Microsoft might be known for its Windows operating system, but the company also knows a thing or two about flight simulators. The first installment of its popular Microsoft Flight Simulator series was released in 1982, and 2006 marked the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator X. Not only was FSX the first game in the series to be released on DVD, but it also featured a host of new features and improvements over previous installments.
Sadly, the multiplayer portion of the game was discontinued after six years. However, FSX was given a new lease on life in late 2014 when Dovetail Games signed an agreement with Microsoft to continue development on FSX and release new content. The result was Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition, released on the Steam digital distribution service.
Dovetail Games are the developers behind the RailWorks train simulator series, and they bring their expertise in the simulation genre to the re-release of FSX. Newcomers and fans who have already played the original version of FSX will be pleased with this Steam release as it improves on the original in many key areas.
The Steam edition of FSX boasts noticeable performance improvements, but it is still compatible with all of the add-ons that are available. The online matchmaking is also easier than ever before thanks to the integration of the Steam online features. While the game is best played with a flight stick for a more authentic experience, the Steam version also features changes to the hotkeys, making it easier to control using a keyboard.
The game has also been improved visually, with more textures than the original and higher-quality default options. The Steam version also comes with new aircraft. Best of all, most of the bugs that caused issues with the original version have now been ironed out. This makes the overall experience of flying the planes much smoother and more enjoyable.
Everyone who has played Flight Simulator X before will know that it featured some frustrating loading times, but this has been improved for the Steam version. Now there is much less lag when the game loads the map textures. The game now also features improved compatibility with modern operating systems. In addition, it comes with all the benefits offered by the Steam platform, such as easy installation, automatic updates and access to more than a hundred additional bits of downloadable content that is for sale.
Even without purchasing any of the additional content, Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition comes with almost 30 aircraft to fly. These range from standard fare, such as the Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A321, to more unique offerings, such as the Robinson R22 Beta II and DG Flugzeugbau DG-808s. The game includes a “Learning Center” feature to help players get started on everything from flight planning to multi-player flying, aerobatics, cockpit basics and more. There are also tons of missions to fly, from beginner through intermediate, advanced and expert, while the free flight mode is perfect for players who want to enjoy the game at their own pace.
FSX was a great game when it was originally released, and thanks to the enhancements and features of the Steam re-release, it is now better than ever. Checkout the game’s listing steam.