A quick recap for those that haven't been paying attention. In the world of civil flight sims, Microsoft's Flight Sim 2000 is the top dog. Love it or hate it (and there are many, many reasons to do the latter), there is just so much extraneous support in the form of scenery, aircraft, missions and editing software that nothing can compete. Despite that, Looking Glass's Flight Unlimited series was far better at creating believable worlds to fly around in, even if those worlds were limited to areas the size of your back garden (You mean San Francisco and Seattle - Legal Ed.) and consequently garnered the 'fun' vote. And then there was Fly! Aside from creating punctuation nightmares for sub-editors the world over, Fly! attempted to go head on with Microsoft's global sim, and despite being far more attractive to use and containing some of the best cockpits the genre has ever seen, a lack of decent scenery and support that came too little, too late, meant it just couldn't compete.
If At First You Don't Succeed...
So here's Fly! II, still giving Word's auto-correct feature a headache and still trying to go head on with Microsoft. First up you need to know that this isn't the bugged and incomplete American release. We get patched-up effort, with plenty of added scenery packs and planes and much more stable code.
Basically, all that really matters is that it's essentially the same game as the first one, but looking nicer and slightly more polished. The new scenery is better, but if you stray outside the included areas you'll still be in generic hell. To be fair, the generic scenery does look a lot nicer now, but there are still plenty of mistakes (Heathrow Airport appears to be nothing but fields and London doesn't even have anymore - that's global warming for you).
That said, it does fly extremely well. You will need a massive machine to get anything like a decent frame-rate (see Tech Specs for details), but there's plenty to enjoy. Navigation is still superb, with fully modelled GPS systems shining like beacons in the night Weather is top rate with superb cloud and lightning effects. The planes provide plenty of variety (especially the new helicopters) and the cockpits are the best in the business, with every switch modelled and working - right down to fasten-seat-belts lights and cigarette lighters.
Better still are the inclusion of scenery, airport and mission editors, all of which let you add accurate detail to those areas Terminal Reality (the game's developer) has skimped on.
Fly!. Fly! Again (Sorry)
Aside from the generic scenery, the only thing working against Fly!2 is the fact that it isn't from Microsoft. Terminal Reality needs to really push the third-party support and create a thriving community around Fly! II as on the base level it's far more enjoyable to play than Flight Sim 2000. And that's that.
Download Fly! 2
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP