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A lackluster sequel
on October 27, 2011
I previously owned Airline Tycoon Evolution and this game compared to that is rather disappointing given it's been 8 years since the last game in the series came out.
I'm reviewing this from the perspective of a longtime fan of the Airline Tycoon series.
As of this review, the game is at version 1.02. They're releasing a patch soon to address some issues and add some new features.
These are my specs:
Intel Core 2 Duo E7400 2.8 GHz
Radeon HD 6850
This is a simple breakdown of the pros and cons.
Take note I'm comparing this to Airline Tycoon Evolution. Deluxe was also pretty much the same thing.
-Updated 3D graphics
-In-depth customization of planes
-Lack of a stock market
-Lack of a fuel market
-No real aircraft names - this is only because I'm an aviation fan.
-No cargo routes
-UI is horribly inefficient in some parts of the game
-Personally, I feel as if the game progresses much more slowly
The biggest issues with the game are the loading times. The loading times that occur when your workday is over also get longer as you get deeper into the game your playing, this is possibly because of inefficient programming, probably trying to calculate the actions of 3 other airlines. In Airline Tycoon Evolution, loading times were a breeze.
I just don't understand what went wrong when the programmers were putting in the code to calculate the AI of your competition. In Evolution it was smooth and fast, but here it obviously struggles to process all of the AI's action. Given my specs above, it's a very decent system and even then it shouldn't struggle to load given the simplicity of this game.
Load times are about 6 seconds. Which isn't much in itself. But advancing every day, it starts to get really noticeable. I'm in a stage of growth where I have to basically wait it out until I get money so I just keep advancing days.
There're probably no real aircraft names because when you buy a new airplane, it's made to order and you can customize pretty much every aspect of the plane. The exterior of the plane still keeps its general shape, but things like the wing, engines, nose cone, landing gear, etc can be changed to cheaper or more expensive parts. Evolution had this feature, but it wasn't a major feature of the game.
UI is horrible because sometimes things are a mess when the game lists all the pilots and attendants I have. There's no easily distinguishable way to see what planes my staff are assigned to from a quick glance.
For some things like catering, there isn't an overview to see what plane is receiving high quality catering and which ones aren't. I have to manual take note myself.
Things like this make it hard to keep track of what's going on when your fleet starts to grow.
In conclusion, this game could be alright in its own to a newbie of the Airline Tycoon series. But because I played the previous versions of Airline Tycoon, it seems they ripped out a lot of features that made the game great and just made everything in 3D.