Flight Simulator X: Lancaster
As with most PC games, the longevity of any title is down to the mod community. Flight Simulator X is one of those titles, with First Class Simulators releasing a staggering amount of add-ons to keep you playing this epic simulator and to let fans have a go on some of their favourite aircraft.
The Flight Simulator X Lancaster CD allows us have a go at the many incarnations of the legendary Avro Lancaster Bomber. There are ten aircraft to choose from including the Avro Lancaster B.1 and the MR3, with each one having being painstakingly recreated by fans and experts of this classic plane.
Just from the initial walk around each plane on the runway is a testament to this, with deep detail on the liveries and the crew members in their respected places. Get in the cockpit and you’re in for even more of a treat, with a full virtual cockpit showing the hundreds of dials and switches. Even a simple exercise like starting the engine brought a little smile to my face with each of the four propellers starting in succession with a little splutter, finally once all for a roaring with life you begin a dream flight.
Due to the size of the Lancaster it handles very slowly so pre-planning each movement is essential or you will overfly a landing strip or, like myself bank too hard and crash into the fields, however once in the zone it handles to your every command. Though the ability to use ten planes on free flight is the main draw here there are also two missions to test your skills when used with Flight Simulator X.
There is a Lancaster tutorial giving you the chance to see what this beauty can do plus a supply drop practice run where you have to fly in at treetop level, testing your nerve and flight skills to the limit. Only having two missions is a little light so depending on what sort of gamer you are bear that in mind.
The disc box advertises that there are plenty of other missions at www.firstclass-simulations.com but sadly none are available at the time of this review. The Lancaster was always one of the more fascinating planes during the WWII era, along with the Spitfire this was the back-bone of the Air Force during the war and First Class Simulators offers you a chance to fly a larger, more tactically flown plane, but with just 10 models and a couple of missions this is really aimed squarely at fans of this classic plane.