The biggest hit frame rate-wise is obviously going to be in the immediate terminal area, but things smoothen out nicely after the short taxi to the runway and then it's off to the races!

    The general modelling and positioning of objects is, in my opinion, top notch; even the interior of the new terminal has been faithfully reproduced, although I have been unable to find a virtual pint of Guinness! The old terminal has also been faithfully rendered and I'm glad, for that's where all the fun happened. (The new terminal in real life, for all its 21st century glitz and operational glibness, is a bit sterile and impersonal, not to mention cavernous.) There's also a flock of birds flying endless circles over runway 25. It's a nice touch and perhaps there's a vast swarm of insects there to to keep the birds' attention so focused!

    Default scenery

    Eiresim Cork Ultimate

    So are there issues? Well, yes; there's one main one. The localiser does not track to the center-line and as yet, an update has not been released to correct it. (Thinking about this one issue, perhaps it's an unwitting nod in the direction of the Ryanair ploughing champ!) But if you're planning on a full ILS approach and autoland, be prepared to kick up some dirt and grass with the right main gear! A secondary issue will present itself if you have IFSD installed, but only at night and only when you try to line up on a runway, so disable it in the scenery library; or don't and just see what happens...

    Old terminal front

    So, what do I think? Saying it's an improvement on the default is a bit like saying the earth is an improvement on the moon, assuming, of course that was a valid reference for the majority of us, but you know what I mean. It's not hard to improve upon the default Cork, but a couple of timber shacks and AI traffic would have done that. The FSX version is also available and has some nice additional features allowed by that particular incarnation of FS...mostly texture blending and neat glass reflections on the main terminal.

    I have tried to avoid superlatives while writing this, never mind, God forbid, actual gushing! But consider this: I have purchased a total of three payware scenery titles since first laying my hands on FS on an Apple 2 in 1980 - two of them have been produced by Eiresim.

    Cormac O'Neill
    [email protected]

    Learn More Here

    Reviews Of Other Eiresim Products:

    Shannon Ultimate
    Dublin 2009

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