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Calum Martin

Taxi2Gate Saint Kitts Robert Bradshaw International (TKPK) Airport

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The expression “blink and you’ll miss it” almost seems to ring true for the development process of anything from Taxi2Gate. Just WEEKS ago, I was reviewing their last airport, Doha, and already, I’m writing the review of their next airport. This time, however, Taxi2Gate have ventured back into the sunny Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Clearly to have some down time, the development team like to focus on their Caribbean airports. After all, they’re significantly smaller and thus less complex, shaving huge chunks of time off of development. It must be a good way for the developers to have some down time whilst still actively working. However, is this trend from Taxi2Gate healthy or has quality dropped because of it?

 

Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport serves the nation of Saint Kitts and was recently renovated in 2006. Since then, it has become a major airport within the Caribbean, being able to handle up to 6 wide-bodied aircraft at any one time. The airport has gone from strength to strength and currently handles over 400,000 passengers per year. On top of that, it has a vast Cargo operation, which is handled by several major airlines, including DHL and FedEx.

 

 

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My main concern with any Caribbean airport is and always will be the atmosphere of the airport. I’ve been numerous times to know what they should feel like, and I think having that atmosphere is just as important as having high definition textures. I mean, why look like the real thing if it doesn’t feel like it. So as soon as I stepped into the Sim, loaded up St. Kitts, I immediately felt like I was exploring Robert Bradshaw International airport. Staggeringly, Taxi2Gate seem to nail this feeling each and every time.  As soon as you step into the airport, that warm breeze will hit your face, you will hear the sound of the exotic birds and taste the sea air. It’s incredible that by providing high quality texturing and correct colouring, you can actually feel like you’re there. The team are able to pull this off.

 

Once you step into the flight deck, this all becomes apparent. It comes as no surprise that Taxi2Gate have developed a really believable looking airport. All buildings, taxiways and signs have been given the attention they deserve. Again, everything is in beautiful resolution and looks just as impressive as their larger airports. Compared to Doha, St. Kitts looks far more worn-down and used and as a result, there is dirt everywhere! Despite the same developer, the differences in texture work ensure you know exactly where in the world you are.

 

 

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Something that did disappoint me is the lack of work from the surrounding area of the airport. With the vast area covered in Doha or even Istanbul, I was shocked to see so little of St. Kitts covered this time. St. Kitts isn’t exactly the most built up of islands in the world, so it would be a case of creating imagery sets to ensure that the area around the airport would be fully covered. Instead, for some odd reason, on the approach over the coast, you get a few hundred yards of default scenery, including the costal area. For something so prominent in the airport itself, I was left with a bitter taste in my mouth. Did the developer run out of time, money or resources? Either way, for such a renowned developer to cut corners on something so important leaves me wondering if this was rushed to market.

 

In general, I don’t believe enough of the island has been covered with custom terrain that we’re used to seeing from a developer such as Taxi2Gate. Even the mountain to the side of the airport lacks any custom work. Admittedly, the work they have done looks fantastic, which is probably why I’m craving for more from them. However, what is covered, it all looks amazing. Everything from the 3D grass to the nearby harbour makes everything feel realistic and offers great views during the approach.

 

 

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Despite being a small Caribbean airport, there is still a great amount of variety for Simmers here. With British Airways visiting a few times a week with their triple seven (after a 20 minute flight from Antigua – always a challenge), American with their smaller Airbus’ and also some GA traffic, there’s plenty for you to try out here. 

 

Performance, is, as usual, fantastic. Not a fault can be said about it. VAS usage is low and framerates are high, but yet again, there’s a lack of options for the user. Apart from just ‘deleting’ files, there’s no way for users to gain better performance or even change the texture set. Even though their scenery performs wonderfully, we’re in a time and age where users like to change their settings to best match their system and I think it’s time Taxi2Gate began to realise this.

 

Whilst I enjoyed the scenery and believe it to be of a high quality, just some aspect seem to be lacking compared to previous work by Taxi2Gate. The lack of surrounding custom terrain and the poor quality in their custom autogen makes me wonder whether this was produced by the same developer. They clearly have a highly skilled team, but St Kitts seems to suffer from a quick turnaround time. Despite some issues, this is an excellent airport with many positive qualities. From a reasonable price, to fantastic looking texturing and modelling work. As far as Caribbean airports go, this is a must, but be prepared to not be blown away as much as you were the first time you stepped into Doha for the first time.

 

 

Purchase Taxi2Gate’s St Kitts Here!

 

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3/5  |  Publisher: SimMarket  |  Developer: Taxi2Gate  |  Price: 17.84EUR

 

Taxi2Gate’s quick development process is both a Godsend and also its biggest downfall. Despite having fantastic texturing and excellent modelling, St. Kitts comes as a disappointment for those expecting the same detail and quality as their previous work. Regardless, this is an excellent Caribbean scenery, and with diverse routes to and from, it shouldn’t be missed.

 

+ Great value for money with great performance.

+ Fantastic use of colouring and texture work.

 

- Lack of detail surrounding key areas of the airport’s approach.

- Night lighting isn’t as strong as previous work.

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