Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

Microsoft Flight Sim’s free DLC finally adds what we’ve all wanted: giant mechanical dragonflies, decolonisation, and the chance to win a magical floating Xbox controller

We’re all a bit iffy about flying Boeings ever since that plane had its door ripped off, so why not try an alternative? For instance, the gargantuan mechanical dragonflies that dotted the skies above the Butlerian Jihad of 200 BG to 108 BG? Those have so many moving parts that could go horribly wrong that you probably won’t even think about the doors.

If you’re tempted, then I’ve got good news: Microsoft Flight Sim’s free Dune expansion is out now, bringing the Royal Atreides Ornithopter from those Denis Villeneuve films into the wide, flighty world of the game and giving you a chance to, uh, realistically simulate flying them. Can you realistically simulate a fictional thing? Yes. No further questions, please.

The tie-in is, of course, part of the marketing run-up to the release of Dune 2 in March, and also adds the desert plains of Arrakis—the science-fantasy North Africa in which much of Dune’s plot takes place—as a playable location to the game, complete with enormous, billowing sandstorms that swallow the horizon and look set to play havoc with your engines.

The free add-on, which you can download now, also comes with three tutorials (take-off, landing, and “freefall”) and six activities: five time trials and “a daring rescue mission where aviators must save their flight instructor before a massive sandstorm engulfs him,” a kind of Sully-Sullenberger-meets-decolonial-warfare affair.

And that’s your lot, which isn’t bad for free, although Microsoft is also putting out some kind of magical, Dune-themed floating controller stand and custom Xbox if you fancy that. You have to enter a competition to stand a chance of winning them, though. The rules for that contest are here.

As an aside, a thing I learned while writing this article is that ornithopter is a totally real word. It’s the name given to those myriad winged flying contraptions that I mostly associate with eccentric, moustachioed Victorian men, though you could also apply the same name to, for instance, some of Leonardo da Vinci’s sketches and designs. A shame we ended up in the Spirit Airlines timeline instead of the one where pilots take a heroic amount of space drugs and strap wings to themselves.

Popular Articles