Microsoft's Eagerly Awaited Flight Simulator
Pilot|October 2020
Microsoft's Eagerly Awaited Flight Simulator
Microsoft FS 2020 Xbox & PC flight simulator www.microsoft.com £59.99
Ian Meredith

Few will not have seen a YouTube video and will share the impression FS2020 must be the ‘game changer’ it is claimed to be, but does the experience match the hype? There is too much to the new sim to cover everything in a single ‘Books & Gear’ review, but these are my initial impressions.

Microsoft has clearly learned from the past and intends that FS2020 will appeal to both the gamer and the serious user. So, is it a simulator or is it a game? Being designed to run on an Xbox, some of the interface to load and configure it works fine and is visually appealing, though perhaps designed with an Xbox games controller in mind, it could have been more compact if only intended for mouse/PC interaction. The interface in the game itself is OK, but does not mirror the short-cut keys of the old FSX sim and this can be frustrating. Mouse-based view control seems great but can be tricky on a slow PC, as there is nothing worse than finding oneself stuck looking at the floor just as the stall warning sounds.

By default, the cockpit echoes the small movements of the aircraft in turbulence and attitude changes, and does so far more than it did in FSX. The experience is more like Xplane, making it at times excruciatingly difficult to keep the cursor over a button or knob on the instrument panel. As yet I can find no 2-D instrument views. This is a problem as it means one cannot use a separate monitor to replicate a flat instrument panel in a multimonitor setup.

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October 2020