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Drzewiecki John F. Kennedy V2 (KFJK): The FSElite Review

PRODUCT INFORMATION
Developer
Drzewiecki Designs
Purchase From
Drzewiecki Designs
Price
EUR 19,00
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
2.00
Press Copy Provided By
Self-Purchased
SimMarket
FSElite's preferred Flight Sim vendor is SimMarket. (Why?)

As per our Community Charter, all of our reviews are free from bias, prejudice and favouritism. Don't forget, each reviewer has their own style and thoughts, although they all abide by the Review Guidelines - something I suggest you read.

Not too long ago the team over at Drzewiecki Designs released their version two of New York Airports X. The previous version has proven immensely popular for covering a big number of airports in the New York region. Although the addon was great, it was due for an upgrade with our new simulators. And that is exactly what Drzewiecki set out to do. But how good exactly is this addon? You can read all about it here!

Presentation

Usually my review start at the beginning, the installation. This time however I want to take one step back and quickly mention buying the addon. Previously you could buy the NY Airports X package together for a pretty decent price. The package covered KJFK, KEWR, KLGA, KTEB, KCDW and KLDJ. This time around you need to buy two separate packages. One package features KJFK, KLGA and KTEB and the other package features KEWR, KLDJ and KCDW. If you’re into flying airliners like I am, you will find a disappointment here. You need to purchase both packages to get all the big airports, which is a shame especially considering previously everything was packed into one.

Moving on to the installation process: this is very smooth with, as always with Drzewiecki. A pretty standard installer, no need to hassle with accounts and keys and codes. Just install to your sim of choice and you’re done. There’s even a few installation options this time around so that you can customize the airport a little bit.

The presentation of the airport is pretty well done. KLGA is built in its “future version”, the other airports are very accurate and up to date. This includes the updates to the terminals that KJFK was previously missing. From a distance the airport (KJFK) looks great, accurate and very nice. However, upon closer inspection you’ll come to notice that it doesn’t look that great at all. The textures on buildings, terminals and other things are almost downright ugly and very low in resolution. You can hardly make out windows from doors, let alone text. This is painfully noticeable when you’re parked at your gate. The low detail textures in this package look really bad and are not worthy of being in such a big name airport. The modeling of the airport is very good, with high quality custom models. However, the textures are such a sore point that even the good models don’t manage to balance it out.

Performance

One of the first questions you will have about this airport is probably how it performs. A very logical question considering the NY area can be packed so densely with autogen that it will bring any sim and computer to its knees provided you turn the settings up enough. Several developers have struggled with this problem, yet all managed to keep rather decent framerates with medium autogen density settings. Even Drzewiecki’s previous version was rather good on performance.

I wish I could say the same about V2. But I can’t describe it any way other than bad. Provided you don’t wanna get rid of all your autogen, and/or AI traffic, this airport will not play nice and is not for you. I’ve tried tweaking my settings a lot, but my frames were really struggling with it. It doesn’t get above 20 frames, and on approach I was going from around 14 to 8 FPS. That’s not at all good. My sim became a slideshow and approaching the airport was near impossible. This was with medium to low auto-gen density and very low AI traffic. These settings worked fine for KJFK from another developer. I only managed to make Drzewiecki’s KJFK bearable by turning off all auto-gen and all AI traffic. My frames were sitting around 30 FPS, but it’s not a sacrifice I’m willing to make for one single airport that doesn’t perform well.

Keeping in mind that Drzewiecki claimed the performance should be around ‘300% better’, I can’t help but say the performance is horrible. Even the previous version of KJFK seemed to perform better. The installer recommends you to try out New York City X (from Drzewiecki) as well, but I’d advise very strongly against this as your performance is likely to suffer even more.

Below: screenshots of the particularly low texture resolution on terminal and buildings

Features

Drzewiecki’s New York Airports V2 comes with several features. Though pretty standard they are actually rather nice. For every airport there are options to install static aircraft. There are also options for dimmer runway lights and a Global Environment Map: a ‘realistic reflection texture showing an airport-related picture with aprons, taxiways and a distant city’. The larger airports have options for extra details (ground handling vehicles, cars, 3D people, blast fences, etc). These features are pretty nice, well done and help giving the addon an extra sense of immersion.

And there is of course SODE integration. This integration is used for working (dual) gates and automatic season switching. The only thing that bothers me about this is that Drzewiecki, for some reason, insists on using a custom key-bind for SODE (SODE default is Tab+S, Drzewiecki SODE is Shift+D). It’s easy to forget and very confusing that Drzewiecki’s airports will not work with the default SODE menu.

Value

The value of this addon is hard to estimate. Based on the performance alone I would almost say to skip this addon. Especially since these performance problems are not only noticeable on KJFK, but KLGA and KEWR struggle with the same issues. Then there is the low-resolution and bad looking textures. And keep into account that you need to buy two separate, full priced addons to get all of your New York Airports. Sure, the modeling is nice and you can make it work performance wise, but you’ll need to sacrifice so much that your sim becomes downright ugly and you’ve probably spend quite a bit of money on making it look nice.

I wish I could recommend Drzewiecki’s NY Airports V2. But with all its issues it seems the value  is really out of touch with nothing to balance it out. This airport, or entire addon package, just isn’t very good.

My specs

Intel i7 6700K @ 4.4GHz

Nvidia GeForce GTX 980Ti OC, 1440p resolution

16GB RAM

Review overview

Presentation 3
Features 5
Performance 2
Value 3

Summary

3.3 At first sight, Drzewiecki's updated NY Airports V2 seems like a really nice product. However, upon closer inspection the scenery is clearly lacking on all kinds of fronts. The texturing on terminals and buildings is bad, and the performance of this addon is even worse. The modeling of the airport is nice and the extra details on the airport (vehicles, etc) really help make this airport come to live. But unfortunately it is not enough to balance out the bad performance. As much as I'd like to, Drzewiecki's NY Airports V2 is probably not for you and I can't recommend you get it.

Tags : Drzewiecki DesignKJFKNew York Airports V2Scenery
Daan

The author Daan

Dutch guy that got lost and now lives in Finland. Editor-In-Chief | View My Specs

24 Comments

  1. I have to agree with the above post.
    I was very much looking forward to the release but was really disappointed with texture drawing on buildings and ground textures outside of airport ground.

  2. They really should have just concentrated on one airport – it was quantity over quality for them. I installed this scenery and was shocked how badly modelled it was, I instantly uninstalled it. I was so disappointed. Strangely over at Simmarket and AVSIM they seem to love this scenery??

    Hopefully FSDT will do a V2 of this airport or some other developer steps up.

    1. I have a i7 7700k @ 5Ghz and a GTX 1080 and I got terrible FPS at this airport. It is really a not very well optimised product.

  3. I am a true fan of Drzewiecki design. Stanislaw and his team have definitely proven in the past that they do know to creat great masterpieces, hence Warsaw EPWA which is ineed a true masterpiece. BUT, I think lowering down the resolution of artwork in favor of creating multiple airports is a wrong deal for me.

    All of their NYC airports are unfortunately no more than a -B for me just because of these lack of details, low-resolution textures, blurryness and more. Nonetheless, NYC airports as a whole is a great idea, but I would have expected that on a V2 level it would have been AT LEAST made in the same “masterpiece level” of work as done with EPWA and single airport projects, thus “fixing” V1’s reputation.

  4. Yarden…..I can’t agree with you more. And I think your rating of a B- is more than fair for this version of dd’s kjfk. Which begs the question…..how did fselite come up with their score of 3.3/10? Seems arbitrary. There is no question there can be a huge difference in quality between developers of addon payware scenery, but a 3.3 is super low…..like blueprint simulations or fsxcenery low. Not sure it’s a fair representation of the actual addon. What gives?

    1. Thanks for the feedback.

      All of our reviewers have their own expectations and experiences with products, however, they all conform to our review guidelines (link at the top). Here’s why we felt this product deserved a 3.3.

      1 – 3

      A category in this range often means it doesn’t meet expectations set out by the developer for the community. It doesn’t mean it’s bad per se, but requires significant attention to be worthwhile for the vast majority of the community.

      I feel the review presented above reflects this feeling quite well.

      I’ve asked the reviewer himself to have a read and comment is necessary.

      Thanks again

    2. I based my score on expectations set by the developer, general expectations from addons and to be fair, a bit of comparison to the previous version of KJFK as well as one made by another developer. I’ll leave it up to you if it’s fair, but in my opinion it is. In the end of the day that’s what potential buyers will do as well. For a more in depth explanation for my review you can also check out a comment below here in which I provide a bit more insight 🙂

  5. Ok well here’s the thing it works great on performance for everyone else so I do not know where you get that from. It may be something with your computer because seriously it works like a charm for me and a lot of other people. Can we maybe have specs so that we can compare this?

    1. Thanks for the comment. We tried it on 3 different machines (with a variety of specs) and all had the same issue. Some of us had previously installed FSDT New York, but myself did it with a fresh install of p3dv4. Because of this, we came to the conclusion that it’s performs badly. With this in mind, the review also focuses on the quality of the textures and modelling, which didn’t impress is 🙂

      The specs for the reviewer’s machine is at the end of the review.

      Thanks again

    2. The 3.3 is really a combination of scores over the different categories. The performance of this airport wasn’t very good, nor was the value and presentation. Features are pretty good in general, as noted in the review. There’s nice details and the modelling is nice. This has been reflected in the score. However, at the end of the day that didn’t manage to balance out all my bad experiences with this airport (and I’ve tried a lot to make it work).

  6. Did you possibly not uninstall other airports in the area such as Imagine Sim KLGA, FSDT KJFK, as well as any other KEWR scenery. It says in the instructions to delete and uninstall any airports within that area.

    1. I wasn’t running any other airports in this area, apart from the one that are also installed in the Drzewiecki packages. It should perhaps be noted that it seemed the performance may have been slightly (only slightly) better if you only use one of the airports in the addon, though I didn’t properly test this and it is a bit of a hunch. However, if it is true, that wouldn’t bode particularly well for them in my opinion, as the addons are bundled together and Drzewiecki recommends them as such.

  7. Really surprised at this review, your screenshots look nothing like mine and I get great performance on my i76700 1080gti

    1. Any chance you can share some of them with us? Curious to see what you get on your system 🙂

    2. Same here, I was only able to reproduce the building textures in the screenshots by lowering my texture resolution from 4096 to 2048 – they are much better at 4096. KJFK does cost some frames, 25fps sitting at a gate vs 35 with the default P3D. But the ground textures in these screenshots around the terminals are horrific – while I wouldn’t call the way they look on my system “high resolution”, they are MUCH better, and I can’t make mine look that bad in P3D. The reviewer neglected to mention that when you install these airports, you have the option to install “lite” textures – I wonder if this is what the reviewer did? You also have the option of only installing one or two of the airports in each pack.

    3. Interesting. I’ll check in with the reviewer and get him to update the review. I imagine he tried the high resolution package and the lite package for this review.

    4. @Steven
      There is no option to install low resolution textures for KJFK. I do recall this option being there for the other part of this addon. The screenshots are a mix of 2046 and 4096 resolution screenshots. This is due to me tweaking my settings to make the airport perform better. Not everyone is running 4096 textures due to the memory footprint. When using the 4096 textures some terminal buildings may have looked a bit better, but it’s still nothing that belongs in this addon.

  8. I get great performance with these airports using a 3770 and a gtx 760 in p3d3. I think you did something wrong

  9. I get decent performance as well on a i7 7700k 4.8Ghz 1080ti however, the airport lacks detail. I’m really hoping this isn’t the new trend now with “lite” airports. Why pay for 3 airports when I just want one that I’ll fly into. To DD, please focus on the major airport, the jetbridges are extremely low quality and kill the immersion for me. The terminals lack the details that you expect to be paying for. The ground poly is excellent though so props on that feature. You had a second chance to get it right but unfortunately, you didn’t meet my expectations.

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