hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: KontrolFreek FPS Freek EPIC

12:45 PM on 09.19.2011 // Jim Sterling

With Gears of War 3 launching tonight, all those fratboys obsessed with hulking masses of gun-toting meat will want to splurge excessive amounts of money on trinkets and paraphernalia.

Fortunately, KontrolFreek has 'em covered with the FPS Freek EPIC, a new set of thumbsticks that click onto the Xbox 360's controller and claim to help you play better. KontrolFreek has teamed up with Microsoft to start providing its products at retail for the first time, and we got our hands on the new Gears-flavored enhancements to test them for ourselves.

Manufacturer: KontrolFreek
Released: September 13, 2011
MSRP: $13.99

The FPS Freek EPIC has been designed specifically to work with Gears of War, and is definitely for hardcore fans of the series. Even the aesthetics have Epic's manly franchise in mind, designed as they are with the famous Gears "Skull" icon etched into the center. As with the original logo, each skull is surrounded by a cog, and the cog's teeth are raised to create extra grip, which I feel is quite a nice touch. 

Using thick rubber with a lot of friction to it, there's an impressive amount of tactility on the nubs, so your sweaty palms shouldn't slide off the rigid sticks no matter how hard you jostle. The Freek enhancements snap onto the existing sticks quite easily and hold firm once fixed, but can be removed easily if you tug with enough vigor. The hole at the base of the Freek is tight, but flexible enough to be penetrated by both Xbox 360 and PS3 sticks, meaning your peripheral can safely have several partners. 

The extra height gained by the Freek takes some getting used to, and may feel quite odd to those who have never experimented before, but after just a minute or two it starts to feel surprisingly natural. I've tried it with Gears of War 3, and found that it didn't harm my gaming ability at all. 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. 

That, however, presents the biggest problem with the add-on. It felt so much like business as usual that I can't really say it enhanced my gaming prowess. Sure, I have something thicker and longer in my hands, but I can't say the pleasure was heightened. The added length claims to allow players to make smaller motions when targeting and moving, but personally I didn't quite feel a dramatic enough change in the way I played my game. The extra grip was welcome, and using the sticks felt shockingly comfortable, but comfort and usability are the only things that stuck out to me. My ability to track and hit targets felt the same as it always has. 

It should also be noted that, while the FPS Freek EPIC does feel good with Gears of War, I had to take the sticks off when playing other games. I tried the peripheral with Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, for example, and they felt less comfortable, not least for the fact that one clicks the left stick to sprint in that game, and the FPS Freek isn't quite as adept at letting me do that. 

The FPS Freek EPIC is a cool little extra, and the comfort alone makes one far more able to cope with an evening of Gears of War 3 multiplayer. Those looking to gain an upper hand on the competition, however, won't quite find their abilities augmented to any extreme degree with this. The principal of extra height is definitely in play, but I just don't think it's dramatic enough to make a player significantly more threatening. 

Due to its visual design and limited applications, the FPS Freek EPIC is definitely a peripheral for the truly dedicated Gearheads out there. Those people will find plenty of use for it, but the more casual player can safely stick with a virgin controller.

Jim Sterling, Former Reviews Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure JimSterling Tips
Destructoid reviews editor, responsible for running and maintaining the cutting edge videogame critique that people ignore because all they want to see are the scores at the end. Also a regular f... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Shinta avatarShinta
Shinta avatarShinta
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
It's 2am and I'm watching this emulator whiz play Xenia (360 emilator) on PC albeit glitchy This video is hilarious
Shinta avatarShinta
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The Undertale review section on its Steam page is hilarious! [img][/img]
n0signal avatarn0signal
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
A Nintendo rep gave this to me today because she likes talking to me. I do have lots of the Old AC eReader cards I guess I could put in it... [img][/img]
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I'm still trying to figure out how to do it, but for the most part I like what I've seen of the new blog editor. My first blog post using it should go up tomorrow.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
The demon threat is real.[img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #20 (Bonus) - Valak Mountain Night (Xenoblade Chronicles) [youtube][/youtube] This theme perfectly captures the essence of Valak Mountain. It feel serene and calm, as well as mountain-esque (lol).
Lawman avatarLawman
What does one do when MGS V has lost its luster and Persona 4: DAN is growing stale? Listen to Queens of the Stone Age, of course. And wonder; is Steins;Gate worth the asking price? I want it, but not sure if I $30 - $40 want it...
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
Been trying to get Tales Of Phantasia finished before Zestiria comes out... How i'm going to get through that game I have no clue... especially when Exist Archive comes out in December and I have to play that too... also i've still yet to finish Grandia 2
TheLimoMaker avatarTheLimoMaker
Been in a bit of a rut this week and as such haven't really been satisfied with any of my games. Therefore, I'm going to start Destiny again on my new PS+ account. Any tips given the amount of updates it's had?
Bardley avatarBardley
Bought a used knockoff game console called the Power Kracker 2013, which claimed to have 76,000 games. The AC adapter was missing and someone had crammed an off-brand GameCube controller inside the box. I don't know what I expected.
Firuzi Gafrindashvili avatarFiruzi Gafrindashvili
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
I actually love the quests in Novigrad where you write a play. It's a fun and lighthearted break from the tragedy of Baron and horror of Velen and the Crones.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
I preordered Tales of Zestria and Disgaea 5 because they were £10 cheaper that way, WHO WANTS TO FIGHT ME HUH?
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Man, plague of shadows is gooood. It really fleshes out plague knight and the world by extension, and it has some fun story stuff. Plus plague knight plays differently enough to shovel knight to make whats old feel new again. Deep customization too.
nanashi avatarnanashi
You will be missed. 2001 - 2015 ATHF RIP. ... oh and uh, GET OUT OF MY FREAKING POOL!!
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -