|PUBLISHER||Orbx / Flight Sim Store||BUY FROM||The Flight Sim Store|
Narvik is a port town located in northern Norway with an approximate area of 2,022.94km squared. It served as an industrial hub due to its location and still remains a vital location for the Iron mining industry, providing employment to the inhabitants. Narvik Framnes Airport is a small regional airport located on the outskirts of town with a very short runway. Due to its short runway measuring just 3,166ft Narvik is very limited on the type of aviation traffic it receives, That being said there is a regular service operated by Wideroe on a De Havilland Dash 8-100 to Bodo.
Orbx are well known for not just modelling accurate representations of airports throughout the world, but often an entire region or cityscape. Truth be told when ORBX announced Narvik I had absolutely no idea where it was and I found myself eager to learn more. Despite the amazing screenshots on the Orbx website I was initially dubious as to the versatility of the product.
My flying style is more commercial airline, international short haul as opposed to regional flying so I struggled to envisage myself getting my moneys worth. Priced at £22.69, I think that is a reasonable amount especially when you look at the level of detail and work put into bringing this scenery to life. However the question remained, how often would I operate into Narvik and secondly do I have an aircraft in my ‘hangar’ I would use on that route?
As always with all Orbx products, the installation process is virtually foolproof and takes mere minutes. The configurator is included by default giving you the ability to customise settings depending on your requirements, a big plus in my book! Once I selected the settings I wanted it was time to boot up the sim. It wasn’t long before I was at the controls of my trusty helicopter at the end of the runway. Let me assure you the screenshots provided by Orbx really do live up to expectation.
The coastline was something that really caught my attention, I’ve never seen a coastline so detailed and lifelike. It was almost like I was looking at the real thing with beach huts and the colour difference between different kinds of sand. I could visualise myself wading into the water along the shore with the sea becoming deeper and deeper. I also noticed footpaths around the airfield that looked very believable and well-used. Every nook and cranny in the rocks and terrain surrounding the apron has been fully modelled, really showing the level of detail that the developers have gone to. It really is unbelievable. From the shading between the Hangarage and the rocks to the texture of the asphalt, no detail was too small for Orbx thus giving the consumer the closest and most accurate virtual representation of this stunning location. The markings on the tarmac are exquisitely textured with an accurate representation of wear and tear. Even the mast on the mountain overlooking the town of Narvik is modelled in great detail, – even individual trusses are able to be seen if you fly low and slow! Stunning!
To fly around Narvik in Summer is one thing, but to do it in winter is a whole other ball game! Simply unbelievable, it becomes almost like a postcard. There’s something captivating about those dark winter nights and the frosty breath of the arctic enveloping you; this is something that has been captured beautifully by Orbx. The winter textures are sublime and you can even see footprints in the snow on the apron along with vehicle tyre marks lulling me into believing for a split second I’m there.
Lighting is something that can really make or break a scenery. Done correctly it takes the scenery to the next level in terms of immersion however over do it and it can all too quickly become garish and distracting. With Narvik the lighting is soft and atmospheric casting shadows on the beautifully corrugated paneling of the terminal or reflecting off the side of my aircraft. The approach lighting is well modelled, reflecting off of the belly of my Dash 8. In low visibility the lighting fades to a luminous glow in the distance reminiscent of a candle light flickering in the distance. The cityscape lighting in Narvik is incredible and really adds a different perspective to my flights.
I found myself spending more time looking out the window than instrument scanning. Each street light looks lifelike and accurately placed adding another level of definition as you can make out the individual streets and roads. I often find that some developers often overuse street lighting. This detracts from the product and is very distracting looking down and seeing a mass glow of orange blobs however, Orbx have got the balance just right.