Microsoft Live’s Larry Hryb, otherwise known by his online moniker Major Nelson, announced via Twitter that a release date has been confirmed for Microsoft Flight. The free-to-play title is scheduled for download worldwide starting February 29, 2012.
Developed my Microsoft Studios, the flight simulator will be available on the Games for Windows LIVE service and is being marketed to experienced enthusiasts as well as flying novices. This “universal appeal” differs from the company’s Flight Simulator line as a true simulator but Redmond promises that fans of the original will feel right at home.
Gamers will get to pilot a number of aircraft over the skies of Hawaii, completing a variety of missions and testing skills in flying challenges or finding hidden aerocaches (essentially an airborne treasure hunt) across the island. Flight will introduce players to region-specific weather patterns, foliage, terrain and landmarks as well.
Players that take advantage of Games for Windows LIVE will be granted access to achievements and receive additional free content such as supplementary missions, an online pilot profile and an extra plane, the Boeing Stearman. Optional content like new aircraft and regions will also be available for purchase through your LIVE account.
The title isn’t a replacement for the discontinued Flight Simulator franchise but rather a new take on it according to the FAQ on the game’s official website. Further information from the FAQ reveals that Windows LIVE will also offer enhanced social and game play experiences, allowing you to easily play by yourself or join your friends online.