Reasonably priced Tons of regularly updated content Lots of extrasCons
Character animations aren't spectacular If you don't do the training, easy to crashVerdict
If you want a top notch flight sim, this is it. You could literally play it every day and it would take many years to see all there is to see. With regular updates and real-time data for weather, it's something to behold.
ProFlightSimulator Suite (by Dan Freeman) - REVIEW
When it comes to simulation games there are a few things that need to be absolutely perfect. Graphics, sounds, locations, vehicle details, physics and of course, authenticity. The question is, does this software have what it takes to be one of the best flight simulator games ever made? As an avid fan of bigger name sim games, I stumbled across this one on accident while looking for something new and exciting. Microsoft puts one out every year but there's some skepticism as to just how much of a "sim" it is. Don't get me wrong, it's a great game backed by a large company but I thought I'd give ProFlightSimulator a shot. I only played the trial version but I think I logged about 10 hours.
Let's be upfront about the graphics right away. A PS3 game, this isn't. That is actually a good thing because most of us don't have a machine with PS3 specs anyway. The average gamer will have a couple Gigs of RAM and a processor around 2Ghz. Hardcore gamers will have a bit more but we'll get to them in a second. For your normal PC user, this game looks great. The scenery is nice, the cockpits are extremely well done with accurate buttons, colors and it really immerses you inside whatever aircraft you're flying. Add some headphones with a flight stick and you're there. The character animations are a little wonky but you shouldn't need those much anyway, just for some replays and co-pilot stuff after some training. If you have a powerful machine, there are mods available to kick things up a notch but that could cause slowdown in some cases.
ProFlightSim has excellent sound that emulates what you'd honestly hear inside most aircraft. It's quite soothing unless you're piloting a helicopter or fighter jet at the time. You can get to know the specific aircraft's limitation by the sounds you're hearing. Ever wonder what it sounds like to try aerobatics in a 747? You can do that here but I recommend flying over the ocean or desert so you don't have any mountains coming at you. The sound is pretty intense in certain situations and the weather effects are quite good. They really add to the atmosphere of your flight.
This game comes with over 20,000 airports and more are added constantly. This gives you a never ending stream of content and an endless replay factor. I could never have the time to even scratch the surface of this whopping amount. There are tons of scenery and landscapes you can install to make your flights even more authentic. With the full game, you can decide to design YOUR OWN landscape, cities or even countries if you want.
This is huge when it comes to sims. The Trainz game wouldn't be so popular if the trains weren't extremely detailed. This game goes the extra mile to include the smallest details including every button, switch, knob and dial in the cockpit. It's a direct recreation of the real thing and is visually pleasing as well. From passenger jets to prop planes to helicopters, it's all very detailed.
Arguably the most important part of a flight sim is how the planes respond to natural forces. Weather, weight, and of course, gravity. This game was intentionally made to be as accurate as possible in these areas. This is a pilots flight sim. Everything handles exactly as it would in real life at any given time. This gives you a lot of leeway to alter conditions and try your hand in the pilot seat. I didn't get to fly to the Bermuda Triangle in the trial but you never know, maybe they put in a surprise there.
This would be a mix of all of the above with an emphasis on vehicle details and physics. I have to say, after years of playing airplane video games like Ace Combat I was initially overwhelmed by how much you actually have to do to be a true pilot. This game nails the authenticity factor in every way. Except the people animations but that's forgivable.
What Do Others Think Of ProFlightSimulator
It's hard to find nice testimonials these days where someone isn't hocking diet pills or something but we managed to dig up a few. Take a look:
Mercie - (Yahoo! Answers)
"Flight Sim X is pretty good, but I think Pro Flight Simulator is the best flight sim out there today. The graphics are definitely better than other simulators. There are more planes and helicopters to fly (more than 150 total). There are realistic day/night cycles and weather that you can control or you can let the game pull data from the real world..."
Lisa A - (Flight Gear Forums)Bottom Line
"...over 120+ aircraft to choose from with a growing database and planes added on a regular basis. You can explore the entire world and monthly updates include real life objects, buildings and landscapes for full realism..."
If you love flight sims, are a pilot or are just looking for a new and interesting hobby, this is THE software for you. I hesitate a bit to call it a "game" as it's very much a simulation of the real thing. The graphics are good on average machines so most everyone can install and be playing within just a few minutes. A word of warning though, this is very addicting. I lost about 5 hours just fiddling with settings to see what happened.
Visit the official site for ProFlightSimulator
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