World Update 3: United Kingdom & Ireland is now live for Microsoft Flight Simulator. The update adds detail and enhancements across the entire region — including Scotland and Wales — and is available for free on Windows PC.
According to a blog post made Tuesday morning, the update relies heavily on photogrammetry to render the cities of Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, London and Oxford as well as several airports, including Barra, Liverpool, Land’s End, Manchester-Barton, and Out Skerries. Another 85 airports have had “visual and logistical improvements” according to Jorg Neumann, head of Microsoft Flight Simulator.
“In addition, we’ve added compelling architectural elements throughout the region, ranging from British manors and Victorian homes to countryside stone structures, castles and churches – and even some drive-thru restaurants,” Neumann wrote. “In addition, over 70 custom landmarks and points of interest bring stunning new levels of detail and fidelity to some of the world’s most famous landmarks and bridges, regal palaces, breathtaking cathedrals … and, of course, football stadiums.”
Shortly after the game launched, Polygon took a tour of the Thames River only to find that it undulated in some rather stupefying ways. Today’s trailer — rendered in-game and at 4K — seems to show that those sorts of anomalies have been largely cleared up. Also, we’re happy to report that Stonehenge is no longer a grassy smear on the ground.
This is the third World Update for Microsoft Flight Simulator, which launched in August 2020 to critical acclaim. The previous modules added detail and definition to Japan and the United States, respectively.
The team at Asobo Studio has told Polygon in past interviews that the development roadmap was designed in such a way to shower attention on regions of the planet where many of its customers live, and that it will eventually cover other parts of the world as well. The game is now compatible with virtual reality devices and is expected to arrive on consoles this summer.