Nowadays it’s impossible someone who doesn’t use enhancements like XPRealistic or HeadShake, because they tend to make the sim more attractive and realistic.
Now there is another competitor, developed by HST: RealView.
A good head-shake through the various phases of a flight is a pleasant effect, and it has become a game-changer in the last few years.
For some time XPRealistic was the only plug-in of this kind in the payware market but, as RKApps is developing the v2, High Sky Tech decided to compete with their RealView, shortly after they released xAmbience.
RealView is a plugin that simulates a wide range of effects linked with the gravity and the four forces of the flight, from the thrust effect, to the typical shaking you feel during the touch-down, but let’s go through that.
Starting from the interface, it features a nice GUI that offers more possibilities compared to XPRealistic, that’s mostly because, while the v1 of XPR consist in a .lua script, RealView is a stand-alone plugin.
As you can see there isn’t any preset available, but you must set each slider as you like, this will take some time and, in my opinion, is not a guarantee of realism, especially if you have to set the sliders responsible of the effects during a turn, that XPR sets automatically
But once you’ve found a good set-up (that might also depend on your monitor and on the way you’re using X-Plane), you’ll have fun.
I won’t show you my settings, because they are really subjective, but I must say that the sliders don’t seem to be phased, because I felt some effects only from the 80-90%…
During the taxi phase the shaking effect is really good, sometimes I found it barely noticeable, but still enjoyable because it’s doesn’t seem fake at all, pretty realistic.
The take-off really impressed me, because as I started to gain speed, the shaking started to be stronger… It feels like being in a real plane.
Even the ambient sound is excellent as you hear the noise of the air that grows as you get faster.
During the test flight I experienced some turbulences and, in this circumstance, the plugin behaves quite good, but the shaking effect feels like you’re head moving horizontally, like a rudder.
Not the best turbulence feeling I’ve had in a free/payware plugin.
Talking about the turns I can’t say much, because it depends on your settings, but I think that as long as the Pitch/Horizon/Heading hold sliders are set at low percentages, you won’t have a realistic representation, I’ll say it again: this is something that a plugin should do automatically, I understand that the lack of presets is a limit in this case, but HST should find a better solution.
During the approach I enjoyed the shaking generated once the flaps are extended, but I can’t write the same about the speed brakes, whose shaking impression isn’t realistic, it’s mostly absent.
The touch-down is balanced, maybe a bit too extreme with some settings, but good.
And once you’re landed, the effect is the exact opposite of the take-off. Really cool.
The price of the plugin, available at X-Plane.org, is good, because this add-on does its job without issues, it’s light and it doesn’t affect the performances at all.
The interface is a lot more intuitive and modern than its first competitor, but the lack of presets is an issue for the pilots who don’t want to spend much time playing with the settings.
Anyway I’m happy with this plugin and its price.