Published on October 20th, 2012 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor
Thumbs-to-Guns: Hands-on with the KontrolFreek HAVOC and INFINITY
Competitive first person shooter players will do just about anything to gain that winning edge.
A while back we reviewed the KontrolFreek FPS CQC Signature series controller enhancement. If you are unfamiliar with the product, the premise is simple. The enhancement latches on to both of your thumbsticks allowing for better control.
While this may seem like a simple scheme that other thumbstick skins have touched on by adding extra grip, KontrolFreek takes that one step further.
Each series of sticks vary in use and design, giving different flavors of attack for the games that they are specified for. For example, the newest sets are the INFINITY—which is designed for Halo—even boasts a Halo themed design on top. The other is the HAVOC and is designed with Call of Duty players in mind. Much like the CQC Signature series, these two share in the goal of making your FPS experience top notch and give extra stability to your aim.
After playing extensively with both it is easy to understand why someone would opt to apply longer control sticks to their current setup. The CQC Signature series did give superb control through a series of elemental tests. The first thing you will notice about the HAVOC and INFINITY is their differing designs. This is intended to give a different feel to both games, but does keep the style of play in mind.
The website describes them for use with mid to long range type shooters. Here are a few which they recommend using the HAVOC and INFINITY for:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
- Modern Warfare 3
- Battlefield 3
- Halo: 4
- Borderlands 2
- Medal of Honor Warfighter
I can tell that not everyone will specifically like having less control of their favorite FPS game. I did however enjoy the use of the INFINITY during Halo Reach multiplayer.
The increased length did throw me off during some gameplay on the PlayStation 3, but did feel comfortable while in Halo matches. The boxer layout that I have grown accustomed to had my ‘LS’ pushed forward all of the way and tilted whereas my right was atop the grip.
The flip side of this can be felt and demonstrated during Call of Duty and Battlefield matches. While I did have the thumbstick completely sideways during Halo, Battlefield 3 left me standing on the very tops of my ‘LS’ and ‘RS’. Shooting at a distance wasn’t erratic and unsteadied, but rather slower and more precise.
Having the extension on your control stick does make you conscious of your movements and lessens the jerkiness made otherwise in close quarters.
My sentiments about these enhancements haven’t changed much, being that the length still can be overwhelming when playing on the PlayStation 3. While I have grown more accustomed to using my controller on PC titles via the DS3 Tool (Which is a great tool to use your PS3 controller via sync cord. I don’t own a wired Xbox 360 controller, frown) they still can be a bit too much. Even so, they still offer the same extra grip that one might be looking for in getting the competitive edge over an opponent in an online match.
If you missed our prior review of the KontrolFreek CQC Signature edition, we put the thumbstick enhancements through a series of tests. Although we didn’t pit them against the harsh elements of mother nature, we did however challenge them based on elements gamers often come into contact with. These were things like food, sweat and other moisture.
The HAVOC and INFINITY differ in design from the over exaggerated grips of the CQC Signature series being that they are intended for close quarter matches. Instead, these are longer, but they do however stand the test of moisture the same.
This is contrasted with the literal slippery slope that is created when food grease comes into contact with them. If you are looking for a tournament or scenario that you want to make sure you win, like a bet with a friend(s), then you might want to be sure that you are nowhere near anything greasy.
The KontrolFreek brand has continued to provide a great product geared towards FPS titles. The HAVOC and INFINITY sets provide steady movements and increased grip for those types of games.
When it came to matching the performance of the previously released CQC Signature Series, there isn’t as much grip present on the HAVOC and INFINITY.
You’d better keep these pups locked up in the case they come in and ready to unsheathe when battle is near. Otherwise, keep clear of greasy snacks, but don’t mind that cold adult soda or sugary rush that you might need to pull your team through and avoid a loss.
Make sure to head over to the KontrolFreek Official site for ordering information.
+ Live up to their name
+ Exceptional grip
+ Performed well against moisture (Sweat, Water)
– Learning curve may be too much for PlayStation 3 controllers
– Far less grip than CQC Signature series
– Greasy food’s a downer