- Free Flights
- Real Aviation News
Venice X – The Review by Gene Davis
There are many places in the world that have a certain romantic draw to them and I think the one that stands out the most is probably Venice, Italy. The city built upon the sea has a certain old world feel to it even in this modern day and age.
Although technology and the advent of our modern world has caught up, Venice still holds that look and feel of its old world origins and that is what makes it one of the most romantic places on earth.
Surprisingly, I have never really gone and looked at Venice in Flight Simulator until now. Why I couldn’t tell you, but rest assured that with the Venice add-on from Aerosoft I will spend a good deal of time exploring this beautiful region and wonder what it might actually be like to visit some day!
What’s Included in Venice X?
Venice comes either on disc in boxed format or as a download purchase. For this review I received the disc version. I was impressed with the ease of installation. Simply input the registration code and you are off. It is important to note that this product is strictly for FSX and works wonderfully with it and the FSX: Acceleration expansion.
Setting the product up to work most effi ciently within FSX is also covered in the manual, though I recommend just trying it fi rst and then seeing where your system stands with this add-on rather than adjusting display settings and messing up your initial confi guration.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the overall performance and you shouldn’t have to change much to get it to run well.
Venice from Aerosoft also comes with an informative manual, printed if you have the boxed disc version, that includes all of the charts for the airports that are featured in this scenery’s region, as well as an informative section on where to go and what to do and, most importantly, how to get the most out of the Venice scenery on your computer. The manual covers a great deal of information and even includes the SIDs for Tessera and comprehensive airport diagrams of both Tessera and San Nicolo airports.
Venice, The Aerosoft Version!
Viewing the pre-release screenshots for this title ultimately led me to one line of thought, and that was that the product would be a frame rate hog. And that led me to my fi rst question, which was; how well is Flight Simulator X going to run this product? Surprisingly Venice runs wonderfully in Flight Simulator X. Although there is a slight frame rate impact you can work around it by removing AI traffi c such as boats and aircraft.
Ultimately I do recommend leaving your sliders alone until you fi gure out how both Flight Simulator and Venice are going to run and then changing it as you go to confi gure it to your liking and how you want the scenery to appear. The performance issues are negligible and tolerable on decent systems, so if you have a slower computer you may have to tinker a little with settings, but with this much detail I was expecting the performance hit to be much more than it was.
Now that we have the performance issues out of the way let’s go ahead and take a look at the scenery package. The Venice add-on not only includes the city of Venice but it also includes two fully modeled airports, these are Tessera International and San Nicolo Airfi eld. Both are within eye shot of the city of Venice and make for some very interesting visual approaches over the city itself.
Tessara is, of course, the International airport and services a wide array of airlines and commuter aircraft and sits to the north of Venice. San Nicolo is a small dirt airfi eld that sits to the south east of Venice in the island community of Lido de Venenzia and proves an exciting location for the sightseeing fl yer as you don’t have to put up with the busy airspace around Tessara to get your plane either in the air or back on the ground.
Venice itself has been designed from the ground up to give it an ultra-realistic look from within Flight Simulator. The buildings and ground textures have been done to match the real city and when you compare the Venice package from Aerosoft to the photo scenery in Google Earth they match almost 100% giving the fl ight sim user a true virtual model of the city of Venice. No matter what airport you choose to fl y out of, the city of Venice is nearby and can be found simply by adjusting your view only.
The city has been created using custom scenery objects and buildings that match their real world counterparts. In fact, some of the buildings have photo-real textures giving them a very realistic look. One of the first things you will want to do is look at the landmarks. The first place I managed to find was S. Maria della Salute. It sits right on the canal and is beautifully rendered in Flight Simulator. The first thing I wanted to do was compare the Aerosoft Venice S. Maria della Salute to that of the real one. To do this I found myself on Google Maps and I was able to bring up several still photos of the real thing and I was quite amazed at how close the FS version actually came to the real thing.
I could sit here all day and talk about all of the different landmarks, hotels, motels, homes, and apartments that litter the small city of Venice, but seeing is believing and I hope that I have expressed that in my screenshots. There is a lot to cover in such a small area and I found myself with about 20 different pictures of buildings throughout the city and ultimately had to delete most of them because of space.
The box says that you can see Venice either by air or by boat. By boat was my fi rst choice but I couldn’t fi nd anything small enough in the boat department to navigate through the canals within the city of Venice so I opted for the fl ying experience instead.
The fi rst aircraft of choice was Lionheart’s newest re-release of the Viking for FSX. It’s quick and fast and makes for a nice all around general aviation aircraft to do some sightseeing in. I started my fl ight at San Nicolo and fl ew out over the ocean before turning around to get a good look at Lido de Venenzia and then onto Venice.
With its many hotels and motels Lido de Venenzia is a major draw for tourists. Its close proximity to the ocean and even closer proximity to the historical city of Venice makes this the ideal vacation spot, but you can’t help but wonder what they do with all of the people as it is a relatively small area with a lot of homes and motels all in one spot. Put that together with thousands of tourists and you can’t help but wonder where they all go?
As you continue to tour overhead make special note of the historical buildings and churches, like the S. Maria della Salute as it has been fully rendered in the Aerosoft scenery, as is Arsenale. Flying overhead also reveals the romantic draw that is the City of Venice, the open markets and restaurants are only a heart beat away as you follow the waterways and canals throughout this small city. Watch as the gondola’s take tourists from one side of the city to the other and watch as vehicles make their way across SR11.
There is also a mainline road system that comes from the mainland via SR11, or Ponte della Liberta, as well as complex rail systems that brings goods from the mainland. One of things you will notice as you fl y overhead is how compact everything is. There isn’t a whole lot of room for roads in the city of Venice and I had to laugh when I saw the huge parking garage next to the docks at the entrance to the city as this must be where the cars sit for a good portion of one’s visit to Venice.
Cruise ships and other shipping vessels are also a predominant fi xture in this region of the world, as the cruise liners that visit there are responsible for a big part of the local tourism scheme.
As you fl y out over Venice and start heading inland you will see the city of Mestre off in the distance. Although this part of the scenery is not covered in the Aerosoft product it is done remarkably well in the default FSX scenery. As you near the coastline you will see Tessera International off to the right of your plane. This area is covered in the scenery package and offers some nice custom ground textures as well as a fully detailed airport with custom buildings and objects.
I guess the best way to actually experience this scenery would be to do it in a low and slow fl ying aircraft. The Viking I used is a faster general aviation plane. Perhaps a helicopter would be well suited for this scenery package as there are several islands in and around Venice that would allow for some interesting helicopter training and landings.
In The End
Venice from Aerosoft is a well crafted scenery package and if you have any desire to fl y in this region of the world than it is worth the price to be paid. The Venice package offers a historically accurate city to fl y around, mixed in with today’s newer landmarks. Pick out these landmarks and see if you can learn them by name! Flying low and slow with this product is defi nitely the way to go.
Perfect Flight offer a free service to the Simulation community.
Please help us and donate what you can