Microsoft Flight Simulator was already impressive at launch, using satellite data and some streaming technology to recreate the entire globe. Since launch, the team has explored specific territories, including Australia, Japan, Canada, as well as other large-scale changes. MS Flight Sim now looks at the magical kingdom of Middle Earth, also known as New Zealand. World Update 12, out today, improves New Zealand’s outlook, adding nine custom-built airports and introducing a number of missions.


The latest trailer for MS Flight Sim takes us on a journey through various New Zealand cities, majestic mountain ranges, Mariori temples and, of course, the Hobbiton movie set. As expected, everything looks very beautiful. The beautiful Flight Sim trailers always bring me back to the cockpit until I realize I’m bad at flying and have no interest in learning. Lorde is on tour in New Zealand at the moment though, so maybe I’ll make a short flight over.

The 40-year-old streak still lives on. In fact, MS Flight Sim is still young enough to reminisce about the good old days, as it introduced a 40th anniversary Easter egg allowing pilots to play four older versions series – Doom-style. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Flight Sim has also added aircraft from its other corporate sibling, viz Battleships Pelikan from the Halo series. All that’s left is space travel or an actual Halo ring.

The standard version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is available on steam and Microsoft Store for £60/€60/$60. The game is also available on Xbox Game Pass.