As this sceptered isle emerges from beneath a blanket of dirty snow, so too it looks spruced-up and fresh in Microsoft Flight Simulator. Today has brought World Update 3, a free overhaul of the UK and Ireland with new handcrafted landmarks and photogrammetric do-overs of five cities. See some of the many castles and bridges in the trailer below.
So! With World Update 3, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, London and Oxford have all been redone using photogrammetry so they should look a lot more like themselves. Better elevation information should make the whole landscape of the UK look nicer too. And 70-odd landmarks now have custom models, including seaside attractions such as Blackpool Tower and Southend Pier, sculptures like The Kelpies and Angel of the North, lots of castles, a few skyscrapers, some sports stadiums, landscapes like Killarney National Park and the white cliffs of Dover, and a whole lot of bridges. And yeah, Buckingham Palace is no longer an office block.
See the patch notes for a list of most the handcrafted spots.
MS Flight Sim head Jorg Neumann says that they have also "added compelling architectural elements throughout the region, ranging from British manors and Victorian homes to countryside stone structures, castles and churches – and even some drive-thru restaurants." Quick, see if you can taxi through the Macca's.
Though all the effort to get closer to reality does highlight inaccuracies even more if you know a place. Who planted all these trees on Arthur's Seat and Salisbury Crags in Holyrood Park? I can see Arthur's Seat out my window and the only things standing atop it are people snapping photos of the sunset. Let's kindly consider this a utopian vision of a Scotland undergoing reforestation.
Also in: a new Iconic Flight round the Northern Isles, one Landing Challenge up in the Shetlands, and a stormy one over Southeast England.
To fly over all this newness, download today's patch then hit the Marketplace for the free UK & Ireland bundle. If you already fancied up London with the ORBX London Landmarks Scenery add-on, do be warned that it doesn't play nice with the game's new London. The devs say, "This is actively being worked on, but in the meantime, we recommend disabling this 3rd party scenery."
The next corner of the world in line for a revamp is France. We've already seen the USA and Japan too. Where would you want to see next, gang - where you live, or perhaps somewhere you've always wanted to visit?