I love it and am addicted to it.
Put number of roads to something higher.
(You get more roads where they exist in the real world)
Put number of objects to something higher.
(You will get *generic* boxes (buildings) at those roads)
Put detail distance to medium.
Unclick compress textures.
Put texture to high.
In the beginning I found the planes cockpits to be fuzzy.
Some really are fuzzy or they are meant to be used with 2d cockpits.
But mostly it was because by default the texture-settings where set low and where compressed
I also lacked filled road networks and buildings.
I didn't see the roads I was accustomed to.
The data is there for the roads. You just need to crank them up or only major highways will be shown.
The cities look like gray patches by default Both the roads and object setting changes this.
Quite a few of the stock planes are ugly.
I would recommend the two-engine general-aviation plane Baron)
Things I like to do with X-plane.
Find interesting mountain-chains to fly around.
The topology is from the real world and it generates a *plausable* looking world on the fly.
Fly around my closest airport and see if I can find where my house would be on the road network ad by the rivers.
Make flightplans, read about north-atlantic routes, learn about standard departures and standard arrivals (SIDs and STARs).
Look up real world airports and their charts.
I like to plan plausable and *real* flight-plans that my preferred airline uses (SAS).
The world is pretty barren and the airplanes are as have been said, besides some smaller planes sub-par.
I've bought two planes and two helicopters. A Boeing 777. An Airbus A350 XWB. A Bell 407 helicopter. And a RR beta 2 helicoter that seems to be used in real training for helicopter pilots.
I would recommend looking to fill the mostly empty airports with building by downloading them from gateway.x-plane.com.
There is a lot of scenery and free add-ons.
Just search for scenery and x-plane.
Applications that I use for plight-planning:
* EFASS - it has real world weather-engine and a generator for weather that is plausable.
It has SIDs and STARs. And online connection.
As you fly your plane you can watch a sattelite-map where you would be in the real world.
(Not just the blocks and generic textures and objects that are in X-plane).
A great resource for free addons and forums and to buy planes is x-plane.org.
Remember. It is not a game that has a goal.
It gives you the tools to fly close to realistically all over the world.
It gives access to GPS, VORs, DMEs, NDBs to naviate with.
Even without EFASS you can use real weather and real time of day.
Or choose a weather and time of day.
There is a free demo to try out at x-plane.com.
* Realistically calculated flight-dynamics
* The whole world is covered with topological data
* Low intensity
* There basic software is used together with a lot of other components for real flight training for the real world
* Terrain that is not cartoonie
* Can look beautiful
* Not just a game but a hobby
* Not one really detailed plane up to modern standards. I'd love to see at least one really deeply simulated GA aircraft and one deeply simulated and visually good looking airliner.
* The terrain is generated and not as in the real world unless you buy or get additional scenery
* It is quite taxing on the resources at high quality simulation and visuals (Mostly CPU but also GPU)
* Uses all cores
* Addicting (Just one more plane...) ;)
* Not an action-game at all. Unless doing perfect landings is your view of intensity
* The fighting features in it is old and arcade-like. It is mainly a civilian aircraft simulation.
All in all it has as many hours of entertainment as you want.
It focuses on realism.
You will probably want at least one payware plane of good quality.
Remember to up the rendering settings.
Look for your airports and download them.
Taxing on your hardware.
A real simulator.
Not really a game but a hobby.