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Backbone One PlayStation Edition review – a fine mobile controller that’s strangely better for Xbox
6:08 pm | June 2, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

The Backbone One PlayStation Edition is an officially licensed mobile controller, of which there are both iOS and Android variants. At surface level, it’s a perfectly fine mobile gamepad. Build quality is mostly great, and the USB-C port means your phone will remain locked in firmly during play.

It helps that the Backbone app is fairly robust and easy to navigate, allowing you to quickly select go-to apps like PS Remote Play and Xbox Game Pass. However, while bearing the PlayStation button layout, it’s not a particularly great fit for PS5 owners. It’ll do the job during remote play sessions, with impressively low input lag, but I found it to be a much better fit for Xbox Series X|S players, like many of the best Xbox Game Pass streaming accessories, due to one key oversight.

While the DualSense and DualShock 4 bear a central touchpad that’s easy to access, that’s not so much the case for the Backbone One PlayStation Edition. During remote play, you’ll need to double-tap your phone’s screen in order to activate touchpad input. That might not sound too terrible, but reaching a thumb over to the center of your phone’s screen quickly becomes irksome.

Overall, though, despite the touchpad issue and some generally awkward button placement, the Backbone One PlayStation Edition is a solid choice if you’re looking for a relatively affordable mobile gaming controller.

Backbone One PlayStation Edition: price and availability

The Backbone One PlayStation Edition is available now from Backbone’s official store page, in both iOS and Android variants. Both are priced equally at $99.99 / £99.99 / AU$179. Additionally, purchasing the Backbone One from the company directly will net you a three-month Discord Nitro subscription and a one-month Apple Arcade subscription for new customers. 

Backbone One PlayStation Edition: design 

Backbone One

(Image credit: Future)

The Backbone One PlayStation Edition pleases right out of the box. The sleek, matte white finish matches the default colorway of the PS5 and DualSense wireless controller. The pad rests comfortably in your hands while the triggers, analog sticks, and face buttons are all of satisfyingly high quality. 

The same can’t be said for the Backbone One’s D-pad, however, which feels slightly loose and listless. Still, that’s a small blemish on an overall tight design. A larger issue is the placement of the Backbone One’s ancillary buttons. Menu, screenshot, and sharing buttons (along with the shortcut button to the Backbone app) are all awkwardly placed quite far down either side of the controller. On the left side especially, you’ll need to move your thumb a significant distance away from the analog stick, which never feels quite right.

The Backbone One PlayStation Edition also lacks a dedicated central touchpad button. However, the functionality is there; you’ll just need to double-tap your phone’s screen during gameplay. I found this to be incredibly awkward. Having to strain my thumb every time I want to open a map or inventory makes playing games like Horizon Forbidden West and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart a significant chore compared to on console.

This isn’t an issue for Xbox Game Pass games via Xbox Cloud Gaming, which makes the Backbone One PlayStation Edition, ironically, a better fit for Microsoft’s subscription service. Separate touchpad buttons on, say, the rear of the controller, would’ve been a welcome addition, too.

Rounding out the controller’s design aspects are a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB-C port. Both are great to have, and the latter means you can charge your phone while playing.

Backbone One PlayStation Edition: performance

Backbone One

(Image credit: Future)

As hinted above, the Backbone One PlayStation Edition performs solidly, with impressively little input lag during both cloud streaming and remote play. To an extent, your mileage here will vary based on the strength of your internet connection (remote play also requires Wi-Fi) but the overall experience was surprisingly smooth. 

Naturally, there will be a degree of input delay when streaming games to your phone, and I won’t say the experience is entirely seamless. I did struggle to swiftly input more complex button inputs in Street Fighter 6, for example, when played via PS Remote Play. But for games that require relatively fewer inputs like Gran Turismo 7, or Stardew Valley, you’ll get a perfectly serviceable play session when you’re handheld with the Backbone One PlayStation Edition. 

Should you buy the Backbone One PlayStation Edition?

Backbone One

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You’re not on a budget
The Backbone One won’t break the bank at the sub $100 / £100 mark.

You’re after versatility
The controller’s Backbone app provides shortcuts to Xbox Game Pass, PS Remote Play, and controller-supporting Apple Store or Google Play titles.

Don't buy it if...

The touchpad functionality puts you off
Using the Backbone One for PS Remote Play is tricky, largely thanks to the double-tap touchpad setup.

You’d prefer a more feature-rich controller
The Backbone One simply does what it says on the tin and little else. The Backbone app is nice for accessing shortcuts, but the device isn’t particularly customizable.

How we tested

I tested the Backbone One PlayStation Edition with my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra to play a variety of games across PS5 Remote Play, Xbox Game Pass, and Google Play over the course of a couple of weeks.

Games tested were across a variety of genres and size, from smaller indies like Hollow Knight and Stardew Valley, to larger-scale titles like Gran Turismo 7, Halo Infinite and Final Fantasy 14 Online.

System Shock review: a SHODAN showdown
7:12 pm | May 30, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: , | Comments: Off
Review information

Time played: 15 hours
Platform reviewed: PC
Available on: PC 

System Shock feels like a homecoming. You can draw a clear line of inspiration from the 1994 first-person adventure game to immersive sims like 2000’s Deus Ex, 2007’s Bioshock, and 2017’s Prey. But it all started here, a battle of wills between a hacker and a rogue AI.

That’s the history lesson. Remake developers Nightdive Studios have made an entire career out of treating gaming history with reverence, and System Shock is no different. It’s a celebration of everything that made the original so great, blending in some of the parts from 1999’s System Shock 2. However, a few systems feel long in the tooth and might hinder the enjoyment of people coming to the game for the first time. 

The biggest improvement in this remake is System Shock’s aesthetic. First, you’re in an apartment littered with trash-tier future tech, cyberpunk detritus that betrays the dystopian universe of System Shock. This grim future continues on Citadel Station, a space station full of a thousand twinkling lights, of neon flaring through dark corridors filled with the grumble and moan of cyborgs. 

Look at you, hacker

System Shock remake

(Image credit: Prime Matter)

System Shock is working on a budget and occasionally you’ll see this with some low-quality textures, supposedly by design to capture the original’s vibe. Many players might see this as cut corners, but the style and presentation throughout the game is always consistent. Wherever you are on Citadel Station, you’ll feel the same way: the future is here, and it’s awful. While later areas look much fancier, there’s still a layer of grime on everything. 

The story sticks close to the original. Decades of jokes and references have made it nearly impossible to hide the reveal of evil AI SHODAN, but such was the impact of System Shock and evil AI movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey that just hearing the name SHODAN makes you realize what’s up. 

Sadly, characters in System Shock aren’t so genre savvy. The game kicks off by having your character - known as the Hacker - remove SHODAN’s ethical restrictions. Six months later, you get to reap what you’ve sown, rattling around Citadel Station to try and stop SHODAN’s reign of terror.

The game doesn’t do a lot differently. This isn’t a remake like Final Fantasy 7 or Resident Evil 2 where the original game is a jumping-off point for adventures in the same world.

System Shock remake

(Image credit: Prime Matter)

This is a retelling of the same yarn, and not only were several areas of Citadel Station easily recognizable, but several enemies were located in the same spot. Walking up to the first locked door, I entered the now-legendary 451 code (once the door code of original System Shock developers Looking Glass Studios and now an immersive sim staple) and the door slowly opened. 

This is very much a retread of that first game, albeit fleshed out in a lot of places. While the original game was more menu than game, with the huge UI taking up most of the screen while you observe the action astronaut style through a little window - here Nightdive has offered up something that, in play, feels a lot more like the 1999 sequel System Shock 2

Luckily, the story being largely the same shape means you’re spending most of your time going toe to toe with SHODAN, and this buoys the entire game because boy, SHODAN is a hell of a villain. Original voice actor Terri Brosius returns and is often terrifying, with every line delivered with phenomenal contempt. This venom, the fact SHODAN does not like you, makes it feel personal and drives you through the campaign out of sheer bloody-mindedness. 


System Shock remake

(Image credit: Prime Matter)

It’s a long time before you can deliver any real harm or discomfort toward SHODAN but until then you’ll be waging war on the robots, mutants, and security systems of Citadel Station. Combat is a little clunky throughout, however. 

The early wrench provides terrifying fights as you try to dance around your enemies, but there’s a wide assortment of weaponry in the game and all of it feels slightly clumsy while the game rations ammo out so that every missed shot is felt as if you had turned the gun on yourself instead. Compared to more recent shooters, the flow of combat feels off somehow, and while immersive sim fans will likely enjoy it, those coming here hoping for the white-hot adrenaline rush of proper firefights will be left wanting.

...the world design, writing, and sense of style still impress.

The slightly unwieldy nature of the guns and movement helps to sell the survival-horror atmosphere, something System Shock flirts with but never fully adopts. At least that is until you get a game over screen and you’re treated to a short video of you being turned into a cyborg or bolted to another robot to help act out SHODAN’s evil plans. 

Still, death is actually one of the biggest irritations with System Shock. Checkpointing is inconsistent and at one point during my playthrough, I lost an hour of progress because I hadn’t been saving manually and was sent back to the last big story beat.

This error is mostly my fault because I am a big idiot, but it still grated in a world where most games throw autosaves and checkpoints at you to ensure you’re not having to retread areas several times. Even System Shock’s substantial charm diminishes when you have to replay an area after a hulking mech blows your arms off for the third time in a row. 

For digital tourists hoping to spelunk the depths of video game classics after experiencing the many many spiritual successors inspired by the original game, System Shock might feel old hat. However, despite the slightly aged systems - no longer offering the wow factor of the 1994 release - the world design, writing, and sense of style still impress. This is a worthy update and the best way to revisit one of gaming’s very best doomed space stations. 

HyperX Clutch Gladiate review – A David among Goliaths
1:15 pm | March 27, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Gadgets | Tags: | Comments: Off

The HyperX Clutch Gladiate is a seriously impressive controller for its price. Not only does it offer ‘Pro’ controller adjacent features like back paddle buttons and hair trigger locks, but it also boasts surprisingly good build quality with comfy textured grips and satisfyingly tactile buttons and sticks.

HyperX Clutch Gladiate’s low price makes it a more affordable Xbox Series X controller than the likes of the Nacon Revolution X Pro and the 8BitDo Pro 2 wired controller. If you’re on a strict budget, I highly recommend the HyperX Clutch Gladiate.

The gamepad only has a couple of drawbacks, though one is significant. The controller’s D-pad is on the basic side, lacking texture, making it feel flat. The bigger problem is the pad’s hair trigger locks. When toggled on, trigger presses register inconsistently. As a result, I opted to leave them off throughout the majority of our testing phase.

Despite those issues, I still recommend the HyperX Clutch Gladiate controller. Read on for our full breakdown and review.

Price and availability

The HyperX Clutch Gladiate is available to buy for $34.99 (around £29.99) from March 27, 2023 across a broad range of online retailers. Comparatively, that’s a lower price than many of the best Xbox controllers you can buy today, such as the 8BitDo Pro 2 and Turtle Beach Recon. In terms of design and functionality, the Clutch Gladiate’s most similar to Nacon’s Revolution X Pro. 

HyperX Clutch Gladiate: Design

HyperX Clutch Gladiate

(Image credit: Future)
  • Surprisingly strong build quality
  • Lovely face buttons and sticks
  • D-pad and shoulder buttons could be better

The build quality of the HyperX Clutch Gladiate isn’t up to par with the high bar set by the Xbox Wireless Controller, but it doesn’t feel cheap. Despite its low price, HyperX has managed to manufacture a pad that feels solid in the hands while also being relatively lightweight at just 280 grams.

Thanks to textured grips, the pad immediately feels secure to hold. The overall shape is ergonomic, too, allowing for a comfortable gaming experience for long and short sessions.

That quality is consistent with the Clutch Gladiate’s face buttons, sticks, and triggers. The face buttons are a particular highlight here. Made of solid plastic, they have a subtly bouncy feel, allowing for easy and quick presses. The sticks are another highlight with a slightly weighty feel and concave design.

I can’t say the same about the shoulder buttons. They’re ever so slightly longer than those on the official Xbox pad, while feeling mushier and less satisfying to press. That sentiment extends to the middling D-pad, which lacks texture and feels flat.

Lastly, the Clutch Gladiate comes with a 2.95 m USB-C cable, a requirement for the wired pad. And while I wish it were a touch longer, it’ll be more than enough for most gaming setups and is plenty long for play on PC. The 3.5mm headphone jack is welcome, too, making the Clutch Gladiate an overall great choice if you prefer wired play.

  • Design score: 4 / 5

HyperX Clutch Gladiate: Features

HyperX Clutch Gladiate

(Image credit: Future)
  • Rear paddle buttons are a joy
  • They’re easily remappable, though macros aren’t supported
  • Hair trigger locks are frustratingly inconsistent

Impressively, the HyperX Clutch Gladiate boasts a suite of ‘Pro’ pad adjacent features, allowing you to get more out of the controller. First up, I'm a fan of the two rear buttons. While basic, they have a clicky, tactile feel to them. 

The rear buttons are remappable, so you can assign them as secondary inputs. You do this by first holding the center-rear P1 button for a few seconds, followed by pressing the button you wish to map as secondary. Finally, pressing either of the rear buttons will assign the original button to it. While a great feature, button macros (multiple button combinations) aren’t supported, unfortunately.

One of the Clutch Gladiate’s standout features should be its hair trigger locks. These switches on the back of the pad allow the triggers to stop midway, registering a trigger press in half the travel distance. In theory, this is great for games where rapid trigger presses can give you an advantage, such as shooters like Overwatch 2 or Halo Infinite.

In practice the hair trigger locks are inconsistent on both console and PC. This is the Clutch Gladiate’s biggest flaw. I first tested a controller setup on Final Fantasy 14, customized so that double-tapping a trigger gives access to a secondary hotbar. When this didn’t work, I hopped over to Elden Ring, where triggers activate strong attacks by default. I found that I had to press the triggers hard to initiate strong attacks, thus defeating the point of having trigger locks in the first place.

Sadly, the issue was present on Xbox Series X|S, too. Though I did have overall better luck with first-person shooters, the hair trigger locks worked just fine in both Halo Infinite and PUBG Battlegrounds. If you plan to use the trigger locks, check to see if your game has trigger sensitivity settings, as I found this allowed us to use the feature better.

  • Features score: 3 / 5

Should I buy the HyperX Clutch Gladiate?

HyperX Clutch Gladiate

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You’re on a strict budget
‘Pro’ adjacent pads don’t get more affordable than the Clutch Gladiate. It’s certainly one to consider if you want to keep costs low.

You’re interested in some light ‘Pro’ features
Remappable rear buttons and hair trigger locks provide a good introduction to higher-end controller features on a pad this affordable.

You want good comfort and feel
Despite the low price, the Clutch Gladiate is a satisfying controller to both hold and play with for long gaming sessions.

Don't buy it if...

You want more ‘Pro’ features
The Clutch Gladiate is still light on ‘Pro’ adjacent touches, and the hair trigger locks are a bit of a letdown here.