As you may have noticed, Gears of War 3 has launched around the world, which means the inevitable waves of authorised (or not-so-authorised) tie-ins are about to start. First off the blocks, the FPS Freek EPIC, a set of thumbsticks from KontrolFreek.
These have been designed specifically to work with Gears of War – right down to featuring the famous Omen skull logo in the centre of each pad, and the raised grip fashioned to resemble the classic cog design.
The concept behind the FPS Freek EPIC is simple – it’s been created to help you play better. Whether or not it does is yet to be seen. Destructoid got their thumbs on a pair and have checked them out already – and their report is less than stunning.
“I was still able to get my token two kills before getting shotgunned in the face by some rolling arsehole, so it’s definitely business as usual with the FPS Freek,” says Jim Sterling, before pointing out that this is perhaps the biggest problem with the new controls. “It felt so much like business as usual that I can’t really say it enhanced my gaming prowess.”
However, he does go on to say that – while the controller add-on “feels good” with Gears of War, it was fairly incompatible with other games like Warhammer 40k: Space Marine – noticeably not an FPS. Given that KontrolFreek has other stick add-on designs for assorted genres – while the FPS version is concave, the one for sporting games is convex, better suiting a different playstyle – so this news is unsurprising, and oddly positive, in a way.
It does mean though, that if you’re a fan of add-ons and you play an eclectic collection of games, you might need to have a similarly eclectic bunch of joystick pads. Fortunately though, Sterling’s opinion is that the FPS Freek EPIC is really only for the “truly dedicated Gearheads out there”. Gamers who veer toward the more casual side of things – or who aren’t into FPS as much as they play other games should probably save their money.