Kontrol Freeks is releasing the perfect storm this holiday – well they call it the “Perfect Arsenal”, but it’s the same idea. First they released the FPS Freek SNIPR, then the FPS Freek Elite – which we will be reviewing soon. Now they are releasing the FPS Freek CQC – a new design in their line of products. Compatible with both the Xbox 360 controller and the Dualshock 3, the FPS Freek CQC is a versatile attachment, to be used on its own or in conjunction with another FPS Freek.
The CQC is an in between of the standard controller and a FPS Freek. The CQC isn’t as high, but it still gives better control then a bare joystick. The name would imply this new Freek is for Close Quarter Combat; however just from looking at it there isn’t much in the design to suggest that.
The head of the CQC is slightly – and I mean slightly – larger than a standard FPS Freek. It would seem that you would need to make a very wide and flat design to give an advantage in close quarter combat. But there is actually some sense in this design choice. The higher the joystick is, the less amount of force is needed to move it, and the more sensitive the joystick is. The hubcap looking design of the CQC heightens the joystick just a bit – and improves grip, without making the joystick too sensitive. This means you get the added advantage the Kontrol Freeks give without the high sensitivity – and that is where you get the close quarter advantage.
Now while there is a difference between the CQC and other Freeks, it is a small difference. Much like the FPS Freek SNIPR, it seems to be more of a matter of personal preference than scientific advantage, so don’t go thinking this will all of a sudden make you a shotgun-star.
Like all the new Kontrol Freeks, the CQC has the new clip design that is much easier to put on and take off. This new system uses three prongs instead of six, just like the FPS Freek EPIC, Elite, and SNIPR. The design is easier on your controller, but you should still be wary of constantly switching Freeks.
I have been using standard FPS Freeks for years and I absolutely love them. There is no doubt in my mind that they improve your game. To see if the new FPS Freek CQC’s gave the same effect, I took off both of my FPS Freek Elites, and stuck on a fresh pair of CQCs. The grip provided by the studded rubber is sensational and feels like glue to your thumbs – and that’s an advantage that is immediately noticeable. I played a dozen rounds of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, using shotguns and SMGs almost exclusively to see how it did with short range weapons. After a game session that long I started to feel my hands cramp up a decent amount – something I never get with any other Freeks. The CQCs did feel better than the bare joysticks did, and in some ways they felt better than the other FPS Freeks. The lower overall height makes them less sensitive, so you aren’t quickly darting everywhere but instead doing a gentler sweep. At the same time I felt a disadvantage when it came to longer range combat when I needed to adjust my aim by just a few degrees.
Now obviously that is to be expected from a close quarter attachment, however when I think of practical usage, it is not so easy to justify the CQC. Like most gamers, I don’t stick to one weapon class in normal play, and even if I did I don’t get to pick how far my targets are from me. This means that while you will have an advantage up close, you will have a disadvantage from afar when compared to standard FPS Freek designs. With the FPS Freek SNIPR I felt the same way – the advantage in sniping was noticeable, but at the same time it did not work as well with closer combat. It seems that both the CQC and the SNIPR fall into opposite ends of the spectrum.
After using all types of the FPS Freek for an extended amount of time, I can say I feel the best in the middle. The CQC works as advertised, but is a tad too specialized for me. If you have used a FPS Freek before and dislike its height, or have smaller hands, you may prefer the FPS Freek CQC. For me though, I’m going to stick with the tried-and-true original.
+ Gives you a close combat advantage
+ GREAT grip
– May make it harder for longer range fighting, or gamers with smaller hands