When I first heard a year ago that Microsoft was going to develop a new simulator that would use satellite photography, terrain data accurate down to a square foot, and ground-breaking AI to build a new flight simulator, I couldn’t believe it was possible. When I saw the trailer videos and screenshots, I couldn’t believe they were real.
So I guess it turns out that it was possible, and the trailers were real. But that was then, and this is now. Because actual reality is now the benchmark for this “simulator,” I need to set out all of my very legitimate gripes and complaints and explain why none of this ever should have seen the light of day.
Let’s start with Missing Airports: First, tens of thousands of airports are just missing. Take, for example, Meigs Field, where I always take off and land in MSFS 2.0 (the last truly great simulator). In MSFS 2020, it’s just a big pile of grass. Everyone at Asobo needs vision tests.
The A320neo: This plane is not realistic at all. I should know, because I’ve spent thousands of hours flying this aircraft as a Frontier Airlines Lifetime Prairie Dog Elite Midwestern Services ™ Member. Not to mention all the missing functionality. When friends and family ask if I could actually land an A320 if both pilots eat the fish, Robert Hays misses the flight, and Otto fails to inflate, now I have to truthfully answer “no.”
Trees: Trees are totally wrong. For example, the tree at the end of 17/35 at KAZO is obviously a winged sumac. But the simulator has a skunkbush sumac. Sigh. Just sigh.
Too Expensive: The game is costing me $1/month of my hard-earned money (for the first three months at least, which isn’t enough time to think up all the reasons why MSFS is terrible). This is an absurd amount of money to charge for a game…I mean simulator… that cost millions of dollars to develop, and took countless sleepless night for a massive team of talented and devoted software architects, modelers, etc. Given that there isn’t even a 737 included, the game should be free.
Deluxe Edition is a Rip-Off: M$ is charging that $116 basically for a 787. This isn’t fair. I know the 787 is awful, even though I haven’t even flown it yet. But I can’t publicly criticize it until I buy the Deluxe edition. (Or can I…?) $116 is too much to spend just to have the right to complain.
747-8 “Experience” (Warning: NDA violation!): The 747-8 experience is totally downgraded. In the Alpha, they served Chateau Mouton Rothschild in First Class. In the release version, it’s Yellow Tail. I demand a refund and also additional compensation. I understand that we’re in a recession, but come on!
Terrible Support for Peripherals: Like tens of other people who bought this game, I spent $148,388 on my home cockpit. (Don’t tell my spouse, who totally believed me when I said I took all those dials and gauges out of a mothballed 727 on our family vacation to Pinal.) How can MSFS not support my custom hydraulic system out of the box?
Bribing Reviewers: A 10/10 from IGN? Seriously? They clearly only gave this score because they were bribed with a free copy of a revolutionary next-generation software product.
My House: My house does not have vinyl siding, Microsoft. It is brick. And I sold the car parked out front last month. I know you’re relying on satellite maps and terrain data, but there are other solutions. Both my kids are learning remotely now, and they’re bored. They’d be happy to start measuring and photographing buildings for you. They’re willing to be paid in Xbox achievement points. I bet there are millions of other kids in the same situation. Think about it. You can bring the world up to date in no time.
I know this is a short list, but don’t worry, I’ll think of more.
Very Extremely Sincerely,