Phew!Reality check, (Pinching my arm…)
Check out those waves! I just came back to reality from trying Microsofts Flight Simulator X demo.To start off with; I’ve been into Flight Simulation for years, and I’m currently in the progress of building my own cockpit for FS2004. That means i have been tweaking FS2004 to my heart’s content the last 2 years. I feel I know everything there is to know about addons and how to get the most of that installment. I had seen some demo footage of FSX before but I didn’t believe that the change to FSX from FS2004 would be so dramatic.
The computer I tested the demo on is old. By that I mean it’s a 1.3gig AMD Thunderbird, 348MB ram, with a Radeon 9550 Graphics card. I didn’t even think it would run the demo, but it did! Framerates were at times completely satisfactory for some non-precision flying. One thing that might have saved the game was the fact that the video card has 256MB onboard memory.
(Edit: I later tried on a faster machine, Athlon XP 3000+ , 1Gig ram, Radeon 9800 128MB card, and the framerate was almost worse. So graphics card memory seems crucial for this game!)
I started up with the introductory flight, and the default display settings were at some kind of medium settings. The scenery looked nice, perhaps a bit better than FS2004, but it also ran slightly slower on this machine than I’d say it runs if I turn up the settings in FS2004.I took a few turns in the DeHavilland amphibian plane, and then decided to go and up the display settings.
First thing I tried was the aircraft self shadowing. Low and behold, it worked on my Radeon 9550 Card! It truly brings life to the aircraft, I remember turning off the taxiway after a landing, and I had shadows move over the virtual cockpit, litting it with the reddish setting sun. Holy Crap! Even the knobs in the cockpit and the gauges left trailing shadows on the instrument panel. From the outside the effects were just as good!
The second thing I tried was the Water. I turned it up to 2.X High settings, and took off. Remember the old FS2004 water addons that really spiced the water up? Remember though that it had problems with tiling, and repetitive motion? Well forget about that. And the framerate? Longer loading times but Hardly any less fps. A pretty steady 19fps! The water was smooth, and had little creases in it just like in real life. The wave action was terriffic, and when I landed, the Plane reflected itself in the water in an amazing way. Check this out:
Click on the picture to get a larger view.
That’s all for now folks, with graphics like that I’m gonna practice some water landings. Stay tunded for more info!