Here at Launch Media Network headquarters, we’ve wanted to try out fellow Atlanta-based company, KontrolFreek’s performance-enhancing accessories for awhile. Do they work? Do they make a difference? We’ll tell ya.
Here’s what we tested
Black Ops III Reveal Edition FPS Freeks (PS4 and Xbox One)
The Black Ops IIIs are add-ons that attach to your analog sticks, adding 10.4 millimeters in height, and are meant to increase performance in medium to long-range shooting games.
Grips (PS4 and Xbox One)
Grips help you get a grip (on your controller, that is). They are textured and adhere to the handles and are meant to increase comfort and decrease slip while gaming.
How we kept on track (PS4)
We ended up testing out the Black Ops III Reveal Edition and some Grips on a platform/racing game, which is not at all what these specific FPS Freeks were intended for. In our defense, Black Ops III doesn’t come out for a while, and we haven’t gotten a beta code yet. However, we did find that they seemed to improve our performance while racing a fire-breathing unicorn ridden by a gun-toting cat through insane gravity-defying levels set in space. In this game, Trials Fusion, being able to accurately and quickly shift the weight/position of the rider while delicately controlling the speed of the vehicle is vital. If your driver (or cat) is not seated appropriately for a ramp or jump, you’ll fail (and typically be crushed by your bike and/or fall into a pit of lava).
Grips on a PS4 controller
Our bike (unicorn) was easier to control, but we still died. A lot.
The added control provided by the FPS Freek enabled us to progress through many levels in a short period of time, and successfully defeat a giant robot in space. This specific game was noticeably more difficult without the performance-enhancing capabilities of the FPS Freek, so you’ll probably want to get a prescription and notify the ESL before you next compete in an official tournament.
My only gripes about the Black Ops IIIs is that they were a bit too tall for one of us, and that the “toothy” texture was slightly abrasive after a while. One member of our team had previously used the Phantom FPS Freeks and found their grippy-yet-smooth texture to be more comfortable. My fingers (and thumbs) are long, so I often find myself controlling the analog sticks with the base of my thumbs as they slip during gameplay. The Black Ops IIIs solved that problem by keeping my thumbs where they were supposed to be and in a comfortable posture.
Our team member had previously used the Phantoms to play Call of Duty, and recommends FPS Freeks in general, but cautions that you have to get used to them before you can really notice a positive impact on your performance.
Additionally, the Grips helped to keep our hands in position as the levels became increasingly more ridiculous and anxiety-producing. The Grips could’ve been slightly more grippy in texture, but they fit the controller well, were easy to apply, and did their job. Definitely useful.
Black Ops IIIs on Xbox One controller
How we survived the zombie apocalypse (Xbox One)
After thoroughly testing the PS4 versions of KontrolFreek’s accessories, we decided it was time for some good old-fashioned zombie hunting. Dead Rising 3 provided the perfect opportunity to test a wide range of gameplay factors, from carefully maneuvering a steamroller through a horde of the undead, to fending off a gang of violent bikers with your trusty shotgun and a collection of molotovs. As with the PS4, we tested both the Black Ops IIIs and some Grips.
Black Ops IIIs from above
Our aim was true; No gripes on grip
The Black Ops IIIs seemed to increase our precision while aiming. We generally found that it was easier to get a steady shot with the Black OPs IIIs than without. Sadly, the accessories did not keep us from accidentally throwing rations across the boss fight arena instead of consuming them. They were precisely aimed rations, though. No more twitchy ration-throwing for us.
The Grips felt really good on the Xbox One controllers. We may be purchasing some additional Grips.
How’d KontrolFreek do?
Black Ops III Reveal Edition (PS4 and Xbox One): 8.5/10
They do what they’re supposed to, but are not perfect for all hand/finger-lengths and individual preferences.
Grips (PS4 and Xbox One): 9/10
Would recommend. They’re sticky though, so make sure you put them on right the first time.
“I guess that’s why they’re called grips, not slips.” – Kate
Loud groan. – Everyone else
KontrolFreek controller accessories review
Black Ops III Reveal Edition: 8.5/10 Grips: 9/10What Our Ratings Mean