Night Environment Poland – Aerosoft – review (4*)

Night flying can be fun now! I hate the default FSX night lighting. Aerosoft’s Night Environment Poland brings a change to my experience over Poland. 

Night-Environment-Poland

Pros and cons

What I like in Night Environment?

  • road and city lights during the night
  • the quality of lights

What I do not like?

  • photoscenery conflicts

What can be improved?

  • lighting diversity
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Purchase and installation

I am testing a download version that can be bought at Aerosoft’s store. For around 15,45 Euro (depending on your tax rate. If you live outside of EU – the price will be 12,56 Euro.

South of Katowice Airport (EPKT)

Installation is typical for any Aerosoft product – the installer requires your email and product key.

There are three optional scenery/lights layers that can be selected in Scenery Library. Base, 0 and 3rd layers are selected by default. By turning off the third and selecting layer 1 or layer 2 you can decrease lighting density and improve performance – I’ll get back to this later.

Manual

Just a few pages explaining what the user needs to know – this is how to configure Night Environment in FSX.

Night flight at medium altitude – North-East from Warsaw.

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Aerosoft’s Night Environment – Poland?

Night Environment – Poland brings night lighting to Poland. It adds lights along roads, highways and in the towns and cities. Apart from lights – it adds textures of brightly lit ground.

This add on uses it’s own vector scenery so the lights layout is independent of the default (or installed) road layout – this brings a huge improvement! I checked a few roads that were built recently – the road network (the vector data) seems current.

Poland covered by Aerosoft’s Night Lighting is similar to what what I can see on satellite imagery – provided the images were taken early in the night – the roads are covered densely with car headlights and the towns are fully lit.

The same place as before – a few thousand feet lower

I need to mention the most serious problem I have with this add-on – whole country is covered with almost identical yellow lights – it does not matter if I fly over a brightly lit city district or a rural road with sparse traffic and no street lights. The only difference in lighting is between major and minor roads but still – it may be considered a little boring during long flights in the night. The same applies to towns – the shape is correct but there is hardly any difference between night lighting of a capital city and a small town.

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Different add-ons compared

A small town in North-Western Poland with VFR Poland photoscenery.

The same place with Night Environment – Poland

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What I like in Night Environment – Poland? I like night VFR flights!

Ok – you know what I do not like. Why I consider this a good add-on?

“Game changer” – I generally do not like this term because it is often abused but I will call Night Environment that! I can not stand the default night lighting in FSX! Sceneries like VFR Poland are no better (as you can see – VFR Poland is terrible and does not allow for visual navigation). If I have flown in nighttime – it was only hi-altitude IFR and it did not matter if I see lights on the ground or not.

This is what changed! Night Environment – Poland made me fly night VFRs. I can take my Cessna or Comanche and follow roads. I can recognize towns with ease. I can take a map and look at it to check my position – deduced from what I see around me in FSX.

Another test – Night Environment against default FSX and VFR Poland

Katowice, 20.000ft – Night Environment – Poland

The exactly same place – VFR Poland? Hmmm…

I can decide if I hate VFR Poland more or this thing… default FSX – the same place!

What is important for me – Poland with Night Environment looks good in the night! It’s also a huge advantage over the older vector sceneries that adjusted night lighting but… they did it only half way. Night Environment brings the complete change.

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Night Environment compatibility

I discovered that there is a small problem when flying over the terrain covered with a photoscenery (tested with VFR Poland and Drzewiecki Design’s Warsaw) – Night Environment ground textures disappear in a few mile radius around the plane and the photoscenery takes over. Lights are still visible but it seems that they do not cast light on a ground.

After several test flights I have to admit that it is not a serious problem even over Warsaw. In other areas – I simply turn the photoscenery off (I have no use of it anyway).

Warsaw with Night Environment and Drzewiecki Design scenery – notice a darker circle in the middle (where the ground textures of Night Environment are missing)

Warsaw 2013 by Drzewiecki Design. The area in the middle is identical as above (Warsaw textures took over). Notice how the Night Environment (on a picture above this one) is better everywhere around the middle.

Performance

There are three layers that can be used to show light – depending on PC performance. On my PC I fly with layer 3 – 100% of lights. I saw no impact on performance in normal use.

During my tests I noticed a significant performance issues with high anti-aliasing values. There is no problem at my default settings (2xSGSS). 4xSGSS caused FPS drop to the range between 10 and 25 – that is less than at the advanced payware airport in daytime (15-30) at this settings.

Keeping AA at 2xSGSS allows me to fly over Night Environment at 30 FPS.

Summary – 4****

For me this is a game changer. Night flying can be fun now! It’s the first add-on that allows me to fly over Poland in nighttime and use ground features for visual navigation. For this it deserves the highest praises. Considering a small issue or two – I rate it 4**** – a good add-on.

Price to quality ratio – very good

I consider 12-15 Euro a small price for a night scenery of a whole country. It changes the way I use my FSX – 15 Euro for this is nothing. I would recommend this scenery even if it costed 25 or 30 Euro.

You can buy it at Aerosoft’s Store

 

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Night Environment Poland - Aerosoft
Author Rating
41star1star1star1stargray

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