PC Racing: Much Easier With A Steering Wheel!

ACT Labs Shifter, Continued

ACT Labs Clutch Performance System

ACT Labs does not leave it at that. They also have a highly advanced pedal set used with or without the Force RS wheel. It consists of a gas pedal, a brake pedal and a proper clutch. The whole thing is really impressive - heavy duty and solid with a metallic design on the pedals. You feel like you are in a real auto. To use the pedals without an ACT wheel, you plug it into the USB port, and it is detected on X and Y axes. Then you have the problem of game recognition. The program should be able to manage two peripherals at once, plus manual clutch control. There aren't many games that can do that - the Sierras, Nascar 2002 and others, Virgin 4x4, and that's about it. So you really need a favorite game that you play day and night to justify the purchase of this system, which, combined with another wheel, will cost you the modest sum of ($70). So, like the Shifter, it does make a lot of sense. Quite frankly, I only got any real pleasure out of it with Grand Prix Legend and Nascar 2002. You'll need a good year's practice before you can get results as good as with an automatic.

So all in all, I have mixed feelings. The wheel is starting to become dated, and even though it is impressive, its precision and ergonomics are not of the highest level. The accessories, the Shifter and the Clutch, are tremendous, but they are really only meant for those who are really into pure simulation as found in Papyrus games. What's more, for our European readers out there, ACT Lab systems are hard to find in Europe.