The Microsoft Flight Simulator franchise has come a long way since its first release in 1982. The newest installment, set to release this year, may be the most groundbreaking edition yet. Not only will it simulate the entire Earth for the first time, but it’s also got another new feature hiding up its sleeve: a free-for-all battle royale to the death.
Unlike the Combat Flight Simulator off-series, this year’s game was announced as a main-series simulation of civilian passenger flights. Still, the developers seem determined not to let that minor detail get in their way. “Think of it like bumper cars,” states game director Amara Lexington, “except your bumper car is extraordinarily fragile, and when it crashes, dozens of innocent people die horrible deaths.”
The goal of Flight Simulator: Battle Royale is to knock your opponents out of the sky until your plane is the last one flying. Since your vehicle is not armed with any sort of weaponry, this requires a very delicate balancing act of disrupting other players without sending yourself down alongside them. “You gotta just kinda nudge them a bit,” Amara continues. “Which isn’t easy at 400 miles per hour. But that’s part of the fun!”
Reportedly, the idea for the new mode came to Amara at the beginning of a game of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds when she was prompted to jump out of a plane. “I thought, ‘What if I just never left the plane? I mean, what if I never even started playing this game in the first place?’ That would have been good.”
Apparently, Amara and her development team find the PvP mechanics so satisfying that they’re also experimenting with other ways to include it in the upcoming title. “We’ve even considered making it a mandatory part of the main game. Like you can just be flying over Barbados or whatever, and randomly see another player speeding towards you, like in Dark Souls, or the Middle East.”