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MK-Studios Lisbon: The FSElite Review

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PRODUCT INFORMATION
Developer
MK-Studios
Purchase From
SimMarket
Price
$26.76
BUY HERE
Version Reviewed
1.00
Press Copy Provided By
MK-Studios
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.

Humberto Delgado Airport (LPPT) is Portugal’s largest airport and serves the capital city Lisbon. Serving 26.6 million passengers in 2017, Lisbon airport is Europe’s 25th busiest airport and caters to a wide variety of destinations throughout Europe, Africa, North America, South America, and Asia, operated by over 60 different airlines which provides great route diversity into and out of Portugal. Humberto Delgado Airport is TAP Air Portugal’s main hub and it serves a majority of the routes into and out of the airport. TAP’s short-haul routes stretch throughout Europe with their medium and long-haul flights extending to Africa, South America and North America.

Since the release of P3D v4, those who use the ESP platform have been without decent Lisbon scenery for well over a year as Aerosoft’s rather dated version of Lisbon was never converted to the ‘professional’ line in order to make it compatible with v4. Although some people were able to get it working (to an extent), it was never quite right. However, MK-Studios stepped up to the plate and began to build Lisbon. Known for their high-quality sceneries, LPPT was a highly anticipated release by many, especially considering the size of the airport which made the release just that little bit more exciting. MK-Studios have set a precedent with their last few products including Lanzarote and Tenerife South. Their latest has proven to be no exception and is an excellent scenery which makes the most of what P3D v4 has to offer whilst keeping high levels of performance and detail throughout this product.

Presentation

MK-Studios’ Lisbon is available to purchase from SimMarket for a price of $26.76 (excl VAT). There is nothing complicated when it comes to installing this product into your sim. The file is only 282 MB and includes a standard SimMarket installer which does everything for you, making the installation process quick and easy. MK-Studios implements sceneries into the sim via the old style of adding it into the scenery.cfg files rather than using the new addon.xml method. However, I have no issue with this as it means that I don’t have space being taken up on two of my drives. Installed alongside the scenery is a config tool which gives you the power to adjust various features such as the number of people on the apron, whether or not you want 3D night lighting in the city and if you wish to use the GSX docking system. Other options included with the config tool are the ability to enable/disable 3D grass, animated vehicles, billboards around the airport, and city buildings and bridges. Config tools are often important to many users in order to achieve the best possible performance when using a scenery, so it’s great to see that MK-Studios has included one with their product. Sceneries such as Lisbon can be hard-hitting on performance, especially when a cityscape is included around the airfield. This configurator tool helps those who may not receive the best performance while at Lisbon. Overall the presentation of this product was excellent and I had no issues installing and configuring the scenery.

Features

This scenery is feature rich! This airport comes fully integrated with SODE, dynamic lighting and all the features that make an excellent P3Dv4 scenery. MK-Studios has taken advantage of P3Dv4 and used it to create an accurate and detailed rendition of both the airport and the city that surrounds it. As described on the product page, they have used new ‘ground techniques based on real photographs, specular and bump mapping’. This is certainly visible in this scenery including the detail that can be found at intersection U5 off of runway 03/21 where there is accurate ground wear from where tarmac has worn away due to increased use. Including smaller details such as this really helps to bring the scenery together in a very realistic environment. As it should be in real life, wear and tear is seen across the airport, with weathering on the side of buildings and tarmac tearing on the ground. As mentioned previously, this effect has been achieved by MK-Studios’ advanced new ground technics. MK-Studios has also done an excellent job creating wet textures on the ground, which, when using TomatoShade, provide some very nice looking reflections.

This scenery also takes advantage of some other addons which help to create an even better experience when using this scenery. One of these is the use of GSX’s docking system, which allows for accurate parking on-stand with aircraft recognition. All stand guidance systems are accurately placed in order to offer accurate parking precision when a pilot is turning onto stand. It is the integration of small features such as this which really help make this a very complete scenery package. The majority of the scenery is a highly accurate rendition of how it would be in the real world. MK-Studios has used third-party addons such as GSX to make the whole experience feel very sleek. For example, not having to worry about parking too short or off of the centre line because the marshaller has not docked you in accordance with the stand guidance system. From setting up the aircraft and departing and then returning, landing and shutting down you do feel like you’ve flown out of and into an excellently detailed product which has provided a seamless experience.

Sceneries often come with just the airport, along with a few trees dotted around the exterior fence to create some kind of integration with the surrounding area. But this is not the case with Lisbon. MK-Studios has taken the time to create a detailed rendition of the entire city of Lisbon. One of the most outstanding features of the city created by MK-Studios is the detail of the two main bridges which are found in Lisbon: the 25 de Abril Bridge and the Vasco de Gama Bridge. The 25 de Abril Bridge especially stands out when flying an approach into runway 03. Having the city included brings an extra dimension to a scenery and I think MK-Studios have done a solid job of this, which has helped to create a very immersive scenery for Lisbon.

It’s hard to fault the quality of this scenery, however, there are one or two aspects of the scenery that I think could’ve done with some more work in order to push this scenery over the edge into being almost the perfect scenery. I feel the textures on the main terminal building aren’t the best of quality. I understand that attaining high-resolution reference pictures can be a challenge, however, it looks a bit to me that the textures are stock from Google SketchUp; which I’m sure they’re not, but I get that feeling. Overall, the wear and tear in this scenery is excellent except on the stands located along terminal 1. I feel that the textures at these parking spots haven’t been merged particularly well and it gives off quite an artificial feel.  MK-Studios advertised that terminal interiors had been included with this scenery package, which they weren’t lying about. However, I don’t believe that much time was spent on this. The interior is very empty and consists of a few vending machines, chairs and a couple of people standing around. A final small gripe I have with this scenery is the SODE jetway implementation. Although they work well, the folding portion at the tip of the jetway does not actually fold down to meet the aircraft, which leaves a considerably sized gap between the fuselage of the aircraft and the entrance to the jetway. When I move the camera in my sim the jetway will often just disappear, which can make it tough for getting that perfect screenshot which I know many people do try to capture.

Performance

Considering that MK-Studios has modelled the airport and the entire city of Lisbon, this scenery has excellent performance. Having flown into and out of this scenery a few times now, I can say that I’ve never faced any considerable performance issues. This scenery has been superbly optimised by the team over at MK-Studios and this is a testament to their ability to create high-quality sceneries yet keep them usable for a broad range of people. It’s one thing to create a good quality scenery, but it’s another thing to make sure that this scenery performs well under load. MK-Studios has pulled this off and allows for an extremely pleasant experience when flying into or out of Lisbon. The user is able to enjoy the great quality of this scenery without having to watch a slideshow. The only performance impact you’ll really notice is if you enable the 3D night lighting (which comes with a warning in the configurator that it will likely have an effect upon your performance). Although noticeable, the performance impact is not too significant. Although I do have a high-end rig, I do believe that this scenery would perform perfectly on a broad range of PC specifications.

Value

For a price of $26.76 (excl VAT) there’s nowhere you can really go wrong when purchasing this scenery. For a well-detailed rendition of an airport and the city that surrounds it, this price, I would say, is very reasonable for MK-Studios’ Lisbon. If this package were just the airport, I would say this scenery was not worth the amount you were paying for it, however, it’s more than that and with the city included, I think MK-Studios has hit the nail on the head with the price of this scenery.

 

Review overview

Presentation 9.5
Features 8
Performance 9.5
Value 8.5

Summary

8.9 Overall, I think it can be said that MK-Studios has created an excellent rendition of Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado airport, bringing a much needed European hub back into our sims. With a reasonable price, great detail and solid performance this truly is a scenery that deserves the rating it has received. As I mentioned earlier, we know what to expect from MK-Studios now and this scenery has certainly met the high standard they are now known for. Bring on Dublin!

Mungo Spencer

The author Mungo Spencer

I've always had a passion for aviation from a very young age. I started simming for the first time in 2010 and have been hooked ever since. A member of FSElite since its early days, I have enjoyed being a part of the rapid growth that has taken place over the last year. Which has propelled us to become one of the largest flight simulation media sites. I look forward to the future and would like to thank you all for the continued support. | View My Specs

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I know that you have your review guidelines, but I have some difficulties why a scenery with (as Mungo points out) fairly low-resolution terminal building textures, only a very basic terminal interior, disappearing jetways and gaps between jetway and aircraft plus (as the screenshots show) ultra-low resolution of the surrounding photoreal ground gets an almost 100 % overall rating, even slightly better than the really fantastic and highly immersive Nuremberg scenery by 29Palms and Captain7. MK-Studios, as the review and the pictures show, is a decent developer, but they sure do not play in the same league of the likes of Flightbeam, 29Palms, Captain7 and FlyTampa. This should be reflected in the overall rating, IMO.

Looks pretty shareware qulaity. No way a 8.9.

FSXLiveries.com

Do you even know what “shareware” word means?

I like terminology,

overrated suits this one xD

There may have been a few occasions where I did not agree with the score of a scenery or an aircraft reviewed here but I was never disappointed when I made a purchase based on Fselite’s review. Scoring various aspects of the product is a common way for reviews, not only in flight simulation. It might not be helpful 100% in same rare instances but mostly they are representative of the product so I am ok with it. As to the live streams: I have the same concerns that I have with video reviews. Some of us likes reading, following our own pace rather than having to spent half an hour in front of monitor to learn one point that we are most interested in. It is highly subjective -I know- but the time I allocate to watch a video makes me feel like I am wasting my time. That is why I have yet to watch a single video review you have done.

I own the scenery and it looks and works really good. Strange thing when looking on this wet effects, never experienced this. I also didn’t experience any ‘blurries’ when flying or texture problems. Maybe this is something related to GSX? They fixed blurries in the last update. The only thing is that jetway when docking remain gape between it and the airplane (not in every airplane). However the MK support promised an update soon for this.

I’d personally give it 10/10 as soon as this small problem is fixed.

Thanks guys for the review! Honestly I’m a bit disappointed with the quality of the terminal… MK pushed a lot on the screenshots of the water effects and the runway… but the scenery is not so good as I thought eventually 🙁 It’s a pity, I love Lisbon both the city and the airport… It’s strange that on simmarket all reviewers gave high score.

I’ve become very cautious about SimMarket user reviews, after JustSim’s several releases where suspiciously quickly (mostly on day 1) there always were raving reviews from users with suspiciously Russian-sounding names. Even for non-Russian airports.

Calum Martin

Thanks for the comments below. We clearly have work to do on reviews.

I’ll be the first to admit our process isn’t perfect. We’ve had the same review system for 2 years and over time, we are now starting to see the cracks in what we do use. I rated a product when we first started like 9.7 or something crazy.

We honestly try our best. We try to score products based on what the product is, not how it compares to something else, but when different reviewers review different things, it gets hard.

Being honest, when a review presents a review to me for final approval, I challenge a lot of scores (both ways). I suppose from your point of views, you never see that process. But a LOT of effort goes into each review and I assure you we don’t just cobble it together. It goes through a minimum of 3 people before being published.

I have no idea what our review system will look like in the future, but I am asking that we don’t focus so much on the score, but the body of the review. Mungo clearly enjoyed this scenery (I do very much also) and it’s clearly an excellent product. Whether it got a 8.9 or a 9.1 – does that 0.2 make much difference to you as a consumer?

As for streaming: YES! I have some big news coming in the next few weeks and I think Mungo touched upon us doing more. Reviews will still exist but I want to have a platform where we show you the product in a Q/A format and see what happens.

But yes: TL;DR:

– Our reviews aren’t perfect, but we do have processes in place to try and make them as fair and consistent as possible
– We are reviewing our review process internally
– Streaming scenery products will happen sooner than later

The problem is that, judging by the screenshots and what Mungo wrote, this doesn’t sound nor look like an “excellent product”. It’s maybe slightly above average at best, but those ground blurs around the airport, the jetway problems and the sub-par terminal textures are actually unforgivable if a scenery gets the tag “excellent”.

Water FX look terrible. Rushed together airport by the looks of it. Average artwork on the texturing. It looks worst than a German Airport project from 2005. How the fuck it got 8.9?

Mungo Spencer
Author

Thanks all for your feedback, I have decided to reduce the score for value as I can understand where many of you are coming from. As Calum said, we’re looking at alternatives to numeric scoring for reviews to try and create a better scoring system for both us and our readers.

Mungo Spencer
Author

Hi Sam, we’re currently working on a proper setup for live streaming which should hopefully be coming in the next couple of months.

However, live streams won’t substitute for a review and reviews will still be based on the opinion of the individual reviewer. Although saying this, we will, of course, consider viewpoints put forward by our audience.

Personally I would much rather have you guys live-stream products that way everyone can make their own judgement and you can interact with the audience to clarify stuff.

Calum Martin

I’m not going to comment on the rating (Mungo will pop by when he can) but comments like these are starting to make me really reconsider the whole score thing.

I never think a score we (or anyone) gives will truly reflect well for everyone and always open to interpretation. (I’m talking scores in general).

I think they’re more hassle than they’re worth personally.

@Calum – it was suggested several times before that you don’t score a review. You had reasons why a score was needed, but with subjective scoring based on subjective reviews, you will continue to get comments why the score is wrong on each review. Just let the review stand on its own and let the reader come to a conclusion from reading the review. You don’t need a recommendation scale, a numeric scale, or anything other than the reviewer’s words. I agree with the idea of streaming new products to give prospective buyers a demo of what is available, but that should be separate from the review process.

Mungo Spencer
Author

We’re looking into something along the lines of this, a good suggestion.

I agree with that and Jason’s proposal is quite good. Something along those lines…

Maybe a scoring system such as:

‘Must buy’

‘Recommended’

‘Average’

‘Avoid’ / ‘Avoid until SP’

With 2-3 products (at most) in a year that win the FSElite Gold Star – products that you would be insane not to pick-up.

Thanks, Calum – I agree that those ratings in general should be revisited. But I ask myself: Does no one cross-check reviews in your team – or are reviewers able to post them immediately, without anyone having a second look at them?

That’s a very punchy score to give to a product you have a few problems with visually.

Doesn’t leave a lot of room for upcoming impressive-looking scenery from Flightbeam (KPDX & NZWN), FlyTampa (KLAS), Jerome Doorman (EDDK) or FSDT (KORD)…

Mungo Spencer
Author

Trying to hit a number is quite hard that’ll please people. As you’ll notice, this review scored higher points in performance and value. The features of this product I agree are certainly not to the standard of FlightBeam Nuremberg, thus, it scored a point lower as I don’t think they are on the same level of quality. The presentation of this scenery is hard to fault, it has a simple installation procedure and solid configurator which I think can be said for EDDN as well. I understand where people are coming from regarding the fact that you may not think that this product weighs up to the likes of FlyTampa, but I think we’ve got to a point now where we are very lucky to have multiple developers who create very well detailed products. Bar the terminal and maybe the cityscape, in most aspects I would say this product weighs up to the likes of FlyTampa. I will have a second look over the scores but be assured, we are looking at a different way of scoring reviews as we feel that numbers vary depending upon who’s reviewing the product. I admit I may have been overly generous with this score and thank you for your feedback.

I thought the same. The almost perfect EDDN of 29 Palms only got a 9.1. Especially the value score of 10 is just too much. Yes it is not too expensive but it certaily isn’t cheap also. A 10 is like: 15 bucks for a FlyTampa-quality scenery. But 26$ for a middle sized airport including the city is kind of standard.

EDDK is being developed by Jo Erlend Sund, Jerome Doorman only published the recent EDDK + 747 Immersion preview video. 😉

Damn, I meant Jo Erlend Sund’s EDDK.