Microsoft Flight sets a free course for PC in 2012

When people talk about the freedom of flight, they’re typically referring to the feeling of leaving the world far below, of soaring and diving with the birds, and of enjoying some of the best views on the planet.

When people talk about the freedom of Microsoft Flight, on the other hand, they’re referring to the publisher’s upcoming flight simulator, which offers many of the same benefits – but without the restrictive price tag that comes with your own plane.

Instead, Microsoft Flight is a fully-functioning PC flight sim, out later this year, giving gamers the ability to glide, zoom and drift through the skies over Hawaii’s Big Island, completing missions, taking on challenges and finding hidden secrets. And, did we mention, it’s all totally free?

Joshua Howard, executive producer of Microsoft Flight explains:

Many people dream of flying, but few have the chance to experience the fun of exploring the world from above. Microsoft Flight provides players the opportunity to explore that curiosity and interest. Aviation can be incredibly technical, but we’ve taken great care to build an experience that makes taking to the skies thrilling and accessible for everyone.

The in-game world includes some super-realistic representations of our planet – complete with foliage, terrain, landmarks and even region-specific weather patterns. If you want to enjoy it to the full, step outside your cockpit and control the plane via an exterior perspective – or for something slightly more authentic, pop back inside and enjoy the beautifully rendered, highly accurate piloting procedures.

While the game is designed for beginners as well as flight experts, Microsoft Flight also features customisable controls so you can tweak it just the way you like.

…plus, sign in with your Games for Windows LIVE account and get a bunch more free content, including additional missions, the legendary Boeing Stearman plane, an Online Pilot Profile and – wait for it – access to achievements.

If that’s not enough, there will be more aircraft, regions and customisation options available for a small fee. Because, y’know, while the best things in life are free, throwing a bit of money at them really can make them better.

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