Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Microsoft Flight

Review: Microsoft Flight

5:00 PM on 03.31.2012 // Jordan Devore

Though I do desperately hope to one day see a full-on resurgence of aerial combat games, I've never been a die-hard fan of flight sims. I wholeheartedly respect the people who make them and the ensuing audience that appreciates their complexity, but the realism of strict simulation has, more or less across all genres, never been able to pull me in.

Microsoft Flight has been out for about a month now. It's an attempt to please two decidedly different crowds: those who have put hundreds or even thousands of hours into Flight Simulator X, and everyone else. In practice, however, it ends up being us newcomers that come out ahead.

Microsoft Flight (PC)
Developer: Microsoft Studios
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release: February 29, 2012
MSRP: Free

It's an interesting time for free-to-play gaming, which Microsoft Flight most certainly belongs to. As the industry is still trying to figure out how best to leverage this model while still providing quality entertainment, we tend to encounter more bad examples than good. In going after an expanded segment of players, it's clear why Microsoft Studios would want to remove price as a barrier to entry.

As far as production values go, Flight makes a good first impression. The planes, both from an interior and exterior view, have a sharp, clean look to them. The scenery, on the other hand, is something of a disappointment. Considering this is a free-to-play game, I have to keep my expectations in check -- but there's so much potential for Hawaii to be full of life and color without sacrificing realism. As it stands, the environment ends up being largely soulless and one can't help but long for higher-res textures.

Players can fly using either a joystick, an Xbox 360 controller, or a mouse and keyboard. I'm unable to make use of that first input method, and between the other two, I much preferred the latter. Whereas a gamepad worked adequately but entirely broke the illusion of Microsoft Flight being a simulator, using a mouse was comfortable, intuitive, and made pulling off subtle movements easier.

The tutorials do a good job of teaching you the basics. I also like that introductory missions are catered toward individual planes and test your ability to land through increasingly difficult scenarios. In-game checklists break down the various tasks that need to be performed in order to be a proper pilot; thankfully, these can be fully automated if you so desire. Speaking of which, the crashes in Flight are truly a sight to behold. Thank goodness for the print-screen key.

While challenges that involve flying through hoops or collecting rings in a given amount of time aren't very interesting, hidden Aerocaches scattered across Hawaii were at least somewhat compelling. You're given just-specific-enough hints on where these objects are placed on the map and have to go track them down. Finally, airports have their own job boards with missions like sightseeing tours and delivering 667 pounds of chickens. (That second one is the real description. I love the wording of these things.)

In trying to be relevant for two distinct types of players, the game ends up taking the middle of the road. Although I could come in as a novice with relative ease, I didn't find Flight to be particularly exciting. On the flip side, hardcore sim players likely won't be attracted by the emphasis placed on accessibility. It's an odd mix that results in neither party feeling wholly satisfied.

For the purposes of this write-up, I only played the vanilla Flight, which just includes the Big Island of Hawaii. The problem isn't so much that the game is lacking content, but rather, the optional add-ons are quite expensive. Free-to-play users get two planes -- the adorable Icon A5 and the Boeing PT-17 Stearman -- while further vehicles range from $6.99 up to $14.99 in the case of the Maule M-7-260C. To gain access to the full chain of Hawaiian islands, you'll need to cough up $19.99.

Unfortunately, I don't really think the core game itself is strong enough to justify those prices, even if planes do feel noticeably different. There's enjoyment to be had, especially for less advanced flyers, but I was able to get everything I wanted out of Microsoft Flight without adding funds to my account. And, in the end, I suppose that's not such a bad thing. To its credit, the game does serve as a good introduction for beginners. If it is able to spark further interest in the genre, I'm obviously all for that.

Though I can't speak directly as a flight-sim aficionado, my best guess is that for these players, Flight will serve as a decently fun diversion. After that, they'll probably want to go put more hours into their tried-and-true sim of choice. Perhaps if Microsoft Studios offers diverse locales and fills out the roster of aircraft, there will be greater pressure to check back in. Right now, there's not a whole lot of incentive to spend more than an afternoon playing the game.

Jordan Devore, Managing Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidJordan Tips
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random. Disclosure: I backed Double Fine Adventure and Awesomenauts: Starstorm on Kickst... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Microsoft Flight

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Thankful it's Over: Bioshock Infinite

Is Toei using Kamen Rider Ghost to address suicide in Japan?

Let's talk about Xenoblade Chronicles

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

I’m Not a SJW, I’m an Anthropologist: Making the Case for Diversity in Games

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Dr Mel avatarDr Mel
I don't think it will happen, but if the NX is turns out to be a VR device, I will be the saddest boy in the milky way.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
There's something so fucking delicious about a toasted Hawaiian roll, smoked ham, Swiss, some spinach and a dollop of mustard. #FatKidPosts
Still in work clothes.
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Welp, wrote up a blog for that there bloggers wanted. Its me bitching about Bioshock Infinite! Again! Yay!!!!!!
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
Just finished watching The Phantom Menace. Yeah, Jar Jar is as bad as people say. Baby Vader is so cute and also kicks some serious ass. One of the best lightsaber battles of the series, if not the best one. It was pretty neat!
Roxas1359 avatarRoxas1359
Can't decide where I should upload my latest project. Either on my YouTube Channel or on Game Anyone. On the one hand YouTube gets more exposure, but Game Anyone is where some of my more popular walkthroughs are. The game is 3D Land if anyone is wondering
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Thanksgiving dinner for days!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone know if the Bethesda games on sale on Amazon for a certain amount of time, or through Monday?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
In light of the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles X is fast approaching, I suggest we start planning out a Destructoid Squad! NNID is TysonOfTime. From what I've heard, it doesn't appear Squads are region locked (except for Japan), so everyone's welcome!
Jed Whitaker avatarJed Whitaker
Typing of the Dead > all other typing games.
Lawman avatarLawman
Listening to this on a Tall Oaks level of RE: Revelations 2's Raid Mode is entrancing, for some reason.
EdgyDude avatarEdgyDude
Need a reason to support Indivisible? Shantae is in it!. Back it or spread the word, every bit of help counts.
KeithTheGeek avatarKeithTheGeek
Sometimes I miss how hilariously janky Brawl was, and I still have a lot of fun playing it. Not sure if I could ever take it seriously as a competitive game, but I want to enter at least one Brawl tournament in the future. You know, if I can find one.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I love how on a slow news day I can always turn to Qposts for something else to read and think about. Keep up the mojo fellas!
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
I finally caved in to those sweet deals, got Shantae and The Pirate's Curse, Downwell and Super House of Dead Ninjas :)
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I hope that Prototype runs better on my dad's old laptop than it does on my AMD gaming rig. Some badly coded games run like ass on AMD cards.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Please spare me from issues in the process of publishing my blog! Especially since I modified CSS to unnecessarily pseudo-crop an image, and make it so some images float next to text, and make it look decent on mobile. I'm a frickin' nerd, love it.
Nathan D avatarNathan D
The night brims with defiled scum, and is permeated by their rotten stench. Just think, now you're all set to hunt and kill to your heart's content! #FashionBorne [img][/img]
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Two more days to get in on the unofficial Christmas Card! [Url][/URL]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django has got a mystery sale on T Shirts and Tank Tops atm, $5 for each. Only catch is they're random. But I've had some good luck, got a Captain Falcon one before, Zombies ate my Neighbors and a Persona 4 X Earthbound crossover.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -