Flight Simulator 2004 rocks (part 1)

I suspect I’ll post on FS 2004 multiple times, hence the "part 1" in the title. It really deserves attention, this thing is cool. And that’s coming from a guy who owned zero video games a couple of days ago (I have played them in the past, but haven’t purchased one in quite some time).


I spent a few hours today playing with FS 2004 (with the latest update from the web). As the saying goes, As real as it gets. It really is.


Things that jumped out at me as amazingly cool:

  • Others (most notably Scoble) have commented on the clouds, but I’ll say it again: amazing. The level of detail is truly incredible. What also struck me was that as planes flew behind the clouds, it was a very realistic transition from full view to partial (parts of the plane being covered) to totally covered, and back. And even the red wording that you see next to the plane with info about it (like distance) was partially then fully covered.
  • I love hearing other talk on the radio and like having some to dodge, so I turned up traffic to the max. I found that turning it up really does mean you see tons of places. On the ground, in the air…..they are all over. Real flight patterns, talking to air traffic control…just amazing.
  • My experiences with air traffic control were great. It gave me both accurate directions and it was easy to use. I was on board from the get-go (har har har).
  • Multiplayer just worked. No tinkering required. I love when things just work.
  • The controls were very smooth and easy to use. I got comfortable quickly, and after a flight or two felt good enough to turn up the realism some (although not yet a lot, I'm working on it).
  • Ok so I’m running on fast hardware at home (P4 3.2 HT with 2gb of ram, a 250GB SATA hard drive and an ATI Radeon X800 SE with 128MB of memory) but I’ve still gotta say that the performance was amazing. I cranked up the realism & traffic, and it was still lightning fast. No hesitation at any point, period.


Some items for me to investigate:

  • I need to play more with multiple monitor support. It wasn’t comfortable, yet. I suspect that I was the failure here though, not the software. I’ll report back on this.
  • When playing with a friend over the ‘net, we had a lot of trouble flying together. We were both looking for a radar of sorts that helps us find one another (maybe moving dots on the GPS screen would be best?). Perhaps it exists? I don’t know, need to look around.
  • I heard there’s an SDK. I need to play with that. :)

Help on those 3 items welcomed, I'm still new in the Flight Simulator space.