Microsoft Flight Simulator is the eleventh major entry in the series that began in 1982, and has evolved greatly even from the last official release in 2006. It’s a game that’s different things to many people: an educational tool for learning how to fly before getting in a real plane, a sandbox to fly from virtually any airport to the next, a role-playing game where you’re a pilot transporting passengers to their destination, or maybe just a means to pass the time by goofing around in the air. Whatever it is to you, Microsoft Flight Simulator has returned in 2020 to offer old and new players the thrill of flight. It may be simply named Microsoft Flight Simulator but know it’s anything but simple, as there’s a complex and detailed recreation of all things aeronautics that’s unparalleled.
You know those special experiences in life that change you? Those trips to new and exciting places, or small discoveries in your own back yard that completely alter your perspective? The one-of-a-kind memories you cling to and spend hours marinating in, longing to relive, hoping one day for a chance to recreate that magic. In many ways, that was Ori and the Blind Forest for me. It wasn’t a perfect game, but it was damn close to it, and the world created in that game was unlike anything else I had seen in a video game before, and I have longed to go back and see more of it ever since completing that game.
Dropping the of War from the game’s title is indicative that the series starts to take on a new direction with Gears 5. The biggest change upends what you think these games can be, and that’s by making the environments larger and basically open-world hubs. They still lead to corridor-laden missions, but the overall feel is impressive and provides scale to the world, all the way down to the combat encounters. There’s a big budget movie feel here, and a lot of the cutscenes and moment-to-moment action make you wish you had popcorn at your side. Gears 5 is bigger, better, and more badass than ever.