Drzewiecki Design, well known for their city and airport combos, have come back into their biggest market swinging, by completely replacing their old NY airports package with a brand new package, redone from the ground up to live longer in the modern era of scenery design. Armed with new high resolution textures, SODE jetways, reworked ground markings, and redone 3D modeling, these new packages (yes, there’s more than one) have all the tools and buzzwords they need to take the market by storm, and raid your wallet for cash. The only question is, should you let your guard down long enough to let the money flow from your pockets? Let’s dive into it.
Now, this review isn’t going to cover every single airport, that would be ridiculous, and frankly, that’s not the point given that you can’t buy them individually. Instead, we’re going to look at the quality of each pack as a whole, and we’ll go from there:
The first airport package we’ll be covering includes JFK, LGA, and.., TEB? Yes, not EWR, but TEB. To get all three of the major NYC airports, you’re going to need the other package as well, which does contain EWR. A smart money-making decision by Drzewiecki, but a bit anti-consumer if you ask me, as it means for those who are simply looking to get EWR, JFK, and LGA (which based on a group of people I asked constitutes most people) must pay for both airport packages and will be stuck with 3 GA fields that they may or may not wants, as opposed to paying for the airports they want, while not having to buy the airports they don’t want. Overall, less money spent by the customer for the airports he wants, and if he truly wants the other airports he will wind up paying the same amount he would pay normally with this pricing scheme.
Anyways, I digress, the first package contains enough airport to begin with. These airports are.., good, as there really isn’t a better way to describe them. They’re a massive step up from freeware and default P3D, but they don’t match the standards of most scenery packages. While this can be expected as you get 3 airports for the average price of one, I’m still not sure if I’m in love with the concept. Sure, the airports are good, but something was lacking in them that made them not quite feel satisfied with the package. Especially compared to FSDT KJFK and Imaginesim KLGA, both airports clearly fall short in overall detail and texture resolution. While I can’t classify it as bad.., they feel like they fall short in a way that leaves me wanting more from what I got. They shot for a market that makes sense to shoot for in concept, but I think in practice it fell short. For those who are looking to get the most out of their money, this product might make sense, but for those who are used to buying products with modeled terminal interiors and 4k textures, this airport package, sadly would leave a lot to be desired, even if you went in expecting an obvious step down. I think this criticism actually carries over pretty well into the other package. Everything looks good on the surface, but dig slightly deeper than normal and you’ll find that these airports are definitely a far cry from other more popular airport renditions.
Now, again, this isn’t to say that this won’t appeal to other people, again, for the amount you get you couldn’t possibly expect it to be top shelf quality, but I think it looks like and is marketed as a more of a top shelf product due to the advertising and product promo shots than it actually is. Things that look crisp, sharp, and HQ in the screenshots are not fully indicative of how some parts of the airport can look, which is a lot less sharp and pretty than the glamour shots would have you believe. I’ll leave you with a mix of DD style shots (zoomed out and artsy) versus some just regular old shots. I think you’ll be able to spot the difference pretty quickly.
I will leave you to tell the difference between what you see in my simulator (with graphical details in the sim turned quite high up) vs what DD shows. I do not suggest that these photographs are fake or highly edited, but rather showcase the airport in a very good light when in reality these “photogenic” spots are few and far between and don’t entirely represent how the scenery looks up close, as can be seen in this cockpit shot of the CRJ parked exactly where I was supposed to be.
Performance is always sparse in NYC, and as such my judgement is slightly skewed, but from what I could gather, for a rendition of NY airports, this package is pretty well optimized. With the PMDG 737, I averaged 20FPS on the ground in the cockpit, which is even better than some other sceneries that have perf issues, like FlyTampa Toronto and FSDT KCLT. That being said, of course, this *is* New York, so some slower than average performance is only inevitable. The team did a pretty good job with the scenario they were dealing with, and I have to applaud them for that.
I encoutered quite a few bugs with this airport package. Particularly, LGA had a massive fit installing even after I had disabled everything related to Imaginesim KLGA, and even uninstalled and re-installed the DD airport. Every day I got different results, one day I got massive terrain spikes and floating jetways, the next day my CRJ spawned inside the ground along with all of the jetways. EWR and JFK were pretty stable, but be aware that even if you have disabled everything related to another LGA scenery you may have, it seems to still have problems,
and with these packages you cannot retroactively disable a single airport, you must uninstall them all and re-install without the airport that was causing issues for you. According to the developer, this can be done, I was not able to find a way to do it while looking through the scenery library, but apparently this can be done.
These airports looked like they were going to be amazing! Really good value and handsome looks in their screenshots wowed me. But, after digging in deeper I just cannot say that I was impressed with their looks enough to truly recommend them and keep using them. While I’m sure that some people could find the appeal of these airport packages, I feel like the vast majority of people would be better off passing and waiting for a better rendition to come along, and buy them 1 by 1. I simply cannot recommend that people spend money on these, especially when the disparity between what you’re shown and what you get is so large. If you truly dig for value at the expense of not much else, then you will probably find strong appeal in these packages, but I feel like such a balance is rare in this community, and as such applies to very few people. To those who focus on a better balance of value to quality, and are willing to pay a little more for something better, I would sit tight and wait honestly. It saddens me to say this because usually DD puts out surprisingly high quality work (see Washington X) but they just missed the mark this time for most simmers.
Editors Note: Drzewiecki Design was reached out to to comment on the review. However, they refused to allow us to publish their responses in their e-mails.