Third party companies rarely make controllers that can compete with the official controller you get when you buy your console, and over the decades I’ve been gaming I have never been impressed with any other controller other than the official one. So, it was with a great sense of trepidation that I turned on the Gioteck GC-2 and started playing a few hours of Medal Of Honor: Warfighter, followed by some Dirt 3 and Tekken 6, to allow the controller to be used on the most common types of games that people play today.
The GC-2 controller comes neatly boxed in a small box, with everything tightly squeezed into it and protected well. In addition to the controller you also get a 2.4ghz wireless adapter which you need to plug into the PlayStation 3 in order for the controller to operate. Unlike a normal PS3 controller you cannot turn your console on by pressing the PS button, so I had to get up and turn the console on with the on/off button. No big deal breaker, but something I was not expecting.
The controller is one sexy looking joypad, finished off in a shiny black top section and a rubberized effect base. Unlike the layout of a standard PS3 controller, the left stick is higher on the controller, apparently giving you a more natural position for your thumb, while the right stick is in the standard PS3 position. The D-Pad falls under the left stick, and has a nice robust feel to it, with a nice bounce when pressed. The four action buttons (triangle, square, cross and circle) are in the usual place but are a bit smaller than on a standard official controller.
The front triggers are vastly different from the triggers on a standard pad. The first thing you will notice is that the L2 and R2 triggers seem to rest a bit higher than on an official pad, and your hand naturally grips these with no effort at all. The L1 and R1 triggers on the other hand seem to be in a higher position than on the official controller, and need some getting used to. As well as having to contend with the slightly different position of the triggers, the triggers are much thinner to hold than on the official pad.
Even with all these differences in the button and stick layouts, the pad is aesthetically pleasing and looks like a premium product. Of course, looks can be deceiving, but playing the games mentioned earlier, I soon realized that this pad was something very special. The controller also has dual motors inside to give that extra kick on vibrations, and surprisingly this doesn’t add too much weight to the controller.
Playing the games
The first thing you notice about the GC-2 is that it feels absolutely natural in your hands; it is weighted perfectly and your fingers find the buttons and stick as if by second nature upon playing for more than a minute. A few hours of Warfighter put the controller to the test, and it gave pinpoint accuracy, with aiming being quick and accurate, changing to prone position and back again fluidly and the pulling of the trigger felt good. The added kick of the dual motors meant that vibration was sensed more than on a standard controller and this really added to the gameplay.
Playing Dirt 3 with a pad is always a bit hit or miss as precision taps of the stick are needed and each mis-tap can lose you a valuable nanosecond. The first lap or two of the game my left thumb, being in a slightly different position was sometimes heavy when pushing right, but once you get used to the new position the game controlled with an accuracy I’ve not encountered with a standard PS3 controller.
To test out the d-pad, a couple of hours on Tekken 6 were needed (and a few on Super Streetfighter). Once again the GC-2 controller performed admirably, and actions on the d-pad were very accurate. The d-pad did not leave a thumb with a sore mark either, which is always the consequence when using a d-pad. Buttons and combinations of buttons all worked well, and the controller didn’t miss a beat while button mashing on purpose.
The Gioteck GC-2 was put through tests on one initial battery charge, and over eight hours later the battery is still performing well. As well as looking very impressive, the controller performed flawlessly with no buttons sticking, no sticks squeaking or sticking and with the front triggers becoming used comfortably once your fingers realized they were in a slightly different place. It far exceeded expectations, but then again I should have realized it was going to be excellent coming from a company such as Gioteck.
The “Start” and “Select” buttons are either side of the “Turbo” button, ideal for good old-fashioned shoot-em ups such as Under Defeat. No doubt other games will benefit from this button, and my only criticism is that the three buttons are quite small and squeezed next to each other.
It cannot be stated enough at how good this controller from Gioteck is. It’s a fine-tuned piece of hardware that feels perfect in your hands, has some excellent features and is pinpoint accurate in every game you play. The pad is suitable for every type of game and should be seriously considered when purchasing a new controller.