For a little while now, each time I see some screen shots of games like Project Cars posted in these forums I keep getting a hankering to buy myself a nice wheel for gaming on.
I've never really enjoyed racing games on keyboard and mouse, it just seems a terrible way to play a racing game. However I have enjoyed them on a pad, usually on consoles. But I would really like something that really connects me to the experience. Although joypads are quite servicable for racing games, there is that real sense of disconnect, a lack of feedback. Whilst the games can still get my heart pounding, twiddling sticks and tapping buttons on a pad still has a tendancy to bring me out of the zone as it were, it still makes me feel like I'm just playing a game, there's a definite loss of immersion.
So I'm thinking of getting something force feedbacky. When done well I think FF devices are second to none for playing games on. Shame they seem to have on the whole fallen out of favour. When I bought my MS Sidewinder FF stick many years back, it came bundled with Mechwarrior 3, and man what an amazing experience that was through force feedback. Every heavy footstep of your mech sent judders through the stick, taking hits buffeted you about and when your mech over heated and went into lock down the stick jerked violently and then went all limp until it powered back up. It was pretty damn superb, and unfortunately a force feedback experience that has never been matched since. Not that I've come across anyway. Some of the shooters like Crimson Skies and Freespace also put on a good show through the force feedback though, but none really matched Mechwarrior 3 for sheer awesomeness.
So it would be nice to experience something like those thrills whilst playing some driving games. I have in mind something like the Logitech G27 wheel. The prices of these on Amazon UK keeps fluctuating a bit, but have recently come down again from £250 and can be had for about £190-£200. Now I know nothing about these things and whilst the reviews are mostly positive there are the occasional few where folks keep saying that they eventually develop a calibration fault and start to list to one side.
So can anyone here vouch for the G27 through personal experience? Or any other recomendations? I don't really want to pay more than £250 though, that's like really the very top end of my budget and for that I'm expecting something pretty amazing. At the same time I don't want to get a cheap one if it's not really going to do much more for my experince of the game. Also can any G27 owners tell me how they clamp to the desk please, as my desk has a keyboard draw underneath it with about 1.5" clearance above the keyboard. Obviously I can move the keyboard but it would be nice to know how they clamp to the desk underneath, or are the clamps on top?
If I did go ahead and buy one of these wheels, how do they actually stack up in games? For instance in games like Grid, NFS Shift and Project Cars, how much feedback is actually modelled? Do they actually provide enough effects to make use of the wheels? Are they fun, do you really feel like you're getting enough bang for your buck?
Some thoughts and musings from wheel owners would be much appreciated please. I'm just thinking that if I'm going to spend £200+ on a wheel, then I want to be pretty bloody impressed with it, and importantly its got to make me want to keep playing on it. I don't want ot get bored of it after a week, not if I'm spending £200. Granted that will come down to personality, but if playing Grid for instance on a joypad already gets my pulse racing and makes my arms stiffen up, how much will playing on a good wheel enhance that experience?