Microsoft Flight Simulator: We Preview One of 2020’s Biggest Gaming Surprises

With its expertly realized world and surprisingly accessible mechanics, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 lets anyone be a pilot. We talk about one of 2020’s biggest gaming surprises along with other games that take us to the skies. is your ultimate destination for tech reviews and news.

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[Music] Hello and welcome to the pop-off pc mag Show where we talk about video games Industry News trends our thoughts opinions on the Latest stuff biggest games The show’s got the pop-off but maybe we Should call this episode the take-off Because we were talking about flight Video games um obviously inspired by the Recent release Of microsoft flight simulator 2020. Uh buzzy you’ve been playing that game For review people seem to like it a lot So uh you know let’s kick it off just What do you think about you know This flying game yeah um it Is really cool it is it is the feeling Of flight In the video game that maybe uh any Other game can’t give you I think um there’s a lot of arcade games But even stuff like battlefield or call Of duty if you if you Pop into like a helicopter or a jet or Whatever it is and you’re like Like you know that’s a lot more action Oriented but this really from start to Finish The feeling of flight uh it’s pretty Incredible there’s a lot that goes into That that we can get into Let’s get into it yeah the the feeling Overall feeling of like taking off

Picking a plane And doing it in the real world is is Kind of a big draw doing on the real map Is is really cool yeah now someone who Doesn’t care about Flight simulation yeah yeah the map Stuff to me is was the most maybe Intriguing thing of just like This kind of like playable not google Earth but i guess bing Earth bing maps yeah microsoft yeah I did laugh when i saw that in the uh Like the review in the review notes The thing math was oh yeah that makes Sense um That’s cool yeah the the i took off from Jfk And that was really cool imagine that Yeah right Uh it’s a great replacement for being Able to go anywhere right now I think that is uh whether Subconsciously or or Or directly stated by a lot of people um It’s like a good replacement for being Able to go Anywhere um so yeah it’s really cool the Tutorials are pretty good you you start Off um You start off learning the basics of Reading the like the instruments in the Cockpit and like how to How to read everything and what each of Them means and what they’re for

Um there was some confusion i was trying To play so i don’t have a flight stick I’m sorry i’m not a hardcore flight some Guy Um i i’ve dabbled but yeah i don’t own a Flight stick so i was playing Um with controller and sometimes the Controls in the tutorial get a little Confused between Giving me button instructions with a Keyboard And mouse instead of the controller i Was using i don’t think there are Buttons for everything on the controller That you can do on the keyboard so i Think by necessity sometimes they tell You to use the keyboard That’s weird because it’s on xbox as Well as pc right yeah so i figured there Must be some way but yet when it’s like You know give give flight control back To the ad instructor it’s like control x And another button and i’m like oh Move my controller down and do it um so Some of that went back and forth there Was Uh people who don’t like inverted might Have a difficult time i i really fiddled Around in there i wish there was just a Clear toggle for um flipping the Inverted book and stuff because i feel Like they’re like flight sims are the Thing That’s like that’s their time to shine

Right i know it’s a default but i cannot Control this camera this point at the Same time inverted That’s kind of the metaphor right like You’re pushing down to move up Yeah there’s a famous game image of the Joystick on the guys yeah Or just like manipulating a camera like In you know like in real life After every thousands of hours of Playing the other way i just i had to i Had to invert it for the plane it’s okay Because you can understand it that way But Rotating the camera left and right was Inverted too and i just couldn’t i just Couldn’t do that I should use the wheel um yeah the Tutorials there’s a voiceover walks you Through it makes it pretty easy to Understand And then from there there’s like Different ones about how to take off and How to do a flight pattern So it really covers your bases um and Then it kind of Lets you go loose in the open worlds Actual world map you can uh you can pick I’m gonna start at jfk i’m gonna fly to You know um the airport in dc or i’m Gonna go across the world So um yeah it’s it’s pretty impressive Is there any kind of like progression or Is it really just here you go

Here’s a plane there’s even a specific Challenge mode which i haven’t dabbled In it’s like a course something i forgot The name of it is um It lets you kind of seek out things to Do i don’t know if it’s like see so many Landmarks or things like that but i Haven’t looked So it’s kind of adding some structure to Your exploration yeah other than just Free flight which is obviously probably The bulk of the game is just kind of Um kind of flying around and getting to Do it in a bunch of different aircraft Um and different airports around the World whether seeing national landmarks That you’ve never Seen like natural landmarks um or Seeing uh the place you grew up or you Know new york city from overhead Did you do that did you go to your house I i did fly over a story in new york it Was pretty glorious um Brooklyn was nice as well the uh Manhattan’s pretty cool it seemed It seems condensed but it’s probably to Scale but it is it is It is odd to fly over it in a game space It’s The pale blue dot man yeah you never You’re never that you’re never that Close Uh really so you say you don’t have a Flight stick but do you have i guess

What’s your history with these kinds of Games Uh i played i double click on some of The older ones not not a lot because They’re like it’s this is the first one In a while Yeah there was i think there was like a I don’t wanna get this wrong the 2007 Maybe it was the last major release 2004 Uh series simulator x i forgot exactly Let’s go to the internet people a lot Older than us are the Like or fans of these games who who Really grew up playing this is one of The first i think it’s a 40 year old Series and it is like one of the first Hardcore sort of pc um Long running series like i mean this With all love i think there’s a perfect Game to talk about on Yeah for sure um Yeah what else um the graphics i will Say so it looks It looks great and i think i think Anything Um i think anything natural looks better Than sort of the buildings um I think some of the building whether it Is popping because they’re loading Because there’s so much going on Especially if there’s like the live Flight mode on which is like live Weather Live time um everything like that it’s

Using satellite imagery it’s really it’s Really um Making the game chunk you noticed it in The frame rate so i ended up dialing Down Um i ended up dialing down to um To medium uh visuals which got me around 60 frames but i have a really I have a really good desktop so i i do i Would hope so yeah i don’t Worry for people who don’t uh have a High end pc because mine is i have a i Have a 2080 super and a Like a new core i7 so um Not a lot of percentage of people have a Better Desktop or i mean just housing to Perform on console you know it’s on xbox One Yeah i i wonder if it’s better if it’s Like we’re going to make it run at 30 Frames it’s going to work Most of the time because it’s built for This whereas pc is scaling it you can go To the high end where it does look great But Um i was getting like 12 frames i had it On ultra which was fine for the Tutorials and once it opened like Once i was flying around new york um i Think it’s probably the most Difficult place to run because there’s So many buildings what do you think is Like kind of the bottlenecks because

Also there’s like it’s pulling in like Real-time information um There’s like a procedural generation Element to some of the buildings i Believe yeah So like you could see like the freedom Tower didn’t look quite like Fully rendered even though i got pretty Close to it um i think some of the Textures weren’t quite loaded in But i mean i was flying overhead so like If not now when are they going to load In Um it just reminds me of like you know When you create like a huge map in like City skylines or something like you’re Just gonna Chug yeah i’m sure if i i haven’t i Haven’t since the tutorials took a bit Of time and I learned the rest of the game i haven’t Taken flights over like more Open nature and stuff um it was a little Better on my my journey down down the Eastern coast Um over the water and over uh some green Land but i think that i think the cities Probably make it Make it choke the most but i was getting Like 20 frames In on ultra um i lowered it down to Medium to get like 60. and i think if i turned off the uh If i turn off the live updating stuff it

Probably would Would do a hefty i’m also playing on 1440p that is something definitely to Note i have a um Feel like a tv on the qhd monitor so i Think for people playing in 1080p normal it probably is a lot better I tried to dial it down to that which Some games do fine but it got really Fuzzy You can’t do full screen lower Resolution than your monitor is Seemingly unless it’s just a driver Issue um it It got really fuzzy and i could not i Could not play like that so i think the Higher resolution is definitely part of The issue here So you talk about the tech being a Potential kind of barrier to entry but What about just the gameplay itself you Know i was reading jeff’s column and He said you know he made it sound like As if it’s like more their their options Make it kind of more casual than i was Expecting because you know just just the Name microsoft flight simulator to me Like almost kind of intimidating right i Think that’s so that’s definitely a good Segue i think um I think it is accessible i know nothing About flight i don’t play a lot of sims Um despite that i was able to Learn it via the tutorials i definitely

Feel like i was missing out on quite a Few things and something that doesn’t Explain well Because some people some people use These games like actually train for like Actual flying yeah and i could kind of See that because the flight the the Cockpit Instruments are all very realistic and The the terminology they use i learned a Lot about Uh the terminology and your your plane’s Attitude is like your Uh level with the horizon or not um and You can use that to Go you know kind of make sure you’re Diving or climbing um And it is accessible enough you can turn On the more accessible mode i did kind Of the Some assists are on not fully hardcore Not fully Automated um which i feel like is like Kind of the ideal way to play unless You’re hardcore and you just want no Assist you know what you’re doing Yeah fourth of the model yeah yeah yeah Exactly it has a lot in common with that Where they use a lot of terminology you Can look at all the bars and the meters For For your parts and your settings and Your gas and your um Yeah everything else but but learning

The basics it makes pretty accessible They tell you how to take off um there’s Really no penalty for for crashing it Kind of goes black and it says You know restart or main menu um And you know you can ruin your flight Obviously but then you know you can get Right back into it the lows are a little Long also It’s kind of like going into the Tutorials took a bit the main menu took A bit once you’re into the world it’s Obviously open so i think there’s a lot To pull off before it Kind of releases you um but yeah there Are There are some hefty load times and i Haven’t on an n.2 ssd so it can’t really Be much faster than that and it’s still It’s still taking a good amount of time But you’re feeling it overall I’m feeling it overall i think it’s Really cool i think the feeling of once You You have to be you have because like you Said it’s a little intimidating you you Have to meet it halfway To be willing to learn the terminology And not even so much terminology but They do kind of they do kind of use There’s there’s so much Awful terminology in video games already You might as well learn some that Replies to the real world

Right yeah do you do any ganking in These planes No no playing gangs um yeah i learned More about planes probably in my several Hours playing this so far than i had Than i ever knew so Um at least like you said at least it is Real world information um And yeah i mean it is it is fun once you Kind of meet it Halfway and and are willing to to know That you have to Both between tweaking your settings Tweaking the controls to your liking and Learning the basics like You have to be a barrier of entry a Little bit of effort just to get Yourself in the door and if you if You’re all interested it’s worth it Because once you’re actually flying Around Um it’s really cool it’s a little less Relaxing than i would think it would be Especially because there’s really no Fail state or penalties really or Anything you say more relaxing Uh less relaxing than that because i i Think it’s kind of like It’s more it’s more thrilling less Relaxing oh okay so you mean as a Positive Yeah you’re like i don’t want to like um I think maybe if you turned all the Assists on and you really just wanted to

Cruise or you got really good with it And it is that easy to do When you’re new it’s actually kind of Like a little nerve-wracking i don’t Want to mess up like Even though like i said there’s not Really much penalty there’s no nothing You’re going to lose the game over Um but it is kind of like okay i want to Do this right i’m going to take off make Sure i’m at speed Got to keep level the guy will kind of Say stuff in your ear it’ll give you Like a warning that you’re going too Fast you need to climb or whatever bill Gates who’s talking in your hair yeah It’s it’s bill gates himself he’s in Here constantly But yeah it’s kind of exciting kind of Exciting to fly because you you Uh you want to you feel like you want to Do it right it has like a weird sense of Like The authenticity makes you kind of buy Into it uh makes you want to Invest in it and get really get really Into it because it is a simulator it’s Not it’s not meant to be an arcade Experience it is like i will keep my I’ll keep my heading Um i’m gonna you know calling on the Radio and report my progress Um yeah it’s uh it’s it’s interesting in That way

Makes you think differently than you Might think you would that’s all very Cool As someone who doesn’t want to learn Anything ever again though um i’m good I’m i gravitate towards my arcade stuff And we thought we would take these last Couple minutes talking about other Flight games from other kind of you know Serious ones there’s just stuff where You’re just flying around You’re a fox with a dope last name um This other kind of flight stuff so i Just i’m just gonna do some of the games I thought up here Um remember factor five remember that Company yeah Yeah they were star wars yeah they kind Of they kind of blew up Um making these like pretty good star Wars like dog fighting games like rogue Squadron and all that Um until they made lair and Self-destructed but But uh that’s a flying a star wars Spaceship is a really uh kind of Powerful space fantasy that i Just realized right now we’re gonna see Again in like two months yeah this must I don’t know what it is about this this Upcoming Jan or this time but we uh we’re getting Back into Flight flights in time apparently um i

Guess it was time to revive these games The vision you know the visual fidelity Is there the faster load times are there I think these devs were were plumbing The the depths for uh Ideas in the star wars at least um that Was a good a good thing to capitalize on With the modern technology because that Game doesn’t look great from what i’ve Seen Those star wars games look great yeah Even when they’re bad Yeah um what about you any other flying Games you have to enjoy from your youth Rogue squadrons and uh star fox probably The two most like flying games Far more arcaney than than a flight Simulator would be Trying to think of others um tom Clancy’s hawks we were talking about This morning i did make a joke about Hawks but i Actually played vlogs um pilot wings Back in the day that’s a little bit Like sim pilot wings um a very little Bit of pilot wings yeah That’s not really a sim but it’s also Not about combat which i was always Interesting Yeah kind of kind of halfway the the Vibe of microsoft flights in without the Hardcore nature of it i guess um i don’t Know if you ever played ace combat i Really didn’t yeah yeah

Those games are great there’s one of the Xbox two red Crimson crimson sky skies yeah Uh panzer dragoon it’s kind of more like A star fox Um we’re talking about dark void that’s A game we were flying with a jet pack Not in a plane um People have kind of struggled to make Superman flight games work because Yeah heroes are hard um Hawking that’s a different game right um Anthem the the jet packs and that Yeah which was really one of the only Successes of that game Um the fact that it felt good to fly In was one of its few positives Seemingly Um but yeah uh more more of the arcadia Stuff for sure which does make it fun Stuff like star wars if you’re just Zipping around shooting lasers and it’s Not like difficult to uh To figure that out how loud it makes it A lot more accessible but i think flight Center is going to encourage people to Get Get over that hump if you’re all Interested you Can put in the like minimum floor effort To get into that game Yeah so if you’re interested yeah we Have a column up now By the time this is out we made the

Review up we have a list about can your Pc even run this So you can check that out before you Dive in um but yeah Flight simulators they’re back it’s 20 20. i think it’s gonna be really good For the people who are really excited About this game i think it’s a good Version of it That sounds that sounds great buzzy Thanks for joining us I will we’ll see you next time

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