Thrustmaster Enzo Force Feedback Steering Wheel Review - Thrustmaster Enzo Force Feedback Steering Wheel Review

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I can remember when force feedback steering wheels first started to hit the market, and I can also remember that I was less than impressed with them. Initial force feedback devices just seemed to jerk your hands from side to side randomly, with little or no relation to what was going on in the game. I’m thankful to say that things have moved on a great deal since those days.


So, Thrustmaster has paid a lot of money to license a steering wheel from one of the most expensive cars ever constructed and made a good job of it, but what’s it like to drive with? Well to make things short and sweet, playing any driving game with this wheel is fantastic.


I started testing the Enzo wheel right after I returned from the Rally of GB in South Wales. Amazingly I’d managed to make it all the way back to London without getting a speeding ticket, so I figured it was a good time to try some virtual fast driving before my luck ran out.


Adhering to my sense of irony, I decided to load up Ford Racing 2, so that I could drive a Ford GT40 with the Enzo wheel. Why is this ironic? Well the Ford GT40 was developed and built solely to beat and embarrass Ferrari at Le Mans. And that’s exactly what the GT40 did, three years running.


I have to say that I’ve never had such a feeling of driving on the limit as I did when using the Enzo wheel. The force feedback was just perfect, not too harsh, but enough to pull you off line if you did anything stupid. The force feedback is tied so closely to the dynamics of the car you’re driving in the game that you can feel when the back end starts to slide, and, even more impressively, you can catch it again if you’re good enough.


Obviously a lot has to do with how good the car dynamics are in the game you’re playing. But marrying the Enzo wheel with a decent game engine produces results that I didn’t think were possible. If you’re pulling away in a powerful front wheel drive car and you dump the clutch at high revs, the feeling of torque steer while it’s grappling for traction is spot on. Anyone who’s launched a Honda Civic Type R or a Ford Focus RS hard from a standstill will know exactly what I’m talking about, and just like me, they’ll smile to themselves when they experience it in a game for the first time.


One problem you have with a device like this is that it doesn’t come cheap. With a price of just under £80 you’ve got to be a real driving game fan to invest in one of these. That said, the Enzo is a one-off purchase that actually costs roughly as much as a couple of games.


I love driving, on the road and on the track whenever I can manage it, and the feedback you get from the Enzo wheel is the closest thing I’ve ever experienced to really driving a car. Some people may not like it since this wheel lends itself to a more realistic driving experience rather than an arcade style racer. But if like me, you’ve got Optimax running through your veins, you’ll absolutely love it.


”’Verdict”’


The Thrustmaster Enzo takes driving games to the next level. The price is high but it’s worth it. If you want to have total control over your virtual car you need the Enzo.

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