I have been using the Razer Wolverine Ultimate for just over a week now and thought now would be a good time to share some of my views on Razer's attempt at cracking the premium controller market. Can this feisty upstart trouble the undisputed king of controllers the Microsoft Elite, well lets find out.
At £160 with free shipping from Razor themselves the price is significantly more than the £110-£120 for the more established Elite but you do get quite a lot of bang for your buck. Featuring compatibility with Xbox One and PC, 6 additional re-mappable bumpers & triggers, Interchangeable thumbsticks and D-Pad, Razer Chroma lighting and a handy storage case to keep your investment in comfort, short of features it is not. You get 2 different d-pads and 3 different stick types, I would say they are standard, long and domed, but why Razer for the love of Pete did you only put in one of each?
Packaging was nice and suitably refined, something that bestows the price of the pad as were the inclusion of a proper instruction manual, some nice Razer stickers for your Astra and a braided usb cable.......Yes, as with all 3rd party xbox controllers this is a wired controller.
Setting up the pad is a breeze with the Razer Synapse xbox one app which allows you to map buttons, change the stick response times and alter the lighting effect to suit your mood, something that I see as more of a gimmick than of having any practicable purpose.
The controller is very light (no battery pack to weigh it down) and feels pretty well put together with a plastic top shell and a rubberised textured back. I found one of the corners of the textured grip on the handle to be quite sharp and am worried that over time this will lead to it catching and pulling free from the body. An easy fix with a scalpel though, but for £160 should I need to be making repairs out of the box?
What about the skeleton in the closet? The USB cable removes from the controller stopping it becoming compromised and being damaged when habitually wrapped up around the pad, a real fault with earlier Razer and Madcatz controllers. If like me you have a dedicated gaming room the wire is no issue but this really is a horses for courses issue and I'm sure it will be a deal breaker for many potential clients.
Getting in to the real meat and potatoes of the controller I found that the sticks were very responsive and accurate and the paddles satisfyingly clicky to use, although the placement is probably more reminiscent of a Scuf controller than the Elite so took some getting used to. The bumpers were also very good and a fantastic feature with the triggers is the varying levels of trigger stopper, allowing no stop, normal stop like on an elite and super stop which you just need to sneeze in the direction of the controller and they work. I also noticed that in Destiny in particular my sparrow would fly at full chat without removing the trigger stops. Something that always annoyed the bejeesus out of me with an Elite.
Another fantastic feature and something that I have never seen before was the ability to go into focus mode by pulling the left 2nd paddle. I can only liken this to a reverse bullet mode in Max Payne where you go into super slow mo allowing you to take the most amazing precision shots, I can only imagine how useful this will be for sniping in say COD WWII or Battlefield.
Great stick and button response
Multi stage trigger stops
Only one of each stick!
I am really happy to see Razer step up and have a crack at the premium controller market and I think that they have pretty much hit the mark with it being on par with the Elite, is it better? Possibly in some places (focus mode, precision of the sticks) but definitely not in others (Price and only ONE of each stick!). Is it £60 better? No is the simple answer.
This was a totally unbiased review and is my own personal views and in no way has this review any connection with Razer as a company.