I gave the preorder beta a try this morning. I hate to focus on the graphics, but for a sim that is focused on low-level flight, I am pretty disappointed.
Simply put, the terrain is a mess. Ground detail is very low resolution, even with all settings cranked to their max. Roads have absolutely no detail. Buildings pop in the distance rather than using some sort of alpha fade. You get bubbles of blurry terrain that sharpen very obviously as you fly (but only sharpen a bit, unfortunately).
The colors seem all wrong for the area (I live here, and know what it looks like from the air). It sort of looks like black-and-white satellite imagery that has been recolored (like what I remember from Flight Unlimited 3 from 1999). The scale of the houses and trees seems off.
Frame rates with everything cranked up (i7 2600k overclocked to 4.5 with two GTX570 in SLI) are OK but not great .. around 20 in demanding situations. 30 or so for most flying.
Downtown Seattle buildings look great. The sky is beautiful. Water is great. Lighting is nice. The detail and animations of the helicopters themselves are great. But the muddy, blurry, oddly colored terrain just ruins it all.
I can only compare to FSX, which came out more than 5 years ago and wasn't exactly cutting edge at the time. The terrain textures have much more detail. With addons such as Orbx/FTX, the gap is widened even further.
I love the ARMA games, and I didn't expect the same level of detail at ground level, but I sure didn't expect anything this bad. I really want a solid flight sim with a fun, underlying game. But, I just can't find any immersion in the actual flight when looking at this scenery.
I'll leave open the possibility that this is a Beta issue or something specific to my machine. I'll certainly revisit things with the full release, but at this point I'm deeply regretting the purchase and disappointed that this may not be the sim for me.