AAFO.COM First Look Preview
 
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In the computer gaming industry, there is a term: "suspension of disbelief..."

...or in other words, if a simulation or "game" is captivating and challenging enough - with sufficient visual stimulation to pull you into a mode wherein, your immersion into the unreal world in front of you becomes your focal point - a part of your brain has "bought" what it is seeing through your eyes, and it becomes very real.

If I tell you that for the first few days of flying the new "Xtreme Air Racing" Flight Simulation, I was becoming convinced that I might have to install a "sick-sack" dispenser on my desk...

...would that tell you how great the level my "suspension of disbelief" was?

If you are already a fan of Air Racing -the "World's Fastest Motorsport" - you might well have heard of this long awaited addition to your computer software library.

Nearly five years in development, the "Reno Air Racing" simulation is well into the "alpha" stage and nearing release by software developer Victory Interactive, under its new title: "Xtreme Air Racing."

If you are not already a fan of closed-course, Pylon Air Racing, get ready to become one!

Going back in time to 1979, when I attended my first Reno Air Race; I found that Air Racing was a captivating experience that was beyond epic description. Air Racing was a high speed excursion bordering on madness. Men and machines pushing to the limits and beyond at mere feet above the hostile desert terrain below them. Unbelievable power and fury controlled by mere humans...

Since that first exposure to this extreme, low flying, high-speed sport, I have been among the hundreds of thousands of fans who regularly attend the event, now held once a year at the last existing air race course of it’s type in the world: Reno, Nevada’s, Stead Airport.

I am one of many who have tried to live vicariously through the Air Race pilot, and after the experience, still ask these questions:

"Why do they do it? How do they do it? What must it feel like?"

With this upcoming release from Victory Interactive, at least a part of this pondering will be answered and can be answered over and over…

...any time I feel like turning on the computer and "strapping in."

Over the last month we at AAFO.COM have been given the opportunity for an exclusive "first look" at this new flight simulation and I am here to tell you — the question of "why" men compete in fifty year-old machines at break-neck speeds —mere feet above the ground— is answered within the first few flights.

Xtreme Air Racing is a BLAST!

Flying close to the ground and your competitors, you enter into the previously "exclusive" world of Air Racing —and that of the air race pilot— every time you hit the "play" button on the entry screen to "Xtreme Air Racing"

What’s inside the box? Let’s take a more detailed look at what is there so far...

From the initial offering of screen shots in this preview, you will notice that this sim has a very good level of graphic "eye candy." In these reduced versions for web presentation, the level of detail seen at full screen resolution can not be fully represented...

...it is truly impressive, indeed.

The overall view you see from the highly-detailed cockpits, complete with working gauges, is beyond good. Airplanes represented in this simulation also have a high level of detail and a quite smooth-looking appearance.

However, it is when you "step" outside of the cockpit and begin to look over these simulated racing airplanes, that the attention to detail by Victory Interactive begins to really shine.

Among the detailing:

  • Detailed pilots —hands on the controls— sit behind clearly visible instrument panels, housed inside a very convincing representation of cockpit glass;
  • Within the cockpit, the uncovered framework of a military airplane is clearly visible;
  • Extend the landing gear and you are shown a wheel well, complete with hydraulic tubing and the inner framework of the airplane wing;
  • Extension of the gear also reveals a very realistic representation of the landing gear door extension sequence;
  • During a race, turn on your nitrous injection system and from outside the cockpit you are greeted with black smoke from the exhaust;
  • Add spray bar water and a tell-tale stream of atomized water droplets trails behind the airplane;

Inside the cockpit or out, the prop blur effect is very good. Not at all a steady "blur;" the prop cycles through the illusion of movement very convincingly, even changing speed of rotation with throttle movement.

Back in the cockpit at Reno, you’ll be flying very close to the desert floor with a level of terrain detail providing a "ground rush" that is ultimately very convincing.

All this, along with the previously mentioned aircraft detail, will offer up a challenge to your Personal Computer's system speed. Victory Interactive has spent a considerable amount of time with this always present situation. >>continue

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