This month, KontrolFreek is releasing a couple of new FPS Freek accessories in line with two of the most anticipated titles of the year, Halo 4 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2: FPS Freek HAVOC and FPS Freek INFINITY. INFINITY is the first blue thumbstick that the company has put out and has designs inspired by Halo 4. HAVOC on the other hand is inspired by Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and thus reflects the design in that area. We were fortunate enough to get our hands on these new additions to the FPS Freek line and give them a nice long workout in a variety of gaming sessions. These add-ons to your analog sticks are meant to increase your control and accuracy especially in FPS games, but did they do the job?
The first thing to note is that INFINITY and HAVOC are able to work on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 standard controllers (in addition to some third-party controllers for each system). We tested the accessories on both controllers. The FPS Freeks are fairly simple to put on your controller’s analog sticks. You simply snap them on top of your analog sticks and you’re ready to go. The two drawbacks from this however are, once you snap them on, if the design isn’t quite in the direction you would like them to be (upside down or sideways, etc.) once the accessory is clipped on, they’re difficult to turn around. You can take them off of your analog sticks and reposition them, however this may cause some small scratches on your sticks when you remove them – so be gentle.
Both accessories feature a nice dip on the top to cradle your thumbs and are raised 1/2 to make your thumb sticks higher. Admittedly, it does take a good amount of time to get adjusted to the extensions especially when you’re used to playing with lower sticks. However, I found that after a good gaming session or two, you’ll be able to adjust and the comfort of the controllers with the FPS Freeks on them is great. I did feel a little more comfortable using my Xbox 360 controller when the FPS Freeks were on, over my PlayStation 3 controller, however the differences were minimal in that area. As someone with large hands and long fingers, I actually found that the accessory was better for my controller comfort and I haven’t removed them off of either controller since.
Now the main idea around these add-ons is to increase your accuracy and precision. To test this out – I played a couple of different games in the FPS, action, and arcade genres. I fired up some Halo Reach online on my Xbox 360 and Borderlands 2 on the PS3 – these were my findings: I’ll admit, when playing Halo games, I’m not quite the conventional player. I usually went for the co-op and campaign. I did play competitive multiplayer online, but it was never my strong suit. With the FPS Freek, after a good hour or so online, I saw my K/D ratio improving rather well. Now was this due to the FPS Freek or just me improving my skills? Well, I hopped off the Xbox 360 and went on the PS3 to play some Borderlands 2. A level 32 soldier class – I hopped into they Hyperion Slaughter dome and fought my way through. Previous to using the FPS Freeks, I got stuck on the last challenge of the slaughter and usually died within the first round out of seven. To my surprise, once I started playing with my FPS Freeks, I was able to fly through the same area with the same level 32-33 soldier, same weapons, and on my own all the way through the seventh round where I finally was taken out. Prior to the FPS Freeks, I was not even close to reaching that stage. I must attribute the increased accuracy and control to the FPS Freeks and not just my skills improving. In other areas, I played arcade games and action games that also were more comfortable to use with the FPS Freeks. The only genre that I wouldn’t really recommend these for are fighters, for fairly obvious reasons.
I would suggest this accessory for anyone that is serious about their gaming or wants a little extra edge especially in competitive first person shooter games. Throughout my use of the accessories, I have found that they really do add an extra comfort level on my controllers, my hands are a little more relaxed, and my accuracy improves. Pro gamers, competitive gamers, someone who just wants to improve their aim and accuracy – all should try the FPS Freeks out as they truly do work. You wont see the results immediately, but over time you will see improvements. They get a good grade from me and just about all gamers should give them a try.
INFINITY is out October 9 and HAVOC October 23.
[Note: Thanks to KontrolFreek, who provided GamerXChange with a free set of these accessories for review.]