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Visit Hobbiton in Microsoft Flight Simulator's New Zealand update, out today

Pretty place gets prettier

Microsoft Flight Simulator was already impressive at launch, using satellite data and some streaming tech to recreate the entire globe. Since launch, the team have been diving in to touch up certain areas giving Australia, Japan, Canada, and more big makeovers. Now, MS Flight Sim has its sights on the magical realm of Middle-Earth, also known as New Zealand. World Update 12, out today, is sprucing up New Zealand’s vistas, adding in nine handcrafted airports, and introducing a bunch of missions.

MS Flight Sim’s newest trailer takes us on a tour through New Zealand’s various cities, sublime mountain ranges, Māori temples, and, of course, the Hobbiton movie sets. As expected, it all looks well pretty. Flight Sim’s beautiful trailers always trick me back into the cockpit, until I realise that I’m no good at flying and have no interest in learning. Although, Lorde is currently on tour in New Zealand, so maybe I'll do a quick flyby.

The 40-year-old series is still chugging along healthily. In fact, MS Flight Sim is still young enough to reminisce on the good old days, as it introduced a 40th birthday easter egg, allowing pilots to play four older versions of the series - Doom-style. To celebrate its 40th, Flight Sim also added in aircraft from another corporate sibling, namely the Pelican gunships from the Halo series. All that’s left is a trip to space, or an actual Halo ring.

Microsoft Flight Simulator’s standard edition is available on Steam and the Microsoft Store for £60/€60/$60. The game is also available on Xbox Game Pass.

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Kaan Serin


Kaan is currently an English and Film student who spends more time thinking about food than his degree. Also, trying to cut down on sharing unprompted video game trivia.

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