DualShock 3 • Page 2

Good vibrations?

Good timing

As luck would have it MotorStorm received a downloadable update just a few days ago, adding the vibration support we were so keen to test out. After waiting for what seemed like an hour, patch 3.0 finally installed and we could get to work. Entering the game's set-up menu, you can set the level of vibration to low, medium, high (or off, if you prefer), so, naturally, we plumped for high.

In-game, the results weren't anything to shout about, unfortunately. Rather than go the whole hog and make things like revving the engine or driving over the ruts and grooves in the track part of the vibration, the feedback is limited to bumping into other cars and objects - and appears to be the same effect whether you're driving a motorbike or giant truck. It's definitely an improvement, but it's nowhere near as good as it could have been. Ah well. Moving on.

Perhaps it would be better to judge games which had been designed with vibration in mind? With the knowledge that Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction includes vibration out of the box, we had an extra excuse to pour some time into it (review coming later this week, before you ask). With chaos the normal order of things in this rather lovely game, Insomniac has gone for a more 'pick and choose' approach to what does and doesn't elicit a response from the pad. Basically, it appears to be just like the PS2 Ratchet games in that smacking things around makes a minor nudge, nothing more. There's nothing quite on the level of some of other games, and certain nothing compared to the pneumatic drill effect some shooters like to infuse into a pad. Maybe it's just me, or maybe it's a battery saving consideration, but the overall 'oomph' is lacking somewhat.

Uncharted territory

3

And it's the same deal with Naughty Dog's forthcoming PS3 exclusive Uncharted: Drake's Progress - another title we have advance code for with built-in vibration. With much of the game involving duck and cover-style shooting antics, you'd perhaps expect a little more emphasis, but it feels subtler than most 360 games of note. The most impressive use of the vibration was actually during the adventuring elements, with small rumbles giving you a heads-up on when ledges were about to crumble beneath you, and so on.

As regards battery life, we've been playing with Ratchet and Uncharted for a combined 10 hours or so and not noticed a significant reduction in battery life. Just like the 360's wireless pad, the battery life is extremely impressive and you'll go several days without even thinking about it - so no worries there.

What is surprising - and a little annoying - is that vibration hasn't been enabled for PS2 games. Quite what the reasoning is for something as straightforward as that is unknown. Hopefully it's something Sony can release a firmware update for at a later date

4

Admittedly this little DualShock 3 discussion is more of a first impressions than a review as such (not that a review of a tweak to a joypad is exactly necessary), but at this stage we're reasonably happy with the revision (apart from the non-support of PS2 games - that's just daft). Some have commented that the vibration is 'weak', but I think it's safe to assume that this is down to the developer. Unwisely leaving the pad on the side during MotorStorm, the vibration was enough to send the controller flying onto the floor, so watch out for that (sorry Sony!). The most irritating aspect of all this is the time we'll all have to wait, and the necessity to upgrade. If Sony can bring the release date forward, I think we'd all be a lot happier.

In the meantime, cast your eyes of this current list of compatible titles - if you're willing to part with the extra cash for a Japanese DualShock 3, you'll shortly be able to enjoy Assassin's Creed, Kane & Lynch and Haze, among others.

  • North American and European rumble-compatible PS3 titles
  • The Darkness
  • Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
  • Soldier of Fortune
  • Resident Evil 5
  • Devil May Cry 4
  • N-Cube
  • Warbit
  • Dark Sector
  • Turok
  • Highlander
  • Kane & Lynch
  • Burnout Paradise
  • FIFA franchise
  • Legendary: The Box
  • To End All Wars
  • Rage
  • WarDevil
  • Dynasty Warriors 6
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
  • Blacksite: Area 51
  • TNA Wrestling
  • Unreal Tournament 3
  • Wheelman
  • Cops (working title)
  • Planet One (working title)
  • Heroes over Europe
  • Condemned 2
  • Iron man
  • The Club
  • The Crucible
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Blast Factor*
  • Echochrome
  • Elefunk
  • Folklore*
  • Formula One Championship Edition
  • Go! Sports Ski*
  • Heavenly Sword*
  • High Velocity Bowling
  • MLB 08: The Show
  • MotorStorm*
  • NBA 08*
  • Pain
  • Rat Race
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction
  • Resistance: Fall of Man*
  • Snakeball
  • SOCOM: Confrontation
  • Super Stardust HD*
  • Toy home
  • Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
  • WarHawk*
  • WiepEout HD
  • GripShift
  • NBA 2K8
  • Destroy All Humans 3
  • Stuntman Ignition
  • Assassin's Creed
  • Beowulf
  • Haze
  • Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2*
  • Rainbow Six Vegas*
  • Prototype
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

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About the author

Kristan Reed

Kristan Reed

Contributor

Kristan is a former editor of Eurogamer, dad, Stone Roses bore and Norwich City supporter who sometimes mutters optimistically about Team Silent getting back together.

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