hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Review: KontrolFreek FPS Freek EPIC

12:45 PM on 09.19.2011 // Jim Sterling
  @JimSterling

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.

FPS Freek EPIC
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 *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TheDefenestrator avatarTheDefenestrator
I dig the feature in Until Dawn where, if you have the Playstation camera, it will record you briefly during jump scares for you to watch later. It's a really neat use of an underused peripheral. Too bad I'm dead inside and never react to them.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img]http://i.imgur.com/oZ7CQJa.jpg[/img]
nanashi avatarnanashi
Fallout Shelter: Impossible to Learn, Easy to Master.
Mike Wallace avatarMike Wallace
Not saying this is the case, but Kojima has gone on record as being a huge Mad Max: Fury Road fan. Konami decided to release MGSV on the same day as Mad Max TVG. They're trying piss on Kojima's lawn, man.
ooktar avatarooktar
Downloading Phantom Pain. ETA, 16 hours. Just in time for lunch tomorrow.
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
OH WOW. Talk about a complete about face. After slogging through the horrid beginning and slow ass swap sequence this game picked up exponentially. So far, I'm enjoying the hell out of it now. All if forgiven. Thank you based Kojima.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
Oh, joyful night. [youtube]https://youtu.be/6EfhAFA2yFE[/youtube]
techsupport avatartechsupport
After a summer of on-and-off casual play, I've finally reached lv. 34 in Destiny :')
nanashi avatarnanashi
also Fallout Shelter just made me utter this: "I have to get these pregnancies done.." life is trivial in this game!
Mr Knives avatarMr Knives
Let it be known that Metal Gear 2 for MXS has aged horribly and is no fun to play. In the midst of a MGS marathon, looks like I'm skipping ahead to MGS.
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
"Available: 31 August - This game will unlock in approximately 2 hours" HOLY SHIET! [youtube]https://youtu.be/9jK-NcRmVcw[/youtube]
nanashi avatarnanashi
-nudge nudge- hey Sony, discount Ys: I and II Chronicles and Ys: Seven on the PSP :D
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Just out of curiosity, does anybody here still play Mario Kart 8 at all frequently?
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Neighbors ended up calling the cops. I hid under a cardboard box. Police officers were perplexed but went back to their patrol routes after a minute or so.
techsupport avatartechsupport
!a new MGS: Ground Zeroes update file auto dl'd and installed..the day prior to MGSV... hmm.. coincidence? OR... coincidence?
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Just got an email from Nintendo saying that my Club Nintendo reward has been shipped and is on its way. Now it's the end of an era. *pours one out for Club Nintendo*
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
I've been thinking of starting up a criticism-minded "game of the month" type podcast. Would anyone be interested in something like that? If you'd wanna be part of it, let me know, I'm generating ideas and looking for contributors
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
Playing the most difficult strategy game ever: trying to figure out what order to beat your backlog in.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Transient Ryu stays ripped by riding the rails and throwing other transients off of his rail cars - [IMG]http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/Felth/homeless%20ryu.jpg~original[/IMG]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I'm so, so sorry everyone. :(
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

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 -