Microsoft Flight Simulator Review

"Once in a Lifetime Experience"


August 17, 2020 at 1:01am
By Jason Stettner

I’ll be honest, it’s going to be hard to truly capture the scope and scale of just what Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 provides. That’s due to a combination of it being hard to get across the scale of the experience in terms of depth, and in just how massive it is.

This iteration of the series presents the entire world. All of it, you can go wherever you want to go. You can fly aircraft anywhere, at anytime and in any weather condition. There are no restrictions, you can make it as mechanically demanding as you want or as arcade focused as you might desire.

This game welcomes everyone, from enthusiasts to the curious casual. It’s a perfect balance of providing something for that hardcore audience, while easily welcoming those enticed by the beauty of what this has to offer. It’s simply a stunning experience, and honestly just unforgettable.
Microsoft Flight Simulator PC
There might be games that follow which take elements of what this provides, but nothing will feel like this first time. You can go anywhere in the whole world, its insanity. I’ll provide some context to back what I mean when I say it’s insane. I flew around my home city of Calgary for hours, just where I live. You can do that in any city, all around the world. You can truly get lost in this game forever, and you might want to. With that track of honesty, I teared up a bit the first time I broke through the layers of clouds.

It’s gorgeous, and something that is hard to describe. That journey was during a livestream, and it was extra special to share that. You can move swiftly through those volumetric clouds, and they’re layered. There was also a double rainbow that was found in the path back down, it was amazing. I might be getting sidetracked, but I’m attempting to get across the emotions that this game can provide. I never thought I’d be playing a flight simulator game; and with that, have it elicit such emotion.

It might not be as special for everyone, but it’s majestic and gives my RTX 2080Ti i9 9900k combo a true working. It makes that expensive rig so worth it, and of course you don’t need that cost point to enjoy this. The game scales, and it’s filled with options that I’ll cover more under gameplay later on. I’ve been talking a lot about the emotional elements of the game, but what are you supposed to do here? It’s a game of freedom, flying anywhere. You can take on real aircraft flights, freely soar across the sky or even set up determined routes.

You can fly alone, with others that you’ve grouped with or even the scope of the world with live traffic. It’s crazy, and completely customizable. You don’t really have a defined purpose here, it’s just about doing what you want to do. Be that intense pilot, or just go visit your house. It’ll be there.

It’s the type of experience that you don’t want to end, you just want to keep on exploring. Facing off against fresh challenges, and seeing how far you can go with an incredibly detailed collection of planes or even jets. They’ve got a little bit of everything here, and they’re fun to get a handle of. The jets for swiftly breaking through the clouds, or the lighter planes for more calming tours. I visited so many unique locations, from New York to India’s Surat.

I went past Alcatraz in San Francisco while also dipping through the Golden Gate Bridge, I flew through a heavy snow storm in Alaska. I even visited Calgary’s downtown to see the Stampede going on, prior to heading out of the city to visit our amusement area Calaway Park. You truly can do it all, and it’s heavily detailed. Those iconic building are neatly presented in 3D, and the visual depth is glorious to witness. It’s so incredibly authentic to real life, and at a scale that most won’t be able to comprehend unless you play this.

Maybe you want to fly around in Europe, or even Asia and why not Australia as well? Anywhere you want to go, head there and just enjoy the moment. Match that with live weather patterns and time too. Launch from a lightly glowing run way during the calm night in Toronto, or wipe off snow if you’ve got that condition to face off against. There are no restrictions to your enjoyment here, and of course as I mentioned whether that’s in a challenging or casual setup.
Flight Simulator 2020 Review


This game is setup to offer multiple input options. Use the standard keyboard and mouse, special flight gear or even just a controller. I personally spent most of my time using the Xbox Controller, and once I got a hold of things it was great. I was really wondering how they were going to optimize for that gamepad input, and it just works perfectly. When it comes to the setup of taking off, there are many flight options. You can go through these, or modify it so that you don’t have to. Do the launching procedure properly, or just skip it entirely if you want to head down the arcade style route.

It’s got quite a checklist system, and one that caters to all. You can of course change this at anytime too, sometimes you just want a casual trip and that’s totally up to you. Once you’re in the air there are various options that you need to manage. Many indicators, ones that can be important or even turned off to some degree if you have assists on. Be wary of fuel too, and plan your trips accordingly if this is an important aspect to you.

I’m just trying to get the details down that this has those insane high level mechanical elements, or not if you so choose. When it comes to immersion, this game is next level. It features options for live weather and also whatever sort of weather you want to create. Launch in clear skies, battle against snow storms or even brave the power of storm fueled lightning flashing across the sky. Do this during the pitch darkness of night, or the brightness of the sun rising over the horizon across the peaks of the lovely Rocky Mountains. If you have a HDR monitor, this is even better. The level of choice is almost unprecedented.

If you do play this, I beg of you to fly through the layers of clouds. You can go right through them, or pierce upwards and the layering of these clouds is perfect. I’ve been dreaming of a game with perfect clouds for years, and we’ve finally got one. It’s just truly a stunning experience to be grazing over the top of the clouds and to see the sun glowing in full glory. It’s a view that not many get to witness, and it’s also just as charming within the virtual world they’ve created here with Flight Simulator.

Other remarkable details include the fact that this has over thirty-seven thousand airports. That it captures over 1.5 billion buildings while also having over two trillion trees. There are mountains, road, rivers and more out there in nature. You can see actual animals if you get to the right spot, and even witness some simulated traffic.

That’s as in cars, there can be aircraft too with others online depending on your settings. This world can also be as detailed as you like with streaming options for a deeper level of realism and 3D depth. It’s crazy to play around with, and to see the difference in action.
Microsoft Flight Simulator Review Wallpaper Screenshot

The Conclusion

Microsoft Flight Simulator is a once in a lifetime gaming experience, it’s incredibly detailed while being beyond the scope of anything that has come before it. The scale that this provides is unprecedented. This is the entire world, available for you to travel across freely. It has very detailed, authentic to life environments that you can visit. You can soar up past the mountains towards the fluffy clouds above, or dive and head straight through an almost perfectly detailed real city of your choosing.

It was insane to fly through Calgary, and to clearly pick out all of the places I’ve travelled to. The locations I’ve gone on walks, the roads I’ve driven or even the place I reside. It has all of those important landmarks, and the detail in them is unbelievable. There really hasn’t been something that hits this spot on when it comes to travelling the entire world. It does such a wonderful job, and it’s remarkable that something like this can appear to stun in the way that it has.

The visuals are just absolutely incredible here, and it’s such an accessible experience. You can be that technical aviation wizard, or just someone that wants to take it for a spin. Those super highly realistic and detailed aircraft are just waiting for you. Be as serious about this game as you want to be or just go out and have a good time. There’s nothing stopping you from enjoying this however you want to and that’s great.

They’ve given anyone the freedom to explore any part of the world and I think that’s just wonderful. I know that this will be a benchmark release in terms of the technical achievement that it has delivered. There really aren’t many games like this, it’s a perfect simulation. I just had such a grand time with it, and I feel that others will too. You’re really missing out if you don’t have some level of curiosity from what this provides.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator Review on Windows 10 PC
Review Code Provided by Microsoft

Rating Overall: 10

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner