Aerofly from developers IPACS is a flight simulator which aims to bring realistic visuals to the VR-enabled civilian flight-sim genre, and it looks stunning.
One interesting side effect of virtual reality and its early adoption by the games industry is the chance to give me a reason to return to a genre that previously held no interest to me. With the promise of placing you inside the game-world, titles which left me cold when framed by a flat screen, can suddenly make me sit up and take interest. Flight simulators is one of those genres.
But with VR, the prospect of being sat inside that cockpit, feeling like I was present at the controls of a multi-million dollar aircraft, the attention to the minutiae of recreating that mechanical realism of flight seems a whole lot more appealing.
Aerofly FS2 is a flight sim which aims to give you the chance to take control of all manner of commercial and civilian aircraft from twin engine jet airliners to one man, engine-less gliders and to let you fly them all over realistically recreated terrain and landmarks. It’s available via Steam’s Early Access platform right and, most importantly, it has early support for both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift.
Early feedback from the game’s supporters on Steam has been very good, with comparisons to seminal examples of the genre like FSX and X-Plane being made. The addition of VR however seems to have elevated the title, despite its pre-release stage of development, to must-have status for enthusiasts. And it certainly has alluring visuals to immerse yourself in, with staggeringly detailed aircraft models and some photo-realistic terrain.
Currently 16 aircraft come as part of the base package with further paid DLC adding additional high resolution terrain packs for Switzerland. What’s more, the game’s visuals pack a real punch, with height mapped geographic features and modelled structures, and some 150 airports from the bundled ‘map’, letting you gawp at the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz island from the air.
Aerofly FS2 joins the well respected DCS (Digital Combat Simulator) from Eagle Dynamics in a relatively sparsely populated market of VR enabled flight simulators right now, and it seems to be shaping up nicely. Check it out on Steam here.