Flight Sim World Review
by Vito Caresimo
FSW is a game being developed by Dovetail Games who are also responsible for the Train Simulator and Train Sim World Series. They also currently publish FSX which is a flight simulator first released by in 1982! Dovetail games were granted the rights of Flight Simulator in 2014. There has long been calls for a sequel to FSX , FSX is a number of years old now and doesn’t take advantage of newer technology. It his heavily reliant on a good powerful CPU as a lot of the processing for the sim is done by the CPU. Also it doesn’t take advantage of newer graphics cards to help with this processing.
Also the application is 32bit, what does this mean? Well older programs were written in 32bit, in simple terms again there are limitations in 32bt applications, one of them is the efficient use of memory. Even if you had 64GB of memory, older 32bit applications won’t use all of your available RAM and in most cases only use 4GB! Of course modern day simulator have extensive graphics and more physics calculations, the more memory you have the better your application runs. For more info on 32bit vs 64 bit head over to this article. Flight Simulators in particular are very thirsty for CPU and graphics processing hence the better system you have the better they run and the more realistic they look. FSW is 64Bit as its competitors also now offering 64 bit like Lockheed Martin’s P3DV4, Laminar Research’s X-Plane 11, IPACS Aerofly FS2, DCS World and the free flight simulator Flightgear! Flight Sim World is still in early access meaning that a lot more features are to come and there may still be some issues which need refining or fixing.
To compare FSW with P3Dv4 and XP11 at this stage is not a true indicator as clearly it is not the finished product.
The menu screen is clean and easy to navigate, there are tiles based on what activity you would like to do. We though it was a great improvement, its clutter free and uncomplicated. Awesome background images change in a slideshow.
In the main screen are the tiles for quick access to Free Flight, Missions & Training allowing you to quickly get into any of the most used modes. Along the top are the various other options for setting up the graphics & audio.
Training allows you to build towards a Pilot License. You are presented with a number of tasks from Take-off, Straight & Level, Climbs & Descents, and Turns to Headings, Approach & Landings. You need to pass the previous task before being allowed to move onto other tasks. Once all the tasks are completed you gain your license. The training videos and the in-game instructor are excellent. The instructor hands over to you after giving you some directions.
After selecting Free Flight from the main menu you are then given a flight planner screen with further options. The options include selecting your aircraft, season and airport. There is also an option on this screen to start cold and dark where you have to actually start the aircraft and its systems yourself or whether you want it ready to go. Next to the cold and dark option is also the runway you want to take off from or from an airport gate.
below PCSimulators.org video review of Flight Sim World
The weather setting allows you to set the time and season, visibility, precipitation, clouds, temperature and wind speed & direction.
Clicking on the airports setting allows you to create a flight plan and select your departure and destination airports. You can select your airports by moving around the maps and clicking on the airports on the map or use the search option available. When you hover the mouse over an airport it gives you the airport name. You click on an airport then you can drag the line that appears to another airport to create your route. You can zoom in or out of the map and unlike FSX its not choppy, moving around the map and zooming in and out is very smooth.
The aircraft we flew allowed us not only to interact with the cockpit switches dials and buttons but also open doors.
A number of pre prepared missions are available as in FSX for you to participate in. We tried Los Angeles Approach where a checklist was read out we assume by our co-pilot to us before landing, things like RPM required , Gear down, Flaps position, landing lights etc. which really helped us make sure we were prepared for landing. Other missions include low and fast, icing conditions, lights out and more!
We were using a CH Throttle Pro, CH Rudder Pedals and CH Fighterstick and all were detected without issues.
All you need to do is select your controller from the controller drop down box then proceed to add an action to it by selecting from the options displayed. Eg under axis select Elevator axis by clicking with the left mouse button and simply move the joystick or controller in the direction you want for that action and that’s it! Calibration options are also available via the Calibration tab where you can fine tune you controller, for example increasing or decreasing the sensitivity of a joystick axis or modifying the null zones. A handy Reset Defaults button is available in case you mess it up and want to revert to the simulator defaults!
The graphics are easily on a par with all the other major 64bit Flight Simulators. They are sharp, detailed and smooth. Details like mud on the rubber tyres when taking off from a grassy field in the training missions. The wear and tear on the cockpit panels, the lens flare on the cockpit window, reflections on the aircraft all add to the photorealistic effect. The terrain we flew over also highly detailed, the trees looked great and the fields were picturesque. We all know that we need some great views to watch our flying skills and FSW doesn’t disappoint, plenty of views similar to what was offered in FSX are available so you can use those views to really appreciate the aircraft you are flying and the surrounding scenery from different angles. We encountered no really slow down in frame rates in our review. We landed in Los Angeles airport and noticed no slow down as we approached and landed. Similarly we took off from another major airport; Heathrow and again no slow down on taxing take off or flying around the London area. We also opened different views at the same time in different windows and again no slowdown was noticeable!
Easy to understand and simple to configure, usual options for resolution setting, anti-aliasing, aircraft labels and even support for multiple cockpit monitors. Raindrops on windscreen can also be turned on and off and you have an advanced weather option too where you can fine tune the weather settings. The settings can be adjusted via sliders from low to high, high meaning more processing power required so if you have a fast system you can simply set these too high, likewise if you have an older system or less powerful machine you can lower the settings until you think you have a good performance. The great think here is there is no over complication of settings which a lot of the time makes setting up some sims time consuming and the more options you have we believe the more you can mess things up!
Sounds are authentic, as good as any other flight simulator. The noise of the engines sound real the effect of the propellers slicing threw the air authentic, lsound levels are just right and nothing to complain about here.
Settings for engine, cockpit, environment, voice and music levels can all be configured via the audio menu and you can even select a music track. Again most of the settings controlled by simple sliders and not too many or too few settings, just enough and nice and simple!
For veteran pilots you do have the option to increase the realism to give you a more realistic flying experience, likewise for novice pilots you can set this to an easier level where the flight model is more forgiving. You can also fine tune the realism settings and break them down by using the sliders in the Flight Models Tab in the Realism Option settings.G-effects are also an option which you can turn on or off to simulate real world g-effects on your aircraft.
To sum this up briefly we were very impresses with the progress so far. It’s still in early access too but at this stage it looks might impressive. We hope to see helicopters added and to check the helicopter flight model as FSX clearly lacked a decent rotary craft flight model.
The reasons why we were impressed so far with Flight Sim World
The options are simple but powerful
The graphics are stunning and no slow down
Flight planning is much easier than in FSX
Training School is very useful and helpful
For more simulation check out our sites and channels :