Freetoplay Microsoft Flight gets clearance for spring takeoff

first_imgMicrosoft Flight, the game to rise from the ashes of Flight Simulator, is going free-to-play and finally taking off this spring. The PC-only game will let players start flying for free around Hawaii’s Big Island in the ICON A5, a new concept small plane aiming for real-world production this year. In true free-to-play fashion, the game features lo-fi graphics (viewable in the trailer below), an option for simple controls, a persistent online world, and social network hooks. Other geographic areas, more planes, and customization options will be among the paid transactions.Still, it wouldn’t be a flight sim without a heavy dose of, well, simulation. So the Hawaiian environment uses local terrain, landmarks, weather patterns, and even foliage to crank up the realism. Redmond also promises that the flight controls can scale up in realism to “match [players’] skill level.” The game is to heavily feature new planes, flight missions, and “daily aerocache challenges” involving exploration of the Big Island. All in all, the experience looks vaguely reminiscent of Pilotwings. Microsoft is still pushing its all-but-dead Games for Windows LIVE platform, so Flight players who link those accounts will get instant access to more stuff including the iconic World War II-era Boeing Stearman prop plane.Interestingly, Microsoft teased Flight back in summer 2010, when we figured there was no reason for the game not to come out by the end of that year. We’ve waited a bit longer, but that wait is just about over. Microsoft Flight will be playable at next week’s CES. We’ll be there, but if you aren’t and want to preview the new flight sim, sign up for the closed beta here.via GeekWirelast_img

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