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Review: Overwatch Razer BlackWidow, Deathadder Chroma, & Goliathus Speed

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The cavalry

Overwatch is nearly here, and as is the case with any Blizzard game, a suite of hardware is coming along with it. While SteelSeries had the honors last time around with Heroes of the Storm, Razer is up with several new additions to their lineup.

Due to numerous requests from readers, I pinged Razer to see what the newest set on the block is all about.

Overwatch Razer BlackWidow Chroma keyboard ($180 MSRP)

I have a weird relationship with mechanical keyboards. When it comes to gaming, I love them. But when I'm writing up hundreds of words per day, that clicking sound, even the muted version from some of the more modern keyboards, is painful to me. I know a lot of people who don headphones to alleviate it, but sometimes I like to just hunker down in silence (well, it would be silent if I whipped out my traditional set of keys). Alas, the BlackWidow Chroma has convinced me to stick around -- at least until I have a nervous breakdown.

It took a few days to get used to a mechanical setup again, but lo and behold, I did it. The general feel of striking each individual key is jarring at first, but the conceit really does help when it comes to precision -- especially if you're having latency issues. With mechanical buttons every single key has a switch, ensuring that when you press that button, it actually initiates the required action. This has been the case, flawlessly, for every game I've played with it, and it's especially useful for twitch-based first-person shooters (like Overwatch) and MOBAs.

In terms of frills, the Chroma packs in a few decent extras (which is just as well, for the price). A function key can trigger a selection of OS-related niceties, like volume and playback controls, as well as an instant-on for "gaming mode" -- a setting that restricts the use of Alt + Tab, Alt + F4, and the Windows Key (all of which can be toggled individually).

The Synapse software that comes with the unit also allows for backlight customization (40 base colors along with a slider) and a brightness setting, which can be turned off entirely (in general, or when a display is turned off). Users can also click on any key within the software and alter it with another key or mouse function, or cause it to trigger an application launch or a macro.

Multiple profiles can be saved, and swapped with one of 10 function key-linked shortcuts. I only ended up using two myself, but long term I'm ready for a lot more.

Overwatch Razer DeathAdder Chroma mouse ($80 MSRP)

I've gone back and forth when it comes to mice for years. Ages ago I was partial to a really good Microsoft unit, which is usually backed up by a trusty Logitech model. Every so often depending on the titles I play I go back to gaming mice from either SteelSeries or Razer, both of which have treated me well as a general rule. So naturally, going back to a DeathAdder in the form of the Overwatch Chroma was an easy switch.

I really like the scroll wheel in particular, which is stocked with a rubber grip. It's easy to get overzealous when it comes to scrolling, and I've found that the DeathAdder has a great balance overall. The custom lighting on the scroll wheel is cool, but ultimately forgettable as it's so muted -- though the Overwatch logo is neat looking, and can be turned off at will. Comfortable grips on the sides also help make it more bearable for prolonged use.

Button-wise the DeathAdder isn't all that complicated, so I wouldn't use it for hardcore MMO raiding or even more complicated shooters, but for Overwatch, it's perfect. Two buttons on the side (which can be linked to abilities or melee) can be assigned or macroed, along with the standard left/middle/right-click options. Both ancillary buttons are located on the left side, so the muscle memory requirement is fairly light.

Just like the BlackWidow, the DeathAdder also plays nice with the Synapse software. I was able to create a custom profile for each game, adjusting DPI sensitivity rates (100 to 10,000) and mouse acceleration at will. Its cloud-save capabilities also worked great when transferring my hardware over to my laptop for testing.

Overwatch Razer Goliathus Speed pad ($34.99 MSRP)

Initially I thought that I could throw it on the "things I don't need" pile, but I really got used to it over time. In short, it's a giant pad that's meant to accompany both a mouse and a keyboard, and at 36 inches wide, you'll need a bigger desk to take advantage of it. On my end I have a tri-monitor setup, so it's pretty much perfect.

Razer boasts an "anti-fraying stitched frame" (which I tested by beating the mat on a rough service) and an anti-slip rubber base, which I've found to be accurate. What I really liked about the base in particular is how sturdy it is from just about any angle. Sometimes I like to move my keyboard up a bit off the edge of the desk, and even if just part of it is on the mat, it stays put.

In terms of aesthetics I dig the black color scheme, which features a small Razer logo in the bottom left-hand corner along with the Overwatch title, with a logo on the right. It's minimal enough without feeling like you're repping a brand, and I think I'm starting to really cozy up to the idea of using this monstrosity for the near future. This is such a me thing, but since I practically live at my desk I also tried to see what would happen if hot soup warped the surface at all, and within a week of testing, I haven't noticed any damage.

The benefit of testing this suite altogether is that everything works in tandem. There's an option to instantly sync lighting color choices to both devices, and an extra sensitivity option for when you're using the Goliathus pad or a desktop. While I've had mixed results in the past with some Razer devices, there's very little in the way of downsides here outside of a lack of complexity on the mouse.

[These hardware reviews are based on a retail equipment provided by the publisher.]

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reviewed by Chris Carter

 

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Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures


 


 



Filed under... #Hardware #keyboards #Overwatch #PC #Razer #reviews #Top Stories

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