London City 2003 Scenery is an add-on for Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2002, and brings the City of London to life with a highly detailed London City airport in the Docklands, and hundreds of custom objects from around the airport all the way to the West End of the capital.
All of the landmarks that you'd expect to see in London appear to have been modelled in immense detail, ranging from the Houses of Parliament on the bank of the Thames, to the ultra modern glass-built Cleopatra's Needle, Oxo Tower, and the huge trainshed roof at Waterloo. Developer of the add-on pack Online Simulation Solutions really do seem to have included some of the most memorable features from London and all of the big buildings are there including Tower 42 in the City, and the BT Tower.
In the Docklands area where the main focus of the scenery add-on is, you've got the Connaught Bridge which spans the dock during your final seconds of approach, and the nearby Excel exhibition centre which looks just like the real building with it's unique pyramid style entrance. There are improvements to the Canary Wharf complex, with the addition of the two new HSBC and Citigroup towers that are directly on your approach to the airport.
On the other side of the Thames you can see a very accurate representation of the much maligned Millennium Dome, complete with the yellow supports jutting out of the roof and the red warning lights glowing. High tower cranes are also present where construction work is taking place in the rapidly expanding Dockland area, and lots of the modern architecture including glass fronted office blocks and circular houses has been well represented.
Online Simulation Solutions have captured the feel of the Docklands to an amazing level, and it feels as though you are really there, with all the landmarks looking just the same as their real life counterparts, and even the Docklands Light Railway present.
Unfortunately there's no animation of items such as the DLR, which is a shame as it'd have made for some interesting action, but this is apparently down to a bug in the Flight Simulator world database for London, and affects all add-on packs, not just the London City Scenery.
London City airport itself is yet again highly detailed, with runway and taxiway markings, parking bays for aircraft, the terminal buildings, control tower, landing lights and absolutely every item being modelled down to the finest detail.
A novel addition to the scenery is fireworks displays which take place on key events including New Year and other important dates, providing for both an interesting flight, and a bit of a surprise when the first one goes off.
Scenery was built from photos and hours of video footage which the developers took during a visit to London, and from what we can tell everything is spot on with it's real life counterpart.
The London City 2003 scenery really does make flying over the central and eastern end of London as real as it gets, with all the major landmarks in place just where they should be, and a complex skyline full of detail and feature which instantly puts the default city buildings to shame.
At the time of writing London City 2003 isn't available to purchase in the shops, but can be bought online and downloaded to your PC from the onlinesimulationsolutions.com website
for about £17.Overall score: 8 out of 10
Publisher: Online Simulation Solutions
Recommended Price: $24.95 (about £17)
Available: NowBuy London City 2003 from Online Simulation SolutionsRelated articles in our add on pack round up review:PC review: FS Traffic 2002 for Flight Simulator 2002PC review: British Airports for Flight Simulator 2002