Microsoft’s long-running flight sim sees latest release go free to play. Download is now available! Trailer below
Casual flying has never been so easy as Microsoft Flight is now free, though offers microtransactions
On the final day of February Microsoft launched their next installment in the Microsoft Flight franchise … called Microsoft Flight. This time, however, it’s free to download. You will be charged to download extra content however, such as planes and scenery.
This installment of Microsoft Flight is being aimed at bringing in a wider audience, so as a result some planes are simple to control. Further, players aren’t required to complete journeys from one destination to the next: they can skip ahead.
The new version also offers configurable controls to help players get to grips with mechanics, while more experienced players can change it to suit their play style.
Downloading Microsoft Flight will net you the ICON A5 carbon fibre monoplane, and you can fly around the Hawaiian islands for now. More players can be bought from the store, along with an expansion pack that cost $20. The additional planes are a North American P-51 Mustang, a Maule M-7 -260C and a Vans RV-6A. More content will be added soon.
On the launch of the game, executive producer Joshua Howard said “We’re proud to open the hangar doors and present the future of flying on your PC.” He also said the game had been in development for three years, and is a “reimagining” of flying in the 30-year-old franchise.
The newest Microsoft Flight is tied into the Games for Windows – Live service, offering achievements. Players with gamertags can also join and host multiplayer sessions, where players fly around in the same world completing missions.
Downloadable content is being developed in-house by Microsoft, all of which can be purchased through the marketplace.
Microsoft Flight development
On December 1, 2011 a beta application went live on the Microsoft Flight website. It was announced on January 4, 2012 that it would be free to play on Spring 2012. It was confirmed on February 6, 2012 that the title would be available for download on February 29. The first expansion pack was announced to release on the same day, featuring Hawaii and new planes.