A bit over a year ago, Orbx released FTX Germany North. Luckily for us, Germany is once again reunited. Almost a year after the release of FTX Germany North, Orbx has released FTX Germany South. And in this review you’ll find out if it is as good as its counterpart.
Regions are a bit different to review. There isn’t a small, confined area that you can look around at. Germany South is large, and discovering all of its landmarks and beautiful areas will take your hours, if not days. It doesn’t help that Orbx has put in an amazing amount of detail, too. Don’t get me wrong: it’s absolutely great.
Installation with Orbx is done through FTX Central. After downloading, the manual and configurator can be easily found through this tool. The configurator comes with a nice set of options to make the area more or less detailed. This will no doubt come in handy to save some performance and turn off the things you don’t really need. For the purpose of this review, I turned everything on.
Orbx Germany South is a product of absolutely beauty. You’d expect an addon of the size of Germany South to be less detailed. Nothing could be further from the truth. No matter which part of the region you’re in: details are all over the place. It can be a mining quarry, an antenna station, power plants or the wind turbines that are planted all over Germany. It also doesn’t matter what season you fly in. Summer gives you a nice green “cushion” of treetops whereas autumn gives you a spectacular yellow-red colour palette and winter looks amazing with its slightly snow-covered trees.
Taken into account the incredible amount of detail that Orbx has incorporated into this scenery, the performance is definitely a point of attention – in a positive way, that is. For the most part this scenery performs excellent. I had no noticeable issues flying in and out of Germany. A few minor stutters here and there, most noticeable when flying over big cities such as Frankfurt, Munich or Cologne. Be aware that there are some compatibility issues with third party addons, and you may need to rename a few files to make most of them work properly.
So the performance is fine, at least, until you try doing some long haul flights. I wasn’t able to complete a single flight as soon as Germany was loaded. I was able to prevent these crashes by turning off some of the details in the Germany South control panel, and lowering my settings a slight bit. I can’t really blame Orbx though: FTX Germany South, with all it’s detail, was not really made for long haul flights in big, detailed planes. This product was made for short range and/or GA flights. And that’s where it is its money worth most. Flying low and slow to take in the beauty of the nature around you, or flying over some cities trying to recognise the landmarks. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t slightly disappointed that my sim crashed, but it wasn’t completely unexpected either.
Germany South comes with a whole array of features. Most of these can be toggled in the products control panel in FTX Central. There are windfarm turbines, railroad stations, chimneys, cooling towers, antenna’s, power lines and power stations and much more of these. Having explored quite a bit in Germany in real life, these landmarks make me really remember the country the way it is. There are wind turbines everywhere, just like power lines and antenna’s. In this aspect, Orbx’ region is really on point. Germany South also comes with some other, probably lesser familiar landmarks. Here you can think of piers, yacht harbours but also pit mines. For the latter, Orbx has added photoreal imagery.
There are two more options for GA and passenger AI traffic, and more realistic seasonal textures. This simply means more diversity in textures but looks really nice.
Moving on, I want to mention Orbx ‘enhanced airports’. Some of the large and medium sized airports in this region have gotten a true Orbx make-over. This doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly see incredibly detailed airports as you might expect in their airport addons. It does mean they’ve updated the airports though. Flying into these, you can expect realistic runways and taxiways. They will also contain buildings, People Flow and static vehicles. I’ve flown into these airports quite a few times. Now I’m easily satisfied and don’t mind flying into ‘default’ airports at all. But the make-over some of the airports have gotten through Orbx makes these airports so much better that I’ll definitely think again before dropping a lot of money on a single airport.
And of course, Orbx has also put a lot of time and effort in making every city as detailed and realistic as possible. And they’ve done an amazing job. Buildings, landmarks, bridges, parks, railway stations, football stadiums, houses (in their German style); everything is here. The cities look great.
At $54.95 AUD Orbx Germany South is not cheap. But it is well worth it’s money. If you fly in and out of Germany, this scenery is probably an absolute must-have. It’s beautiful, packed with details and incredibly extensive.
If you’re less of an avid Germany flyer, this addon is probably still very well worth it’s money. Everything looks amazing, and I am convinced that after a few flights you’ll be in love with the area as much as I am. The only real drawback here is that Orbx Germany comes in two separate parts, and to complete your Germany experience you need to pay a lot of money. I’m not a big fan of this approach. Having that said, I have not regretted dropping money on Orbx Germany North after having played around with South.