While at E3 in Los Angeles this year, I had a chance to sit down with the fine folks at POWER A and play around with the Batman Arkham City wireless Batarang controller for the PS3. At the time, I was impressed with the controller and how nice it felt. I never had a chance to play with it in action. Nevertheless, at the time I distinctly recall making a mental note to follow up when the controller eventually hit retail as frankly I had to get my hands on it. Well just in time for the launch of Batman: Arkham City, a game we recently reviewed (check out the review HERE) the Batarang controller has arrived and we get a chance to check out the final retail version of the slick PS3 controller.
The first thing I noticed when I unboxed the controller and finally had a chance to get it in my hand was how close it looked and felt like an Xbox 360 controller. I have never been much of a PS3 controller fan and always preferred the look and feel of the Xbox 360 controller. For me it has always come down to personal taste and the Xbox 360 controller has always been my preferred controller. So given the Batarang controller closely resembled the Xbox 360 controller, I was grinning from ear to ear.
Another thing I also noticed before I actually gave the controller a spin was the quality of the controller. In short, it is a sturdy controller and well built controller. There have been occasions in the past where I have picked up third party controllers for the PS3 and it just looked and felt cheap. This is not the case with the Batarang controller as it feels and looks like a top of the line high end PS3 controller.
While the Batarang controller is clearly geared towards gamers who have picked up Batman: Arkham City for the PS3, you can obviously use the controller for other games. Nevertheless, this controller does come equipped with all the features you need for battle in Arkham City. One of the cool little features of the Batarang controller is its ability to light up. You can choose from seven built-in LED colors to personalize your controller. The colors do not distract you while playing either. Even when playing at night, the colors never bothered me while playing.
The Batarang Controller has the rumble functions and full motion controller features which are standard for PS3 controllers. It certainly feels slightly different from your typical Sixaxis PS3 controller but not enough to turn you off or have you running back to your regular PS3 controller any time soon. The Batarang controller grips do feel great. The soft touch grips are perfect for those like myself who tend to get sweaty hands while playing some intense shooter games. As for the buttons on the controller, they are very responsive. It feels slightly different from many other controllers but the buttons very responsive which is something that cannot be said for all third party PS3 controllers.
The Batarang Controller includes an internal rechargeable battery, a Batman themed USB RF Receiver and a 6-foot USB Charging Cable. Here lies my only significant complaint about the controller. The cord is simply too short. My recliner sits away back from my PS3 and the cord provided does not reach where I typically park my butt. I would have preferred a 12-foot cord. It is not a deal breaker by any means but becomes an issue when the controller needs recharging. When my Batarang controller needs recharging I have to basically shut down the game until the controller is recharged. Again, it is not a major issue but more of a small annoyance.
There is no question POWER A in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products have managed to successfully create a controller worthy of the Batman name. The overall look and feel of the controller is top notch. The buttons are very responsive and the controllers LED lights provide a slick way of personalizing your gaming experience. While I would have preferred a longer USB cord for recharging the wireless controller, the fact remains if you are in the market for a new PS3 controller which is closer in appearance to an Xbox 360 controller then the Batarang wireless controller for the PS3 is for you.