At last, I'll be able to fly over my local Aldi, and take in sumptuous, grey steelworks just down the road. And I'm getting excited because Microsoft Flight Simulator's third World Update arrives on 16th February, bringing many UK and Ireland landmarks, as well as five new photogrammetry cities to the game.
Developers Asobo Studio announced the news on Twitter yesterday, saying "World Update 3 is in its final polish phase and is now locked in for release on Tuesday, February 16th. The team is putting the finishing touches on all aspects of this massive update, and we appreciate your continued patience."
World Update 3 is a major one. London, Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, and Bristol are getting the photogrammetry treatment. Over 70 new points of interest are being added, as well as five new airports. On top of this, there are improvements to 85 area airports, new landing challenges, and better elevation data across the UK.
Skip to 18:18 in the video below for a little teaser trailer of the UK update.
Most of the game's planet was generated using map data, leading to mishaps like Buckingham Palace looking like an office block. While 341 cities were enhanced with photogrammetry, which uses images to make places actually look like their real-life counterparts, only two were in the UK. Now Asobo are polishing the planet with World Updates (refreshing Japan and the USA so far), it's good to see more local cities join the photorealistic ranks and look very nice indeed.
Out of all these, I'm most excited to visit Bristol as I went to uni there. I'd like to fly over Lizard Lounge and thank it for the fun (horrid) nights out I had in its sweat-lined walls and sticky floors (they were so sticky). I'll raise a glass of toffee vodka and blair Mr. Brightside as I swoop past. Chin chin to fun (horrid) times.
As a palate cleanser, the lovely-looking Snowdonia National Park in Wales, or basically all of Scotland and Ireland's sweeping countryside will do the trick.
Where to after the UK? Asobo have confirmed that World Update 4 is heading to France, and is due to launch towards the end of March.