We all want to get immersed in our gameplay but is a gaming vest that promises to let you feel the force of getting shot the answer? We get gaming to find out.
The 3rd Space FPS gaming vest is on the surface like any other flak jacket, its got a rugged zip, big buckles and more straps that a you might want to tell your friends about.
Available in two colours: special ops black or an camouflage, the difference between this and any other flak jacket is that this one has eight air pockets tucked inside and a USB connector so you can connect it to your PC.
Slip the jacket on, plug in the USB cable (it's actually the same cable as you'd use for your printer) and then connect it to an air compressor that sits under your PC desk and you're ready to go.
The air compressor isn't as big as you might expect and for the most time runs at the same noise level as an Xbox 360. Not silent, but not so loud that you can't hear anyone speak, however when the air needs to be refilled it is annoying and will make you jump if you are in the heat of the moment.
Connecting to your computer is easy as there are no drivers needed and you'll get two games in the box to get you started.
The company's own 3rd person shooter called 3rd Space Incursion, which as you might expect doesn't match the latest cutting edge offering from publishers like EA or Ubisoft.
It's typical stuff based on a space station with weird looking aliens intent on killing you in ways that show off the jacket. You also get a copy of Activision's Call of Duty 2, which is much better, but still two versions behind the latest offering in the series.
Perhaps realising these shortcomings, the 3rd Space jacket is also compatible with certain versions of Crysis, Halflife 2, Medal Of Honor Airborne, F.E.A.R, Enemy Territory Quake Wars, Quake 4 and Doom 3.
So what's it like? Pretty limp to be fair. While wearing the jacket gives you the sense that you're a bit more involved in the game (we found it was a bit like wearing a good suit to a presentation - sad I know) the exploding air pockets are more like a tap on the shoulder rather than something that will make you feel the full brunt of being shot by the enemy holding an AK-47 or M16.
Where it does succeed is that the makers of the jacket have managed to relate the expanding air pockets with where you are hit in the game, so taking a hit with a shotgun means all the air pockets are set off rather than just the one. However probably due to health and safety issues and the fear of lawsuits you won't actually get hurt by the jacket which is probably why it feels lame.
It's also fairly noisy as the air pocket clearly makes a noise when it goes off and then the compressor kicks into action to refill the jacket so its ready to go off the next time you get shot.
Is it worth the £150 price tag? Not really. The jacket is well built and the idea is there, on hearing the news of its announcement we got very excited, but as a must-have accessory this isn't one for us to recommend that you drop everything and rush out and buy.
We like the idea, but wanted a more intense response than the jacket was probably legally allowed to give us.
This product was kindly loaned to us from Firebox.com