As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favourtism. Don’t forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you have a read.
Digital Design, the scenery developers who brought us St Petersburg and Salzburg, have now come along with their next scenery: Leipzig, which is the 13th largest airport in Germany for passenger numbers and the second largest for cargo. The airport is located in East Germany, serving the cities of both Leipzig and Halle. In terms of passengers, the airport is served mainly by low-cost airlines such as Thomas Cook, SunExpress and Eurowings; other airlines including Lufthansa and Austrian opt to fly to Frankfurt and Vienna. Although passengers are important to the airport, Leipzig currently is the 5th largest cargo handler in Europe, handling more than 850,000 tons of cargo in 2015. The airport serves cargo airlines such as Polar Cargo, UPS and even NATO. This provides for a huge route variety across the globe catering to all divisions of aviation: commercial, cargo and military.
The development team have created a stunning rendition of Leipzig, modelling and texturing the airport down to extreme levels of detail. This even includes exquisite details such as signs within the passenger terminal. In order to write an accurate review, I spent some time wandering around the scenery to observe the detail and accuracy that Digital Design has created. In my sim I use 4K textures, which Leipzig encapsulates very well, showing off a crisp and detailed design running throughout the scenery. It’s often the finer details that push a scenery over the line for me and this product certainly is not short of that, featuring seasonal changes, SODE jetways, tarmac effects and animated vehicles across the airport.
Installation of this scenery is simple as it comes with the common SimMarket installer which is seen for many sceneries across flight simulation. This involves a simple activation process and then the scenery will be installed. There is no configuration tool provided, but in my opinion this is not needed. I often find myself using a scenery configurator to optimise performance, but the performance at this scenery is stellar and in my opinion a configurator would not be much use at this airport. When flying into this scenery with the FSLabs A320 – which many know is not the world’s best performing aircraft – I had roughly 30 FPS with more than sufficient memory remaining. The scenery performs even better when using a lighter performing aircraft such as the PMDG 747 QOTS II, where I received upwards of 40 FPS on the ground during both daytime and nighttime.
The depth of this scenery is admirable. Digital Design have spared no detail in the creation of this scenery and that is obvious when taking an in-depth look around this airport. Obviously the airport as a whole is spectacularly modelled. But as mentioned earlier, it’s the smaller details that really push this scenery over the mark. A feature that is great to see being added to more sceneries is SODE jetway compatibility. SODE is a tool that allows not only more than one jetway to attach, but also aligns them perfectly up to the aircraft doors. This gets a big thumbs up from me. Another excellent detail that shows the depth of this scenery is the modelling of the terminal interiors. As mentioned earlier, the passenger terminal at this scenery has been modelled to such a high level that you can even read the signs that are inside it. The feature list goes on but these are two features that really stand out for myself.
This scenery integrates very well into the environment that surrounds it. Using Orbx openLC Europe, the scenery slotted in perfectly to the surrounding area allowing for a seamless experience. Of course, this also means that night lighting slots in equally well. The night lighting used at this scenery is stunning in its own right,but when mixed with Orbx openLC Europe’s night lighting, a whole new dimension arises. With the lights flowing perfectly off into the distance, the actual airport night lighting itself is excellent. The apron, taxiway and runway lighting is completely accurate. The scenery works natively in P3D v3 but not in v4. This means dynamic lighting is not supported in P3D v4, but the lighting is still excellent either way.
The cost of this scenery is $25.00 excluding VAT. Do I think it’s worth this price? Definitely. It’s priced competitively: not too expensive and not too cheap. With quality that I would call close to or even better than FlyTampa and Taxi2Gate, this price is definitely justified. Considering what you get, this scenery holds great value for money. This scenery is not only well designed, but is also full of unexpected, beautiful, and intricate details.