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2013 - A Vintage Year For Flight Simulation

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Looking back at what's been over this last year I can't help but think that it's been an absolutely fantastic one for flight simulation enthusiasts.

 

Where FSX is concerned there has been some truly excellent stuff released this year - from the Majestic Dash 8, to the Real Air Duke V2, to the Accu Sim C172, to the Sibwings An-2 and the Aerosoft Airbus Extended and Twin Otter Extended. I also believe someone released a 777 a few months ago?  :P  In terms of scenery the Orbx juggernaut is rumbling on seeing the release this year of what many to believe their best work yet - South Alaska, as well as FTX Global which together with FTX Global Vector - due for release before Christmas - will go a long way to giving the entire FSX world a much needed face lift.

 

2013 for me will be the year that X-Plane began to make its presence felt in a big way. With the arrival of 64bit this sim is perhaps the most future proof and is now seeing some landmark releases like AIPilot's HD Mesh V2, SkyMaxx Pro and some really high end aircraft that are as good as anything in FSX - the 757, A320neo, Saab 340 and Jetstream 32.

 

Prepar3D V2, despite the controversy and perhaps inevitable disappointment for some users, is now here and gives us yet another option to continue the MSFS line. Who would have thought in the days following the announcement of the closure of Aces back in 2009 that Lockheed Martin - of all companies - would take up the torch? One to watch.

 

For combat flight simulator fans it's been an interesting year:

 

The announcement of DCS:WW2 and IL-2 Battle of Stalingrad, the latter of which is now available as early access for pre-purchasers.

 

Helicopter pilots got two great new modules for DCS this year in the form of the UH-1 and Mi-8 - among the best and most detailed desktop helicopter sims ever released. The long awaited MiG-21bis module is nearing release and the new EDGE graphics engine is getting closer.

 

Team Fusion managed to prove you can indeed polish a xxxxx and actually turned IL-2 Cliffs of Dover into an enjoyable sim, helped a great deal by Heinkill's Redux campaigns.

 

WW1 fans have just got Wings Over Flanders Fields - the latest release of the Over Flanders Fields series. It's hard to believe this is based on CFS3... and in fact probably provides a better offline single player experience than Rise of Flight... speaking of which ROF is still going strong, with new version releases and new aircraft appearing throughout the year.

 

What has to be probably one of the longest lived flight sims ever - IL-2 - is still alive and kicking, with this year seeing the release of the latest version of the HSFX mod, as well as compilations such as Dark Blue World and The Full Monty.

 

Benchmark Simulations are still actively developing BMS Falcon and releasing updates for what is the definitive version of the greatest jet sim ever - Falcon 4.

 

 

It's not hard to see that whatever type of flight sim tickles your fancy, 2013 has definitely been a bumper year for us. What's perhaps all the more interesting is all of the above has been achieved without the presence of any major software publishers in the genre.

 

Here's to 2014 being every bit as good!

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A useful post.  It reminds me that it's time for me to consider more diversity in my simming.  For me, too much emphasis on the FSX-based sims and not enough on the fabulous DCS.  I'm going to try to make 2014 a year in which I try to break out of the FSX/P3D/Fixed wing/airliner box, which has become increasingly boring, but all too comfortable, and try to broaden it a little.

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This was the toughest year in Wellington with major cuts followed by an earthquake that put the economy in the tanks. So my FSX spending was put on hold for the past year. 2014 will be the year that I get caught up on FSX. Mortgage comes first. 

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Not forgetting things like PFPX & Steve's awesome DirectX 10 fixer.

 

Milviz released a very nice 737-200C as well.

 

Products like Opus have also pushed the weather and Rex who just keep updating your software.

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A useful post.  It reminds me that it's time for me to consider more diversity in my simming.  For me, too much emphasis on the FSX-based sims and not enough on the fabulous DCS.

 

There's a whole host of quality flight sims out there other than FSX.

 

 

 


Not forgetting things like PFPX & Steve's awesome DirectX 10 fixer.
 
Milviz released a very nice 737-200C as well.
 
Products like Opus have also pushed the weather and Rex who just keep updating your software.

 

Add to that Active Sky Next, Orbx Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland... a bumper year!

 

I'm still a bit disappointed that here we are seven years after the release of FSX and nobody has done a good quality 747 Classic. I'd also love to see a really good VC10 but I know other than a hinted at Just Flight version (i.e. middle of the road, more casual), it's extremely unlikely.

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So just at the end REX come out with version 4 textures adding Wow and FPS! What more could one want?

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Good post and interesting comments...but dont forget 2013 is also the year that an incredible flight-simulator was released -namely GTA-5..which has scenery detaill that other sims can only dream of..and bags of flight fun as well...

 

GTA-5 stunt flying

 

GTA-5 heli lifts car (watch the car driver at the end of the clip)

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This is how FS2014 could have looked like with some proper investment. And this amazing scenery is running on 7 year old hardware.

 

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk

 

 

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Sweet scenery in the vids. Must have used a lot of .cfg tweaks to get it looking that good!

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Sweet scenery in the vids. Must have used a lot of .cfg tweaks to get it looking that good!

 

Not sure about tweaks, but no mods here for sure,.just stock GTA5 scenery running on old PS3 or Xbox360 hardware.

 

.and GTA5 also makes for an excellent combat sim >>>

 

(If you get audio glitches watching these vids via Avsim then just click on the video title to watch on youtube)

 

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Great little summary.

 

2013 has been an amazing year for all of the simulation platforms, I'm looking forward to what 2014 brings!

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