Microsoft's next-generation Flight Simulator was always going to be pretty, but the new technologies at play take its visuals to a truly staggering level. The size and complexity of what's on show, the integration of real-time tracking of real-world objects and weather patterns, make Flight Simulator look truly next-generation and arguably one of the best looking games ever made.
Flight Simulator is technically built on the same simulation engine as the last-generation Flight Simulator X game, but with significant upgrades. It also employs a new top-level rendering engine from developer Asobo — the company that brought you Plague Tale: Innocence. On top of all of that, there's also a cloud rendering component, that brings in real time tracking of textures, weather patterns, in-game aircraft, and more, using cloud computing to create them and then transmit that data to the local game.
As Digital Foundry shows, the effect of all of these technologies is an astounding looking experience which is unrivalled in modern gaming.
The game world is built using a combination of satellite-image-translated images using pre-built assets, as well as bespoke crafted locations with exquisite detail from the team. Heritage sites, important buildings, major landmarks, have all been enhanced in this way. It's a super-detailed Google Earth and soon you'll be able to fly anywhere in it you want, in a variety of aircraft.