As part of our Community Charter, we provide full disclosure at FSElite.
Orbx Hammerfest was provided free of charge to FSElite for the purpose of reviewing for the community.
|PUBLISHER||Orbx Direct||BUY FROM||Orbx Direct|
Hammerfest. You can’t go more north before you start going south again. Okay, that isn’t completely true but Hammerfest is often considered to be one of the most northern cities. The small town got a water airport in 1933 and thus Hammerfest airport was ‘born’, even though consisting of nothing more than buoy where passengers were carried to by boat. Nowadays the airport is a lot bigger and not on the water anymore, too. And who’d have guessed: the small airport of Hammerfest is actually the third busiest airport in Norway.
Now it hasn’t been too long ago since Orbx (and developer Finni Hansen in particular) decided to treat us with this small, yet beautiful airport. So lets get into the details with this FSElite review!
Hammerfest has a very short runway with a curve in it, making for a challenging but very fun approach. Due to technical issues most developers stay away from making curved runways, but I’ll get back on that in a bit. Other than that, ENHF comes with a lot of details and features. The airport features full interior modeling, the entire cityscape of Hammerfest, automatic seasonal textures, HD textures of the surrounding area, custom effects, custom AI vehicles and the Orbx Flow technologies. These features all sound very cool and I assure you that they are and look great, but they are what we have come to expect from Orbx by now. No bonus points there, but definitely worth mentioning!
The installation of Hammerfest couldn’t be any more straight forward. Simply purchase the product from Orbx Direct and start downloading it. Did that go too fast for you? Buy it, download it. That’s all there is to it. Hammerfest comes with a Control Panel but there aren’t too many options. You can opt to disable or enable the people flow and choose to disable or enable the custom effects coming from chimneys. Nothing too fancy, but it’s nice to have at least these two options. Oh and when you love Orbx’ Norway region as much as I do and you might just so happen to run the Airports of Norway package (not by Orbx), make sure to disable Hammerfest. I was a dummy and forgot about this the first time, running into all kinds of elevation issues.
Amazing. What can I say more? Orbx Hammerfest just simply performs amazing. Now that may be partially due to its size and the simple lack of anything in the region other than the town itself. But even so, Finni Hansen has spend a lot of work creating the entire town and region with a lot of detail, buildings and objects and my FPS is through the roof while VAS usage remains low.
I already mentioned them above, but I’m gonna dive into some of them a little deeper. The features that make Hammerfest so special. Starting off with the full interior modelling. Wanna wait in the departure hall while enjoying a coffee? Check. Wanna join the ATC controller in guiding in other airplanes? Check. And while you’re at it, join a fireman maintaining his equipment or have a chat with the guys over in the Bristow hangar maintaining the helicopters there. Or get on a computer in an empty office. All possible. Although I personally don’t spend too much time looking at interiors, it is definitely a nice to have and even better when you can keep the performance this friendly.
The curved runway works like a charm, too! I’ve not had any issues with landing on it or departing from it. I did notice some small bumps when leaving or entering the runway, but nothing really bad and it didn’t cause me major issues. Now the issue with curved runways has often been that AI can’t land any planes on it. This issue still persists and the runway will swallow these planes without mercy. But depending on your AI package you won’t even get any AI aircraft here, so I wouldn’t say it’s too much of an issue.
One more feature I’d like to touch upon is the night lighting. Hammerfest is so far up north that the sun never rises during winter times, so good lighting is of the essence. Hammerfest looks amazing by night. The runway and terminal building lighting is on point, you can see street lights in the city and there are beautiful effects on the oil refinery where a big flame and smoke come from the flare stack.
So far all seems fine with this airport and definitely worth your money, right? Well, nothing is perfect and neither is Hammerfest. Although two very minor issues, I’ll still mention them. First of all, the runway markings are white. According to all data I could find these should be yellow. And I am not sure who chose the font for the runway signage, but I’m willing to take a bet and say that these shouldn’t be with the Comic Sans font (Finni, if I’m wrong about this then please let me know). Is the airport now worth your money? Well… yes and no. Orbx puts this airport under their ‘Gold Tier’, making the price $32.95AUD. And although everything works and looks absolutely great, Hammerfest is rather small. Now the developers have spared no expense at putting in as much details as possible and making it seem as big as they can, but there is no denying it. Within 5 minutes of flying you already can’t see Hammerfest anymore. And flying around the entire area to take a look at all the details can be done in about the same time. There just isn’t very much here. It doesn’t matter that it’s small, but I am not sure if the price is completely justifiable for this product. The fact that FTX Norway is a requirement for this product doesn’t make this a better deal either.
Update: Finni contacted us about the two small issues with the scenery. Turns out that all airports in Norway are using white runway markings as of recent. As for the taxiway signage: using Comic Sans was the closest he could get to replicating the actual font.