I’m a bit of a gamer – I used to write a gaming blog, and I like to make games as a hobby. These days I mostly play iPhone games but I do still like to sit down and have a session on the WiiU or the XBox 360. In particular I enjoy adventure games like The Legend of Zelda. Most recently I have been playing Watchdogs and Assassins Creed. Both games by Ubisoft – and both with a similar action style (albeit in very different time periods).
I was recently offered a Kontrol Freek controller accessory to review – and because of my gaming habits I was happy to oblige. Kontrol Freek sent me the Futbol Freek and so I had a gaming session over the weekend to give it a run.
What the add-on does is twofold. Firstly it increases the length of the analogue sticks on your console controller. Secondly it increases the surface area of the analogue stick. The idea being that these two things combined give you more control when playing games.
The theory is that the extend length means you have a wider range of movement which gives you finer control. As well as being larger the pads are also a bit softer with a deeper dip in the middle giving you better grip. They have an article explaining the science on the Kontrol Freek website.
The Futbol Freek adds about 8mm to the height of the stick. What this means in simple terms is that you have to move the stick a bit further to make the same movement you would have otherwise. Initially it felt a bit strange, my thumb was resting higher than I am used to and the movements felt different, but I soon got used to it and was running around quite happily.
I started off playing Assassins Creed and, to be honest, I didn’t notice much difference in the controls, although I did find it easier to keep hold of the stick. However Assassins Creed is not the sort of game that needs a lot of precision – so I switched over to Call of Duty – and here I noticed a bigger change.
I’m not great at Call of Duty (or any first person shooter for that matter). I enjoy playing through the single player story mode but I don’t enjoy playing the multiplayer mode. Everyone in the world is better than I am at that game – so I never win. That said; the Kontrol Freek add-on did feel like it gave me a slight advantage. In particular when using the sniper rifle, or just using the a gun sight. It added a little extra finesse to the control stick making it a bit easier to hit exactly where you want.
Browsing around the Kontrol Freek site you can see that they have lots of different add-ons; the main differences being the rubber pads and the height.
Having played with the Futbol Freek for about 8 hours now I can say that whilst I quite like the extra 8mm height, I am not sure I would want to use anything taller. The FPS Freek Snipr adds 13mm!
I think for hardcore gamers the add-ons could be great. In particular for first person shooters and other twitch games that need good accuracy.