I will be reviewing this stunning, fully featured package, Gatwick 2004 from Online Simulation Solutions under Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004.
The package comes with a great installation interface for those non-technical simmers. The set-up is pretty minimal, just let the installer do the work. There is no need to enter the FS2004 Scenery library, and add the entry - the installer does all the work for you, so the package can be installed even with the less computer literate simmer.
You then get the option to choose which version of Flight Simulator you wish to install the package for; FS2002 or FS2004.
After waiting several minutes for FS2004 to compile everything, and load the scenery into memory, I was presented with a highly detailed landscape with lots of eye candy overall. I looked to my left; I could see jet liners at the terminal with terminal tunnels fixed on them. Looked to my right and could see various things going on. There were moving vehicles and food wagons in front of me, all going about their business - great dynamic scenery.
As I made my way towards the runway, I decided to take a quick look at the detail of the terminals...
I loved the terminal tunnels - the exact duplicate of the real ones - including the HSBC sponsorship and all of the other extra details that standard scenery does not have really made it rise above the rest. OSS have proven that they care about the most smallest of details - they have built their name on quality not quantity; and I like it.
Being from London myself, and flown from Gatwick many times, I could really related to this version and the real life version. The main feature that stood out to me, and I'm sure would stand out to many people who have flow from Gatwick was the raised bridge at the entrance of the airport itself. Great detail.
Again, what I have to stress most is the detail OSS have used in this package is great. It include features such as moving trains, moving ground vehicles, terminal trains, moving cars on motorway, fire crew training, and lots of improvements on features that are in every airport add-on such as the terminal tunnels, ground textures... etc. Some shots that show this level of scenery are below:
It's clear that OSS's Gatwick 2004 is a great scenery package all round. The amount of detail put into it is great, and the little things really build towards giving you a most realistic environment in Flight Simulator. There were problems with AI aircraft following the old taxiways that were on the default version, and that would be great if it could be fixed - because 747's taxiing on grass is slightly odd. Gatwick 2004 is priced at $24.95, a reasonable price for an add-on as such. It seems OSS are working a lot with London and the surrounding area, which is great - perhaps in the future, a 'London' package or a 'South England' package will be released including all the airports in the surrounding areas.
You can download London Gatwick 2004 Here