Saitek Cyborg evo Force Joystick - Saitek Cyborg evo Force Joystick

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DemonStar Secret Missions 2 – a force-feedback compatible vertical scrolling shooter game – is also included on the driver CD along with a neat little demo that interprets the forces involved in bouncing or spinning a ball on a string and passes them on to the joystick. Simple, but strangely addictive…


Moving on, I tested the evo Force with a couple of force-feedback compatible games – Star Wars Episode 1 Racer, and Crimson Skies – and my overall impression was excellent. The evo Force’s action is smooth thanks to its spring loaded gimbal mechanism and the sprung twisting action was essential for tweaking my plane’s rudder during controlled dive attacks on enemy aircraft. In terms of force-feedback, its effectiveness largely depends on the game you’re playing.


For Star Wars Episode 1 Racer, the forces were somewhat muted and limited to a continual hum that mimicked the Pod Racer’s engines and the occasional rumble for the odd collision or two. On the other hand, Chrimson Skies offered up much more excitement partly because of the various weapons I had at my fingertips, and partly because a joystick is extremely well suited to flight sims. For instance, the evo Force would alter its kicking action depending on whether I was firing canon, rockets or machine guns, whereas in a steep climb the increased resistance in the stick gave the impression of pulling a few extra G’s.

The only real issues I had were three-fold. First, the joystick is little light in construction and as a result machine gun fire would shake the stick violently enough to cause it to vibrate on the desk. That said you can always drop the gain on this force to minimise this, but the evo Force would benefit from more weight in its base as well as a set of larger rubber feet for that extra bit of grip. The second gripe are the flushly set buttons, both on the base and on the thumb paddle, which makes it far too easy to press the wrong button. If these were bevelled or grooved for your fingers and thumb then I am sure that would help. And last of all, because the throttle lever is mounted in a central position (obviously to suit the evo Force’s ambidextrous design), it means that while one hand is on the stick, the other will find itself awkwardly controlling the throttle underneath.


All in all, however, the evo Force is a comfortable and responsive force-feedback stick that has an excellent level of adjustability for a reasonable sub-£50 price tag. I’m also impressed that Saitek has managed to squeeze all the necessary motors and sensors within the same moulded body as the standard Cyborg evo, and that has to be applauded.


”’Verdict”’


Whether you’re left or right-handed, the Saitek evo Force should certainly be considered if you’re after a joystick with force-feedback. There could be some subtle improvements but the responsive nature of the stick, its comfort and range of forces really brings the element of realism to compatible games – especially if you’ve been using a standard joystick up until now.

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