Good to the last frag. Review

Wingman Force 3d Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • N/A

Publisher

  • Logitech

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • Hardware

rating

Good to the last frag.

I’ve been a gamer for a long time, and an obsessed one at that. I remember

telling strangers: “I have spent all of my money on videogames. Can I please

have a quarter for bus fare?” (back when a quarter would get you on the bus).

After pulling the pity strings and duping some sympathetic adult, I would run

as fast as I could to Mama’s Pizza and plunk that shiny George right into the

Donkey Kong machine with no regrets at all.

Since then, games have only gotten better. Now I sit here at home with the

same sense of awe, but in front of my own computer. I have been building this

machine purely for gaming – it’s not the fastest on the block, but with good

video acceleration and 3D surround sound, all my setup was lacking was for my

desk chair to swing around something fierce.

Wingman

Force 3D

While Logitech has yet to make a flight simulation chair, they do make

a pretty good joystick that rumbles. In fact, it does much more than rumble.

Featuring the latest force feedback goodies, the Wingman Force 3D is

a great addition to any gamers rig.

For starters, it’s cool looking, so you don’t have to hide it when your friends

come over. It’s easy to install, and hey, it has force feedback, so you can

finally take advantage of all of that extra programming that game developers

went through to really bring your favorite titles to life.

If you already own a Logitech Wingman product, installation is a non-issue.

The Force 3D uses the same power cord and drivers as their other controllers.

I have the Formula Force 3D steering

wheel, so all I had to do was swap the power cord, plug into the USB port on

the back of my computer, and start playing; it was instantly recognized. In

fact, since it uses the same profiler my games were already available and ready

to play.

If you don’t already own any WingMan products, installation takes about five

minutes. Pop the CD in your drive, click ‘setup’, and away you go. USB support

means that you wont even have to reboot your computer, unless you really want

to. It’s about the easiest installation I’ve come across.

The WingMan profiler is a nice, simple interface that makes configuring the

controller a breeze. All you have to do is point the profiler to your game’s

executable file and add it to the list. Then use the game’s controller options

to configure the buttons the way you like. You can even reassign the buttons

to take on keyboard functions (in case your copy of Mechwarrior

2
doesn’t support a 4-axis, 7 button controller). Logitech also has a website

where you can download custom profiles for a number of games.

As far as ergonomics go, the Force 3D is pretty good. The seven buttons,

hat switch and throttle are in natural positions for human hands, making them

easily accessible, which is a definite plus. The shape seems like it should

be comfortable, though my hands cramp up a bit after a half-hour or so. However,

this may not be the case for everyone.

The force feedback is done well. Rough roads in racers or the recoil of the

machine gun in a dogfight translate as they should. Road vibration and loss

of control due to scraping the wall really add to the realism of a good racing

game. Flight games like Crimson Skies

really come alive when you feel the impact of bullets rattling the hull of your

plane or the stuttering of a bad engine.

My biggest problem with the Force 3D is that I’ve also played with

the Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro from Microsoft, and when compared,

the Force 3D just feels a bit cheap. Logitech is famous for putting out

products that perform well, and I have always liked their utilities, but they

are somewhat lacking in the assembly department. For instance, when driving

over rough roads, the whole thing feels a little rickety. I could say this was

adding to the realism, but I think that would be stretching it a little far.

Also, the stick is a bit too loose; it’s hard to pull off precision flying maneuvers

when there is little resistance to steady your hand.

The upside is that it comes bundled with Superbike World Champions,

which is a really good racer. I have never really liked motorcycle games, but

SWC has won my affections. It boasts superb graphics (except your rider’s

hands, which are big rectangles), challenging courses, and really good support

of the force feedback.

The WingMan Force 3D is a good choice for the price. The only real

comparison I can make is to the Sidewinder Force Feedback, and comparing

the costs, you save about half by sacrificing a little quality in the assembly

(try around $60 compared to around $120). And of course, a decent racer bundled

with it is a sweet bonus.



REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating
Easy button access
Good software bundle
Affordable
Slightly flimsy
Precise movements hard to pull off
Not the