For those of you with Windows PCs, here’s my first video overview of Alaska, where towards the end you can also see how TrackIR works within the sim. It’s all filmed live, with me talking on the ‘fly’ - no pun intended – so please forgive the unscripted nature of the flight! I gotta work out how to get my voice recorded by Fraps without it playing back in my headset. It’s rather strange talking & hearing your own voice, it might explain the long pronounciations sometimes. I am not drunk. Or so he says..
A number of you have already pointed out some flaws in the Alaska scenery, like the too-smooth terrain and no further ‘deluxe’ planes with cockpits. I can confirm that in-sim, the simplified terrain is really not that obvious, and up close with all the trees, hardly noticeable. I too am frustrated at the lack of aircraft with cockpits, however something in me says that they will release more very soon, with the very capable Carbon Cub surely to receive a payware upgrade. Yowsers, that Cub can certainly climb fast!
Although I really love this pack (plus the price, $15!), I’ve also noticed more shortfalls that I’m sure they’ll work on in the near future. As usual, I find the roads empty and lifeless, the odd moving car or person would really add to the immersion. Same with birds or other animals. Such a gobsmackingly gorgeous area, it should be full of life. FPS should not be an issue. Even since I mentioned some problems I had early on in the video, today I’ve found the fps to be stellar, well over 30 in even the most built up areas, with close to max settings (actually, max for everything other than scenery detail, second-highest). So there is room to move. Ha, and that’s before I double my GPU performance with a GTX670 at the end of this year maybe.
Maybe it’s the more varied climate of Alaska, but the major feature I’ve noticed upon this release is the advantage of having very discrete seasonal textures. Below are some comparison pictures I took to attempt the comparison of the different ‘looks’ used in the seasons. I can see three distinct, quite different looks for the seasons. Winter and Summer obviously (has there ever been such a stark difference in any sim?!), however autumn/Fall I find absolutely gorgeous, with the varied colouring of the trees and darker saturation of the terrain. Great stuff.
Some other pics with explanations are further down as well, I got carried away per usual with my screenshots!
Guess which season this is? You can see the smooth terrain in the background, but the foreground dominates when flying:
Just a pic I liked. Every tree has a shadow
Ah finally, a nice Fall shot:
Yes, Xplane’s night scenery and lighting is much better. This is ok, needs to be darker I feel. Then again, it was a full moon: