|DEVELOPER||New Scenery Studio||PRICE||€17.00|
In the heart of Europe, Italy has become a big market for airlines across the world. With the likes of Rome, Milan and Pisa all growing in terms of passenger numbers and aircraft based, more and more Simmers are looking for their Italian fix. Relatively unknown developer New Scenery Studios (NSS) have heard the cries and pleas, and have delivered an airport that is a little more unique compared to your big international airports. Allow NSS to present to you, Cagliari.
Situated on the island of Sardinia and just a short hop from Italy’s mainland, it’s the perfect destination for people in Europe to go on their holiday. With beautiful approaches over the mountains, and a costal view to die for, it’s becoming more and more popular for tourists. With the increase in demand, low-cost carriers such as easyJet and Ryanair are increasing their frequency. This is all great news for us, as it means we have every chance to fly real-world routes in and out of Cagliari.
New Scenery Studios have been providing detailed screenshots for Cagliari for a while now, and my first thoughts are always “what will performance be like?” Any developer can technically make something detailed, using high-res texturing, and as many polygons as they can find. The real skill, however, is how they ensure that it retains the high quality whilst also enabling simmers of all specs to be able to use the product as intended. Rest assured that performance is flawless. Minimal VAS usage aside, the frame rates never dip below what I expect at a default airport – this also includes the city of Cagliari.
There’s an awful lot of detail within the area, including sports stadiums, nearby shipping docks and of course, hundreds of hand-placed houses – all of which blends seamlessly with Orbx Global and OpenLC EU. The detail itself is of a really high standard, with individual bricks visible when you get close. As a result of this level of detail, you’re guaranteed a stunning and immersive approach into Cagliari.
With a range of different options available to help a range of users, New Scenery Studios have told me that the retail version of Cagliari includes a scenery configurator to make the experience as easy as possible. Although I can’t confirm how the configurator works (as the review copy only included the files), I was able to test the different options available. With the option to change seasonal textures, have Orbx textures, and change the amount of autogen available, means that everyone will be able to use the scenery without compromise.
New Scenery Studios have really taken the advance tools of Prepar3d and ensured they used as many techniques as possible to enhance the experience. Everything from reflective puddles, vegetation and shadows has all been designed to immerse the Simmer into the detail. There are some peculiar glossy-reflections off of some of the runway textures, but this doesn’t distract from the attention given to the airport itself. On each side of the runway, you can clearly see the drainage system, which collects water to prevent flooding. I really like the detail given to the apron itself, with markings complete and accurate (note the oddly coloured runway is actually an accurate representation of real-life), as well as signs of wear and tear. It really is elements such as this that are what really impress me with Cagliari.
Jetway users can rejoice, as NSS have given you the CTRL+J options you so desire, so don’t be afraid to get nice and close to the airport itself. Not only will you be able to see the impressive modelling, but you’ll also appreciate the work that has gone into the texturing itself. Cracks, rust and mould is all visible on the buildings itself, as well as weathering. For a new-ish developer, it’s incredible how detailed this really is. I am really impressed with the level of quality here, as well as the performance. Looking further afield, you can see buses and cars all parks, alongside the main airport road to the terminal building. It adds to the immersion, which is exactly what we want in Flight Simulation.
The last element to look at is of course the night lighting itself. The airport looks great from the night sky – beautifully coloured textures bring life to their airport. Again, NSS have really outdone themselves with the use of street lighting in the city itself. It’s absolutely stunning and detailed enough to fly visually at night. What I found confusing was that the grass texturing in the airport area was oddly bright compared to the rest of the scenery. You can see some of this in the screenshots. Although it doesn’t affect the enjoyment, it lowers the polish I would expect. With wonderfully lit approach lights shining over the water, all is forgiven.
So my checklist for what makes great scenery in Flight Sim:
- Variety of airlines and routes – CHECK
- Stunning views during the approach – CHECK
- Developed scenery for the airport, with detail spreading out to the nearby city – CHECK
- Good performance and cautious of VAS usage – CHECK