Gaming accessories are brilliant.
There are power packs and there are grips. There are headsets and gaming chairs. There are also a whole ton of various thumbsticks on the market from the super cheap, right up to the all singing, all dancing cash cows, with each designed to enhance your gaming sessions and ensure that your all important kill /death ratio is kept looking good.
The latter come with various designs, in a multitude of colours, shapes and sizes, with KontrolFreek being right at the forefront of the market. Indeed, I’ve been lucky enough to have gone hands on with many of the recent thumbstick add-ons that KF have produced for Xbox One recently and I’ve been pretty much blown away by the vast majority of them.
Now though, the Atlanta based accessories creator has brought a new thumbstick to the market. One that is a little different to normal and wishes to shout ‘look at me’ from the rooftops. But what exactly makes this one stand out from the madding crowd? Well…It glows! Kinda.
The limited edition KontrolFreek Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare ‘Zombies in Spaceland’ CQC Performance Thumbsticks for Xbox One (to give them their full name) are here and ready to wow the streaming crowds. But are they any good?
Well yes they are. But that glow in the dark feature is a huge gimmick and quite frankly I don’t think you should be buying them on the back of it. That said, performance wise, they are utterly outstanding.
You see, as a thumbstick that has been created to enhance your gaming sessions, the Zombies in Spaceland Edition ones for Xbox One feel and work absolutely perfectly. With a slight concave design that features the iconic Angry Mike on its face, some rather lovely tactile outer ridges on the rim and a very, very sticky surface that will quite simply never let you thumbs lose traction again, there is little to complain about. Except for maybe they are slightly too hard to the touch. But then that’s me being picky. I mean really picky.
The mid-rise stick add ons are the perfect height and width for nearly all gamers too, dropping in with a 6.1mm extension which allows for tighter, more precise controls whenever you’re in a first person shooter. Created in conjunction with Activision and Infinity Ward, and released to market just as the hopes of gamers rest on the upcoming Call of Duty Infinite Warfare, at a time when the hype is really starting to build, they will most definitely give you an edge in battle.
And honestly, that is what we really want from a thumbstick. At least that’s what I want from one and that is what KontrolFreek have yet again delivered.
However, the main selling point this time round, that of the glow in the dark feature falls short on the old excitement meter.
The Zombies in Spaceland Edition sticks look brilliant, at least during the day when the sunlight shines bright and you can take in the intricate design that has been lovingly etched in. They look great with the glowing yellowy-green top sitting pretty whilst the underside features a hard black three pronged base. But by night it’s a different story, one which fizzles out like a damp squib.
You see, my interpretation of something which glows in the dark is that said product should shine up when the lights are off, holding the glow for some time. I have to admit that when night falls, the Zombies sticks do indeed glow bright, ensuring that there is next to no chance you’ll be able to miss your controller. But this glow lasts only a matter of minutes at best, after which, they turn into your bog-standard KontrolFreek offering. Not that that’s a bad thing, but for something that sells itself on glow in the dark intentions, I want to see more than a minute or two of shine.
And even if you do notice something magical happened, not only are your thumbs covering the sticks for the majority of the time, but very rarely will you be focusing on anything other than the feel in your hands and exactly what is going on in your screen. I mean, how often do you look down at your controller and marvel at its glorious design? Do that and you’re likely to take a headshot or knife in the back as every second counts in the wonderful world of online gaming.
It must be said that the idea is a nice one, at least in theory, but in practice it falls short. By all means go and purchase the KontrolFreek Call of Duty Zombies in Spaceland Edition thumbsticks for Xbox One if you are in need of some new stick enhancers, like the stunning concave design, want to show your dedication to the Call of Duty branding or just need something to spend some cash on.
But if you’re hoping they will be burning a bright zombie shaped scar on your retinas, you’re going to be horribly mistaken.
You can buy the thumbsticks direct from KontrolFreek right now.