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I had considered purchasing a racing wheel ever since I've had a PC but have always told myself it would be worth it. However, I was soon persuaded by the Thrustmaster Force GT on show at my local PC World. Having purchased the wheel (£79.99), I got it home and started to set it up. Pedals connect to the wheel along with the power supply, and the wheel connects to your PC via a USB cable. Upon plugging it in, Windows XP recognised it immediately and went through the motions of installing the drivers from the CD provided. Everything went without a hitch. I fired up Colin Mcrae 2, selected the wheel only to find the Force Feedback option greyed out. Five minutes on the web and I found an update to correct this problem which is a problem with the game and not the wheel. Whizzing round the courses of CMR2 you get an enormous sense of actually being there. The rubber wheel makes it feel tactile, and less toy-like than some of other wheels I have seen. The Force Feedback of the wheel gives your vehicle weight and lets your feel every bump, impact and crash. For the first time ever, its actually fun to play with manual gears! The gear change lever is easy to use and feels very natural. The pedals do lack weight, but this doesn't really detract from the whole experience. They are solid enough to stay under your feet during play. On the whole the wheel is a solid package with good build quality, excellent force feedback and an overall sense of realism. For those who haven't used a wheel before I would recommend this one, as it will totally change you PC driving experience!
Oh yeah. The Thrustmaster Force Feedback Racing Wheel sure is a stunner. I'm not sure why I spent all of £82 of my hard-earned on it in the first place, but that didn't seem to matter. I coupled it with Midtown Madness 2 (which only just came out, I pre-ordered it for £15!) and began to enjoy pleasure. My friends say "this game wouldn't be fun without the wheel" to almost every driving game with the wheel, signifying two things: that they don't like driving games much, and of course the wheel rules. Which it does. I installed it on a Windows 98 SE system, and using the provided installation CD, used my USB port to plug in. Worked flawlessly, a little playing around in the Test Forces tab later, I was ready to go. There is also a serial option on the cable, however I have not used this. A little niggle about installation is the el cheapo transformer. I could not imagine plugging it in to a vertical wall socket at all, like all wall warts. I wish it had been built into the pedal unit, to add more weight, and to provide that nice overall sheen to the package. I am now using Windows XP, and after downloading the 2000 drivers from the website, it works fine, just like in the 98SE days. Still, it's about the wheel, not my OS. I like it's feel, and the gear change looks class. It has a proper Ferrari horse on the centre of the wheel, and a plethora of buttons, including a point of view hat, for looking from different windows, etc. It has four paddles on the rear of the wheel, the two top ones act as the F1 style paddle change, where as the bottom two are analogue, and only operate once you have unplugged the pedals, as an alternative. However, don't bother, because the pedals are just fine. OK, so everything is plastic, but they are pretty tough for what they are. Clad in silver, the base has little notches to keep your heels still if you are wearing shoes (however playing with socks on I find gives the be
st effect). It doesn't move about too much as long as you apply reasonable downward pressure through your feet. The main wheel clamps onto most desks. Believe me I have a really cheapo Argos mahogany veneer wobbbly self build joblet, and it is wobbly. And when this wheel delivers it's powerful feedback, boy does it wobble even more. No, seriously, my monitor shakes a bit too. All part of the realisitic effect I guess :-) Of course, the feedback is most excellent, especially in my recently purchased Mobil 1 Rally Championship. You really can feel the ruts and bumps. Believe me, a non-force feedback wheel is a drastically different and less tactile (and enjoyable) experience. Conclusion: A great force feedback wheel, with good pedals, feel and everything. Downsides: pricey. My gear paddles are flimsy and don't click as well as they should, but sure as hell still work.
when i bought my first thrustmaster wheel it was a 360 modena pro which cost about £60 i thought that it would last me for a while so when it broke i didnt hesitate to take it back i decided to spend more money on a force feedback wheel and even with the heavy use i give it i still have it and its still working as well as before and i have friends who bought the wheel before me and they still have it and their wheels are working the same as they did when they were new apart from being a bit worn.