The recently released MAG 2 motion controller for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC probably won’t make most hardcore gamers give up their controllers or mice and keyboards, but it still might be worth giving a chance to if you want a new way to play FPS’s.
The rifle shaped controller is surprisingly comfortable to hold: despite its size it’s fairly light, and the analog stick and buttons are all placed in logical and easy to reach positions. The MAG 2 places the analog stick on the rifle’s front grip, while the fire trigger and the face buttons are located on the rear handle. Despite being fairly large, the MAG 2 is actually more comfortable to hold than either the Wii Zapper or the PS Move Sharpshooter.
The controller’s motion sensitivity is handled entirely by internal gyroscopes, so you don’t need to maintain an unobstructed view to a sensor bar or camera — a big plus. The MAG 2 also doesn’t have any minimum range requirements, so you can basically use it from anywhere in the room without having to worry about getting too close to the TV.
Unfortunately, the motion controls are a little touchy and take awhile to get used to. I demoed the MAG 2 with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a game that was designed with motion controls in mind originally, and it shows: every minor movement I made was picked up by the MAG 2’s gyroscope, so even with the game’s sensitivity turned down, I still found it hard to keep my aim steady and hit targets consistently. If you’re a hardcore, competitive CoD player, you’ll definitely want to stick to a more traditional controller if you want to keep your stats up.
With that said though, I still had fun with the MAG 2: the extra physicality involved in having to move and point a big rifle around helped make Modern Warfare 3 feel fresh again, even if I wasn’t as accurate as I would’ve been with a regular controller. I hate to admit it, but the MAG 2 did add an element of gimmicky, dumb fun to the game that I wasn’t expecting. Like I said, you probably won’t dominate online with the MAG 2, but it is a fun toy to mess around with. Casual or younger gamers will definitely enjoy playing games with it, and even hardcore gamers might be able to use it to add a fun (albeit gimmicky) twist to their old games.