|DEVELOPER||JustSim||PRICE||€23.88 (inc vat)|
I think I speak for the entire FS community when I say that Nice has and always will have a special place in my heart. The challenging terrain, harsh Mediterranean winds and of course the visual approach that ignited my passion for the French Riviera. You can imagine my delight when JustSim announced their latest project Nice Cote D’Azure and that it would tie in with FTXs Nice Region. I couldn’t wait – An even more detailed and realistic representation of the airport I had learned to love.
Nice Cote D’Azure is the gateway to the French Riviera, being just a stones throw from the Principality of Monaco and is the playground for the rich and famous. You can’t help but be enchanted by its beauty. Nice air traffic mostly consists of heavy airline traffic from the Middle Eastern three. You’ll also find carriers from the United States as well as inter European carriers, including easyJet, Ryanair and of course flag-carrier: Air France. Nice benefits from a booming executive Jet trade as well as an impressive helicopter terminal standing by to whisk you off to your yacht. As a result, Nice is a busy, vibrant and varied airport, with some stunning infrastructure for pilots to behold.
My first impressions were actually rather bleak. The airfield seemed very lack lustre. I first noted that the terrain just seemed so flat and lacking in life, particularly in the area surrounding Nice’s heliport where the tarmac to terrain portion just fades into each other. Considering that this scenery has been put through its paces and given Orbx approval, it is almost like the developers have had enough and rushed it to release. It’s a huge area of texturing that is hard not to notice.
There are some buildings around the airfield that are just randomly placed and are lacking in detail. At first, this really surprised me, and as a result, I tried reloaded Nice into max settings. Despite this, my efforts were in vein as this did not resolve some of the previously mentioned rendering issues.
Looking past some rendering issues, once you experience the true textures of Nice, it really begins to shine through, with crisp terrain taxiway markings and shimmering seas. So much more so from a birds eye view. I must stress the importance of running this scenery in the recommended settings to appreciate its beauty. Of course, running at the recommended settings will come at a cost for some users. What I did notice though, to my surprise, there wasn’t a great deal more VAS usage regardless of the higher or lower settings – a welcome to change to the Flight Sim world, and means long haul pilots can give Nice a shot.
What really bothers me is the inconsistent development of Nice Cote D’Azure Airport. It comes across that two very different development groups were involved with the product. The apron textures seemed very generic and lack definition. However, the runway and apron markings appear almost lifelike, with specs of dirt and cracks highlighting the old airport wear and tear. There is great detail in the terminal building and the modelling is outstanding, proving to be amazingly accurate. I really felt like I was there. Coupled with the immersive night lighting, my journey into Nice was complete.
In an era where animated ground staff and passengers, 3d modelled interiors inside terminal buildings, SODE animations and Speed Trees are all the range, you can imagine my disappointment to learn that the air bridges in Nice are not functional. I know this may be a minor consolation to some users, but considering how far we have come in terms of detail and immersion, I find it incredible that a developer would miss out on details like this. When Orbx release their region for Nice, we’re going to be bitterly upset that after being immersed with the lush terrain, we’re going to fall short of completing the immersion because the air bridge doesn’t connect.
I am really split with how I feel with JustSim’s Nice Cote D’Azure. On one hand, areas of the scenery look fantastic, and in line with current products. On the other, there’s a serious lack of polish with the product. From having to run it on almost max settings, to the half-hearted attempt at the heliport. It’s left me feeling like the scenery was incomplete and rushed.