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Microsoft Flight Simulator has prettied-up Australia in a free update

World Update 7 includes a handcrafted... Batman Bridge?

World Update 7 has landed in Microsoft Flight Simulator, continuing efforts to fancy up the globe with more-detailed terrain and handcrafted models for landmarks. This time Australia gets the polish, with scanned photogrammetry replacements for 11 cities, handcrafted models for 94 landmarks and points of interest, and new local missions. It looks pretty! Check out the trailer below.

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The foundation of the Australian refresh is underlying terrain, with new elevation data, aerial imagery, and a few tweaks to water edges. Then, downloading the optional world update will give you 11 cities, four handcrafted airports, 94 handcrafted points of interest, five "Bush Trips", five landing challenges, and six "Discovery Flights".

I'm glad to see a fancier Australia because, though it's 9000 miles away, it's a country I feel weirdly close to. Even Australians are often surprised to learn how much of their pop culture spread to the UK. I grew up watching Neighbours, Heartbreak High, Pugwall, and Round The Twist (and would skip channels when Water Rats, Prisoner: Cell Block H, or Home & Away came on). This meant we are also primed for Australian pop music from TV stars, like Kylie Minogue, Natalie Imbruglia, Jason Donovan, Dannii Minogue, and Holly Valance. A weird lingering feeling of connection to a place I likely will never visit.

See the v1.22.2.0 patch notes for lists of all the new and polished places.

Yes, Batman Bridge is a real place but no, its namesake is not who you might hope. The Tasmanian bridge is named after John Batman, a founder of Melbourne, which he had originally named Batmania. It's one of several places still bearing his name, though those are dwindling in recent years in recognition of his role in massacring Aboriginal Tasmanians in the early 19th century. A common experience with places colonised by Britain: even looking up a funny name leads you to discover something dreadful.

Celebrating the launch, a load of third-party Australian add-ons are discounted on the game's Marketplace right now.

MS Flight Sim will add DLSS support later this year for that zippy Nvidia upscaling.

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