There are quite a few racing / rally games on the Xbox format. After nearly a year of the Xbox in the UK we now have the chance to try out the Logic 3 Steering Wheel for all those lovely crashes, smashes and all out carnage.
At first glance the wheel seems rather smaller then the competitors. The foot pedals in particular are quite close together as well and anyone with large feet will on the odd occasion press the wrong pedal or even both together due to the proximity. The advantage of this however is storage. With so many accessories for the Xbox, your room can get cluttered up with controllers of all kinds. Even though small the wheel is very nice to use and offers a good resistance when turning. Racing games are transformed with a steering wheel in my opinion making the realism much better than when just using the standard Xbox controller.
The generous amount of wire leading from the wheel to the pedals is also very welcome as I can remember having a PC wheel by another company and it was simply too short meaning the pedals never actually felt the floor properly. Also a nice little idea is the changing option for the height of the wheel. By setting the angle you can find a nice comfortable position. The only trouble is with this design is the need for a table or other flat service around waist height when sitting down to properly rest the wheel, this can be overcome though by adding another 5 pounds to the price which buys you a stand for the controller. Buttons are located well with a big fat juicy start button on the center of the wheel. Also there is a flap with a D-pad to navigate menus easier.
All games felt much more realistic when used in conjunction with this wheel. With analogue steering and analogue pedals a greater feel of control is felt by the user. Trouble is games also feel a lot harder as most people such as myself are more used to using controllers and with so many analogue controllers over the last few years it has almost become second nature to use. Using the wheel is actually very frustrating at first as crashing and car damage is ever present in the first few hours. This does pass over time as you become accustomed to the new way of using the games.
Surprisingly for me out of the four games I tried with this is that the game I called mostly average actually delivered one of the better uses for this controller. Total Immersion Racing does have an interior view which again does help your perspective when using the wheel and soon what was a very average affair game becomes a much more enjoyable title.
Rallisport Challenge with its constant annoying vibrations felt much better again when using the wheel. Although getting used to the device was difficult and very frustrating when I was quite good with the standard controller and all of a sudden you become the world’s worst player, the vibrations feel much better translated through the wheel then through a controller. If you are beginning to drift over to the edge you can feel the dirt under your tyres translate to the wheel and you can make the necessary adjustment before you lose control and plummet into the ditch.
Formula 1 2002 was an improvement but again time is needed to adjust as I am sure you wouldn’t see Top Formula 1 drivers spinning out of control every 2 seconds.
Project Gotham Racing relies heavily on driving style and this is where the wheel failed. No fault of the wheel but the standard controller I feel for this game is much better when compared to the wheel.
A very nifty little wheel and for anyone who enjoys a little more realism and something different, this wheel does provide. Maybe small, but stands tall with the competition.