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By the time I finally get around to enjoying every last drop of their previous scenery, Taxi2Gate drop a bombshell and release their next airport. Other developers must look at this fabulous team with green eyes, as their turn-around on development time is simply unlike any other developer on the market. Having just 3 months since their last release in the Caribbean, and only 5 months after their last ‘large scale’ airport, they’re back with the much anticipated release of Hamad International Airport (OTHH). Taking over from the previous Doah International Airport in Qatar, the newly built airport can now handle 3 times that of the previous airport’s volume, allowing up to 50 million people to pass through the Airport’s oasis-themed terminal buildings. The sheer size and volume of the airport allows for a large number of airlines from all over the world to fly into Qatar. Building commenced in 2005, a series of delays caused the opening of the airport to be pushed back continuously. Eventually, it opened its doors on 30th April 2014, with all carriers relocated on May 27th 2014. Fast forward, and Taxi2Gate have given us the chance to explore the wonderful and modern new airport for ourselves. As I previously mentioned, the airport was designed around an Oasis theme. Taxi2Gate have really gone above their previous work by really tapping into that theme. Immediately, you will notice the wonderful texture work around the runways. The sand dunes, the palm trees swaying in the breeze and the freshness of the buildings really give the impression of a brand new airport. The taxiways and the runways are clear of any tyre marks and there’s a clear distinction between each pavement slab and concrete block. It’s surprisingly refreshing to see such a clean, almost tarnish-free architecture, as so many airports lately have been battered and bruised. Taxi2Gate have done a wonderful job at presenting the airport in such a way. I found, however, that perhaps the texturing isn’t as sharp as usual. Some gate assignments and the imagery on nearby carts and vehicles lack that sharpness we’re used to seeing from a Taxi2Gate product. Definitely only minor, but does take away from the otherwise excellent job. As usual, each gate, jet-bridge and terminal building have been created in a realistic manner. Cables drop from the jet-bridges as you would expect and each step, window and door have been faithfully recreated. Details inside the terminal buildings are becoming the norm for the team, and yet again, we see just enough to make us feel like we’re staring into the buildings whilst awaiting our passengers. Usually cargo hangers and secondary objects are less detailed than the main airport, but in this case, everything has been given the same care and attention – and it really stands out. The metal grills of the cargo hangers all reflect surrounding light to give a truly defined building. Without a doubt, this is Taxi2Gates most visually pleasing work yet. I talk a lot about how immersive small things can make an airport, and Hamad is no different here. Moving vehicles swam the airport, giving a real sense of life at the airport. As you taxi yourself down the runway, a fuel and baggage truck could be travelling parallel to you, already ensuring you have situational awareness of what is going on. After you take off, you’ll have excellent views of Doah itself. The large sky scrapers are surprisingly detailed and the placement is accurate to that of the real life buildings. Everything from restaurants, office buildings and hotels are all present. Of course, you get these excellent views during the approach as well, meaning regardless of phase of flight around the airport, you’ll have something to immerse you into the product. Taxi2Gate should certainly share the secret to their ability to create highly detailed international airports, with a sprawling and detailed city, yet allow users to have a consistently excellent frame rate. It proves that with the right people, using the right technology and skills, that anything can be possible. Something that I found lacking with Taxi2Gate sceneries is the lack of a configuration system for users with weaker machines. Although the level of performance is excellent, to have the option to switch off certain features or increase it for those with more powerful machines is something I believe should start to become standard for sceneries in Flight Simulation. Another cause of annoyance for some could be the fact that OTHH is actually a brand new airport for Flight Sim. As such, Taxi2Gate have had to add it to the database. Because of this, AI traffic won’t recognise the scenery existing and will fly to the old Doah airport instead. Although this can be changed through documentation, at the time, there was no official statement from Taxi2Gate on how to fix this. However, I was assured that this will be included in a further update. Not so much the fault of theirs, but I believe better communication before would’ve been appreciated by the community. As the sun comes down over the city and the light sparkles over the sea, lights begin to flicker on. Suddenly, before you realise everything around you is dark, the city is lit up and the airport turns into something special. As usual, Taxi2Gate have done a remarkable job at creating subtle, yet an aptly lit airport that serves both purposes of being realistic and also functional within the Flight Simulation environment. Touches such as baked in shadows and glows off of signage really bring this airport to life in the evening. Yet again, I find myself taxiing carelessly around Hamad to explore every light-filled area. It’s simply beautiful. It should come of very little surprise that Taxi2Gate have really become a staple in the Flight Sim universe. Consistently offering fantastic, high-end quality scenery at a rapid rate. Hamad International Airport is no different. The stunning visuals and the excellent performance is a testament to the almost-perfected development process the guys go through. Accurate placement, quality textures and an interesting airport make Hamad International one of the most exciting places to fly into in Flight Simulation. 5/5 | Publisher: SimMarket | Developer: Taxi2Gate | Price: 29.74EUR Without a doubt, this is Taxi2Gate’s best scenery to date. The fantastic work into making sure the product is easy on performance yet look incredible is to be commended. The texturing and modelling is of the highest standard and the airport itself is a dream to fly into. Everyone from cargo carriers to private jets visit, giving everyone a reason to visit this exciting new airport. + Great modelling and texture work + Sublime performance means anyone can us it. - Some small sections of texturing is sub-par compared to the rest - Lack of configuration tool for those who like options. PURCHASE TAXI2GATE'S HAMAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT HERE My Specs: Processor - 3.5GHz Intel Core i5-3770K Ivy Bridge (OVERCLOCKED TO 4.8GHz) RAM - 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 2133 (PC3 12800) GPU - GeForce GTX 780 FTW 3GB GDDR5 Mother Board - ASUS P8Z77-V LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard Hard Drives - 2 x 128gb OCZ SSD + 2 x 1tb 7200RPM HDD Operating System - Windows 7 (64-bit) Add-ons Used In Screenshots: Scenery – Taxi2Gate Hamad International Airport (OTHH) Aircraft – Aerosoft’s Airbus A320, PMDG 777lr/f and 300er Utilities - REX4 Textures, Active Sky Next, SteveFX DX10 Fixer (Also tested with DX9), FTX Global, FTX Vector, ORBX's FTX Global openLC Europe.