The urban landscapes in Microsoft Flight Simulator are often one of the most remarkable sights pilots experience when flying, either when departing from a busy international airport or when making a precise approach. This is especially true with cities that have the luck to be featured in MSFS with photogrammetry, which are primarily located in the western world, with some notable exceptions in Australia and Japan.
But there are many more megacities around the world than those in the United States or the European capitals. China is particularly known for its large number of sprawling urban areas, but these are not very well represented in MSFS. The generic 3D buildings do a reasonable job at giving the impression of a big city, but they are neither realistic nor imposing enough to create the same feeling that we have in New York City, for example.
Thankfully, the MSFS community of developers touches a little bit everywhere, looking to enhance areas of the sim that deserve some additional attention. Today we’re bringing you the work of SamScene3D, a relatively familiar development studio that has focused on enhancing some of Asia’s largest cities in MSFS (they even detoured a little to the US, with the impressive New York City Times for MSFS).
SamScene3D has launched a few comprehensive “landmark packs” for big cities in Asia, similarly to what Orbx has done with its own Landmarks City Packs. The most recent release was dedicated to Shenzhen, the tech capital of China and one of the fastest-growing cities on Earth.
SamScene3D significantly improved the MSFS scenery in Shenzhen with over 500 custom buildings, which realistically depict all the major highrises and apartment buildings in the city. Hotels, banks, and other important landmarks have also been added, such as the Shenzhen Civic Center.
Shenzhen may be SamScene’s latest release, but if you’re really interested in further exploring China’s largest cities, there are more packs to look at. See, for example, the ones dedicated to Wuhan or Guangzhou, or go even further to neighboring countries, such as North Korea’s Pyongyang or South Korea’s Busan.
Asia may have been left a bit behind in terms of scenery improvements for MSFS (the Bing aerial imagery is also not great there), but these localized add-ons should be a welcome addition to the platform, especially now that we have some awesome airliners to travel between the world’s most important urban centers.
If you’re looking to explore new regions of the world in Microsoft Flight Simulator, do consider SamScene3D’s products, which are usually available through Simmarket, the MSFS Marketplace, or even on their own website.