Motion controlling may not be as favored as gaming companies would like, but that’s not stopping any of them from pumping out all sorts of attachments and periperhals.The Sharpshooter is Sony’s attempt at a gaming rifle that incorporates both a Move and Navigation controller to help immerse the gamers into their experience. But does it really hit the target?
Physical Make Up
The plastic body of the Sharpshooter is not only well built but feels surprisingly good in your hands.
The contours of the rifle resemble a mid-range weapon with a stock that extends which I wish was removable as it sometimes gets in the way during game play and forces you to hold the rifle in an undesirable way when squarely facing the television.
The small grip below holds the Navigation controller. It locks the controller into place with a hinged plastic piece at the bottom. Here you have access to the X and O face buttons as well as the L1, L2, Left Stick, and Directional Pad. At the bottom of the front stock handle, there’s a RL or reload button as well.
The Square and Triangle buttons are located above the trigger and actually are a bit hard to reach. The trigger on the rifle replaces R1 and positioned slightly lower, the Move button basically replaces R2. There is a locking mechanism which prevents the Move button presses to register during gameplay if so desired.
The Sharpshooter’s great build quality comes at a price though. After extensive gameplay, it becomes a bit bothersome when standing or if you have the rifle elevated at all. You may find yourself resting it against your legs or your response time slowing down.
In Killzone 3, one initial hurdle to overcome is actually using the directional stick to move while controlling the camera with the Sharpshooter. It is a lot harder than just using a PS Move and the Navigation controller in two different hands. It took me several practice matches to get used to the feeling and find suitable motion control settings.
Perhaps the second hardest thing would be finding proper calibration settings as no game I’ve tried really tells you which setting does what. In Killzone 3 in particular, they are more than 6 different settings which a casual gamer might not exactly understand. You can expect to spend 1-2 hours tuning the settings to find the right balance for your game play.
Jumping while running can be a bit of a problem as the X button is right next to the directional stick you use to move around. Remembering where the actual buttons are takes quite a bit of practice.
The only other game the Sharpshooter really feels good with is Time Crisis: Rising Storms. I also tried MAG, Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition, and The Shoot but each of them had the same problem with Sharpshooter. The device is cumbersome which prevented accurate sidearm or pistol shooting and affected the aim too much to be effective. And to top it all off, the control schemes become so conviluted, you frequently get confused during firefights.
The Sharpshooter is strictly for hardcore gamers and should only be used in Campaign modes. It replicates the weighted feel in Killzone 3 wonderfully while improving your experience but not your game play. If you want to stand up, firing off virtual shots in tense positions with sore arms praying for a lull in the firefight, you definitely want to pick up the Sharpshooter. At $39.99, you will find it a small price to pay for such a great immersion tool.
Final Score: 4 out of 5 Michelas!