They always say that God is in the detail, and the Flight simulator team have proved it here. The main difference you will notice straight away is in the landscape detail, taking on ideas that they have learnt through previous versions and their work on Microsoft Train Simulator (it's the same team), they have produced scenery that is very impressive. The sea shimmers in the sunlight, while waves crash against the sea shore. Improved detail also means that certain cities like Las Vegas have character to them--you can see the lights and fireworks at night--while some airports now have the ability for you to dock at specific gates.
It's not just the scenery though that has been improved and Microsoft Flight Simulator has now got a fully interactive Air Traffic Control system allowing you to request everything from landing procedures to traffic information. The need for a runway is no guarantee however, as the game has also introduced an amphibian plane to content with, allowing you to land on any lake, sea or river.
With so many features including downloadable live weather, multiplayer functions and even an analysis option to record your flights, this is one hefty product that will quench the thirst of any flight sim fan.
While the standard edition will give you virtually all you need for a flight sim game, the professional version is dedicated to those you know what they want. With additional planes, an editor to design your own planes and the impressive instructor feature over the Web--it allows you when practising with others over the Web to force errors--this edition is well worth the addition £20, and what's more at the moment Microsoft is offering £15 cash back.--Jason Denwood
It is a massive improvement over flight sim 2000.
Still, the programming team responsible have produced an excellent product and as ever the bigger company have let us down.
However I note that Amazon supply a free book to counter this, so if you want simply the best civilian flight simulator, Flight Simulator 2002 is it.