Annual Review: Six Gamepads

Down With Drivers

Now, here we have people who want to do away with drivers, just like me. The documentation clearly states that there is no driver to install in Windows XP. The wheel is detected as it is and everything works. However, you can't adjust the strength of force feedback in the control panel, though you can do it in most games. I was delighted until I ran Rally Sport Challenge, which didn't detect the pedal, set axis. So I installed the driver and it worked. The driver installs no other settings and it is impossible to combine the axes to have the wheel, accelerator and brake in X/Y. Yet there are a few games, which need this mode. There is no profiler either, but this is not required, since you can allocate the buttons in the software. Thrustmaster had the good idea of putting a mode button on the wheel with a red LED showing automatic recentering as though there were a spring and a green one where there isn't any. This is ingenious because it means you can decide on your sensations. Personally, I hate it when there is no recentering.

On The Circuit

Whatever game you re playing, be it rally or Formula 1, the Enzo is every bit as precise as the best of its rivals. Travel is perfectly reduced and the center steadfastly held. The pedal set is not quite as good, but the analog levers behind the wheel do very well instead if you prefer to use them. Recentering makes driving very comfortable, as do the excellent ergonomics apart from that thumb problem. Actually, my advice here is quite simple. You must try holding it before you buy it. The position on a rather low desk means you have to sit up very straight, but this is not important because you can change it. The force feedback is strong enough and gives you even the lightest sensations such as gear shifting in Formula 1. At $105 (90 euros), this is a highly recommendable wheel if the ergonomics suit you.