Microsoft Flight Simulator (opens in new tab) will let us hop into the cockpit and soar across the world next week. It was only announced last year, so it's not been a long wait, but every extremely pretty screenshot and clip has made it agonising all the same. And there's still time for one more: a visual history of the series.
Microsoft Flight Simulator is quite a bit older than most people writing about games today, including myself, and first appeared way back in 1982. Back then, it was a bunch of white lines that, if you squinted, kinda gave the impression that maybe you were flying a plane. Only a couple of years later, however, it leaped forward into the wonderful world of colour. Blue skies! Multicoloured dials! What a thrill!
To be honest, a lot of these clips have left me astounded that it looked as good as it did back then, but the latest instalment still makes them all look like hideous monsters in comparison. I mean, just look at these planes and airports (opens in new tab). And the storms (opens in new tab)! My goodness. Even the clouds (opens in new tab) look incredible.
Keep an eye out for our review soon, but in the meantime check out Andy Kelly's Microsoft Flight Simulator impressions (opens in new tab) from a week of flying around.
"Calling things 'next-gen' has become increasingly meaningless, but Microsoft Flight Simulator probably deserves it," he said. "It's the first time in years a game's technology has truly, properly wowed me. It feels like the future. And it's exciting to think that this is just the first step in a ten year (at least) dev process."
You can grab it now ahead of launch, but at £60/$60 it's quite steep compared to other PC sims—thankfully you can also get it for around £4 a month (or less if you're a new customer) if you sign up for Xbox Game Pass (opens in new tab).