In The Game
On the Road Again
Never ones to know when to stop, we set out to not only "test-drive" the Logitech wheel, but compare it to other wheels we've used. Although the main focus of this review is on the Formula Force, we'll be contrasting it to three other steering wheels: the MS Force Feedback wheel, the Thurstmaster Nascar Pro wheel (non-force-feedback), and my 1986 Chevy Nova. We tested the first three on both Midtown Madness and Need for Speed: High Stakes, and my Nova was tested on the roads of the east bay.
Sitting down in the driver's seat, you're presented with two pedals (manual what? what transmission?) and the steering wheel. The wheel has four buttons frontside, and two "European-style" shifter triggers behind it. These are enough buttons for the essentials in all the games we played; you've got your shifters, handbrake, camera view, reverse button (in Midtown Madness), and your lights/horn/whatever else you'd like on the other button or two. The stunning red portion of the wheel also doubles as a very sturdy and easy-to-use grip.
Put the Pedal to the Plastic
The pedals are the least impressive looking of the setup, and they handle about as well as they look. First of all, they press straight down into the floor, which is contrary to the way that real pedals move - along a forward axis. Second, there is very little resistance to the pedals, making them not only unrealistic to use, but very difficult to precisely control. Third, they're small. About the only nice thing the pedals do is accept the power supply feed; this means there's only one cable (a 25-pin) to run up to the steering wheel.
This isn't to say that the pedals are unplayable, but they leave much to be desired. The best pedals (apart from the Nova's) were the Thrustmaster pedals. The Thrustmaster pedals are larger, have good resistance (and different resistance for braking and accelerating), and push forward instead of down. Oh well. We can't all be perfect.
Just plain lame pedals