With Gears of War 4 being an exceptional entry into the Gears of War franchise — and Microsft loving its themed controllers — it was obvious that the Xbox One would receive a GoW4 themed controller. The question is, is this a controller for the fans or just a bloody mess?
Right off the bat, the controllers comes with little fanfare. Included in the box are two AA batteries for first-time use — you’re still going to need additional batteries or a rechargeable pack — and the usual pile of manuals and safety leaflets that absolutely no one reads. It does include a download code for an exclusive in-game emblem and 3 Gear Packs as well.
The hardware is modelled on the re-released Xbox One S controller, which means it includes a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as Bluetooth wireless connectivity. This is already a thumb up from me and I applaud Microsoft for not taking the easy way out and rebranding an older piece of kit. I tested it on an original Xbox One launch model and found it to have an excellent connection, which didn’t drop once.
Then we come to the heart of the GoW4 Limited Edition wireless controller: the design. And boy, what a design it is. The entire thing is covered in an eye-catching deep crimson paint job with black thrown in for good measure. It’s meant to look battle damaged and war-torn to fit in with your playthroughs of GoW4.
Some of the more outstanding aesthetics of the device is a GOC emblem on the left grip, ‘dirt’ strewn about the place, and deep claw gashes under the face buttons, which is going to pick up dirt. It’s a gorgeous design overall.
The only negative I have is with the four face buttons as they’re all black, which includes the View and Menu buttons. Long-term users will have muscle memory when it comes to controller usage, but when I tested it on newer users, they found it was difficult to tell the buttons apart. Some back-lighting under the buttons could have solved this issue.
It’s also slightly more expensive than the black controller with an RRP of R1299.
Verdict: The crimson Xbox One controller is an excellent piece of kit and should be in every Gears of War fan’s collection. For everyone else, you may want to stick with the cheaper, standard black controller.